Submitted by a contributor
Why would a group of cyclists pedal 100-miles a day over an August weekend? To raise awareness and financial support for healthy pregnancies of course!
The first Ernie’s Ride occurred in August 2014, but the seed was planted much earlier when the ride’s founder, Doug Shope, experienced unconditional kindness through a relationship with his Uncle Ernie. It’s a heartwarming story that can be fully read at www.erniesride.com/meeternie.
“The rides are fun,” says Doug quickly adding, “they’re hard too, but so worth it.” The inaugural ride of 2014 would have been a solo event, had it not been for Nick. On this ride, Doug had set a 48-hour window for an approximately 320-mile ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland. He was on schedule, but towards the end, with time running out, he faced a steep hill. “I was running out of time; praying too,” and that’s when Nick cycled up alongside me. “Because of Nick, I completed the ride with three minutes to spare.” When sharing his motivation for these annual cycling events, his countenance changes. He stops talking about a passion for cycling, or the fellowship he shares with the other riders. “Life is precious,” he says. His Uncle Ernie had Down syndrome, and later in life, Doug’s heart was broken when he learned that babies in many countries, including ours, who are diagnosed with Down syndrome are often aborted. It is here that Doug’s passion for cycling, fellowship, life, and compassion intersected. “It was a natural action to take, all lives matter and I can help.” Doug and friends are planning another ride this August 2019. Training begins this May.
If you’re interested in supporting Elizabeth’s New Life Center through Ernie’s Ride, check out www.erniesride.com.