The NUMB riders passed through our area on their 2019 bike ride through the northern panhandle. NUMB stands for Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger, they have contributed over $1,000,000 to reduce hunger since the first ride in 1996.
This beautiful ride with historic scenery marked their 24th year. Nearly 150 bicycle riders rode through Hemingford last Monday.
In 1893, nine riders took off from Chadron on a 1,000-mile horse race to the Chicago World’s Fair. The prize for the winner was $1,000, or about $27,500 today. A little over 100 years later, or 1996 to be exact, 37 riders took off from Chadron on the first Nebraska United Methodist Bicycle Ride for Hunger.
“We are very pleased to be back to our NUMB roots in Chadron,” said Coordinator Bill Ritter.
The ride originated with planning by Ritter, Greg Bakewell and David Jefferson. The project centers out of Elkhorn.
Riders come from all over the country including Paul Craig who was born in Nebraska but resides in Alaska. He flew into Seattle then rode his bike to Nebraska, a 22 day journey, where he met up with his NUMB rider friends.
Hydration stations were set up along the route including the “Bacon Stop” here in the Hemingford Park. The ladies running that station were Susan Haskall and Vicki Jennings from Omaha. They are part of the SAG, Support and Gear, crew that travels with the riders. Haskall’s husband and daughter were riding the route on their bikes.
Riders off all ages enjoy this traditional ride, from 8 to 77 to be exact.
This year’s route toured the northern half of the panhandle. On Saturday, the cyclists headed west from Chadron to Crawford with a loop through Ft. Robinson for a total of 44.6 miles. From Crawford they rode through Hemingford and on to Alliance for a total of 57.6 miles. Then from Alliance they rode to Rushville for 72.7 miles and finally on Wednesday, they rode the last stretch from Rushville to Chadron for 31.8 miles.
NUMB is open to all interested cyclists. You do not have to be United Methodist to participate in NUMB. The ride will be limited to the first 150 riders. Riders in the past have come from all across the nation as well as Nebraska to be a part of this ride. Riders 18 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian. The NUMB ride is challenging and riders must be in excellent riding condition and using quality biking equipment.