For awareness, let’s go ride a bike

By Clyde Davis: CNJ Columnist

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Though seemingly not right around the corner, it may in fact be so, at least for the purposes of this column.

The reason I say that is I plan to issue an invitation, or a challenge, and it may involve you, the readers who respond, to begin getting in shape.

Three words. Ride to Grady. Then, three more words. Get your bicycle ready.

I would like to state here that, on the first Saturday of October, I will be riding to Grady in an attempt to draw notice to something we are all aware of — domestic violence toward women and children. I am inviting anyone who wishes to do so to join me. I am encouraging anyone who wants to show their support for me, or hopefully us, to cheer along the way. I am also inviting those who are unsure about making the entire distance to go for as long as you are able, or have the time for.

The ride starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 4 at Wendy’s.

That is about a 40-mile trip, so it may take two to four hours, depending on your bike.

It is not a particularly arduous trip, though because of the road conditions one might — I might also — choose to use a mountain bike rather than a road bike.

There is no registration process nor is there an entrance fee, though more people might participate if there were. You simply show up at the appointed time and place, and we ride toward Grady. Perhaps when we get there, we will have a picnic with the family members who are picking us up.

If people want to sponsor you on your ride, great. We will donate proceeds to the Hartley House, which is our abuse and violence shelter. I just hate to set a minimum, having been kicked out of some rides for inability to raise $1,000 or whatnot.

Please understand that this is not a self-immolation tour. I plan on wearing a backpack with plenty of drinks, stopping to eat lunch along the way, etc. There is no intent for anyone to get sick, so sunscreen, snacks, a helmet, and all of the normal things that make for a sensible ride apply. We are not about self-flagellation, but about raising awareness.

I encourage you to ride in honor, or memory, of a child whom you love who was a victim of domestic abuse. I plan to ride in memory of my grandson’s half-brother.

I encourage you again, if this touches your heart but you’re not a bicyclist, to help us out in another way. Meet us at Ned Houk with cold water bottles. Call a radio station and encourage them to cover us. Pray for us.

Having just gotten off the phone with Terri Marney, a registered nurse who is a Hartley House board member. I want to add that if you prefer two legs to two wheels, there will be a fun run at 8 a.m. Saturday starting at Clovis Community College. More details will follow.

Personally, I have always considered the phrase “Fun Run” to be a bit of an oxymoron. Think I’ll go saddle up.


Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at:

clyde_davis@yahoo.com