What is Pedal Power? Pedal Power is a friendly competition between congregations in Virginia Mennonite Conference and the Harrisonburg area to see who can get the most people on bikes over the weekend of September 22-23, 2012. The church with the highest participation rate wins Klines ice cream for their youth group!

Okay. So, we get ice cream. Why is this such a big deal? Well, biking can be fun! It’s also good for our health, for the environment, and reduces our dependence on gas, and thus oil, a resource behind a lot of violence and human suffering around the world. Plus, it’s good for the neighborhood; when you bike, you’re more likely to stop and chat with people you see, or just be more aware of your surroundings. We like to think of bicycling as an opportunity for discipleship (if you like that language), or as a way to put wheels on our beliefs, as it were, and to let our lives speak (if you prefer that language). Simply put, we think biking for transportation is a small act that speaks loudly and helps us live into Jesus’ right-side-up kingdom. We can’t say for sure, but we think there’s ice cream in that kingdom, too.

How do we participate? Individuals riding in Bike Shenandoah will be automatically counted towards the congregation they identify at registration. Individuals riding their bikes to church on Sunday will also be counted, if  (1) the congregation takes an offering for Bike Shenandoah, (2) someone from the congregation takes a picture of the bikes parked at church, and sends it with (3) the total number of riders (including child passengers in trailers, etc.) to bikeshen@vmmissions.org.

How are participation rates calculated? A congregation’s participation rate is the ratio of riders – either Saturday or Sunday – to average Sunday attendance, whichever is greater.

What if I live too far away to come for Bike Shenandoah? Ride your bike to church, and encourage your friends to do the same! You can still win, and if you do, we’ll give your youth group/church an award comparable to Klines ice cream (a Harrisonburg cultural and culinary institution).

More questions? Contact: bikeshen@vmmissions.org