Cycling with Sisters, a series of bike rides to draw attention to the social justice work of Catholic women religious, is canceling or postponing most of its schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers had planned a series of four rides. Of those, two have been canceled, one has been postponed, and one is being revised to incorporate pandemic safety measures.
"Many people were eagerly looking forward to the July 2020 rides in Clinton, Iowa, and Monroe, Michigan," wrote Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Maxine Kollasch in an email. Kollasch is a co-founder of A Nun's Life Ministry and chair of the organizing committee of Communicators for Women Religious, A Nun's Life's collaborative partner for the Cycling with Sisters project. "The ride planners in those local areas made the tough but necessary decision to cancel the rides indefinitely because of COVID-19."
The ride in Monroe, planned for July 17, was to be part of the 175th anniversary celebration of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The ride in Clinton, set for July 25, was to have joined thousands of riders for one leg of RAGBRAI, a seven-day ride across Iowa. RAGBRAI will not be held this year.
The first ride of the series, originally set for June 6, instead is planned to be held sometime in October. It is scheduled to be a 15-mile ride on scenic Prince Edward Island, Canada.
A two-day ride from South Bend, Indiana, to Chicago on Sept. 11 and 12, covering 46 miles the first day and 55 miles the second, was originally the final ride of the season. Instead, it could be the first.
"The South Bend to Chicago CWS ride is being evaluated and contingency plans are being crafted," Kollasch wrote. "The intention is to still have a ride in September but to make the ride COVID compliant."
The idea for the series of rides began with a 100-mile ride to Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 2017 for the Communicators for Women Religious' annual conference.