Coast to coast bicycle group stops in Philip

A good cause ... Of the 14 bicyclists on this leg of the trip, these six stopped for breakfast in front of the Haakon County Courthouse before rejoining the others. This year’s trip will include 25-30 riders on at least one day of the fundraising journey.

The 14 bicyclists stayed at st. Patrick's Catholic Church in Wall, July 14, and trekked through Philip en route to staying the evening in Hayes.

The Lasaluan Volunteers Ride group of eventually 25-30 riders on varying legs of the journey, consists of 10 who will complete the entire trip from Warrenton, Ore., to Long Branch, N.J. from June 16 to August 13.

"The church (in Wall) provided the riders with a place to stay, and Father Leo Hausmann was very helpful in getting one of the riders to the bus station to head home. She was a regional rider and Wall marked the end of her journey with the ride," said Elizabeth Jodice, communications specialist for Christian Brothers Conference, Washington, D.C.

Mario Ragghianti, along with Mari Anzicek, is one of the bicyclists and a co-coordinator for this year's trip. "We estimated 25-30 all together, in and out, includes one-day riders. They are from all over the place; some of us have not biked one day in their lives," said Ragghianti. He said the group included mountain bikes to ultra lights to everything in between. All belongings are packed in the support vehicle for transportation to the stopping point each day.

The group is attempting to make people aware of the varying types of poverty. "The things that keep us going, all of us, are the little things. Poverty is a tackle-able goal; we all can do our share. You have to ask a community how you can help them be where they want to be," said Ragghianti.

"It's always been a dream of mine to bike cross country, and when we could combine that with raising money and raising awareness against poverty ....," said Ragghianti. He believes the bicyclists and the group are actually reaching those goals. "I can pretty much guarantee these people would not have done this without that extra push," he said.

The group stayed in Rapid City, July 13, then traveled 58 miles to Wall. The next leg covered 85 miles to Hayes, where the group stayed at the Grace Church. The next day was 83 miles to Highmore, followed by 88 miles to Redfield.