The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 24, 2013

Dream Center pedaling for funds to help those in need

Staff Writer

ASHTABULA — A bicycling pastor’s efforts to help the needy took a new spin on Friday as the Rev. Duane Ball began his attempt to ride a stationary bicycle, with the help of others, for 24 hours.

“This is the first time we staged a 24-hour (ride),” Ball said while preparing to get back on his bike after a quick break.

Ball said he hopes to ride for at least 18 hours and will have others to ride when he is taking a break.

“The goal is for me to peddle as much as I can,” he said.

Ball said the reason for doing a non-stop ride, on stationary bikes behind the Harvest North Dream Center on West 57th Street, is to remind people that hunger never takes a break.

Ball said the Dream Center will use funds raised from the ride to pay for food at the church’s food bank and to give away shoes.

He said at 6 p.m. on Sept. 8 area residents will have the opportunity to sign up for shoes for children in Kindergarten to sixth grade and receive them the following week on Sept. 15.

Ball has done more than 30 long distance rides to raise funds for a variety of causes but never has done a long ride on a stationary bicycle.

“It’s a mental thing,” Ball said of the challenge of continuous pedaling with the same scenery hour after hour.

“To tell you the truth I’d rather be on the road,” Ball said. He said it is easier to take a mental and physical break on the road where hills break up the monotony of constant pedaling.

Anyone interested in watching the last portion of the event can attend a breakfast at the Dream Center starting at 7 a.m. Ball, and other cyclists, will continue their work until 10 a.m. when the 24 hours are complete, he said.