KAUKAUNA — When Kevin Biese and his wife, Nikki, thought that they may be expecting a child, the couple visited the Women’s Care Center in Madison for pregnancy testing. Biese, a student at the University of Wisconsin, had previously toured the facility. For the past three years, he has helped raise funds for the center through Biking for Babies, an annual cycling trek to support pro-life services and charities and to raise awareness in building a culture of life.
“It just so happened that the people that were working that day didn’t know who we were, so they treated us just like anyone else,” said Biese. “It was very beautiful. They were very welcoming and very nice. They offered us all the free stuff, but we told them we weren’t going to take it because we’ve been raising money for the center. We wanted to see what it would be like for a couple going in there. It was a very proud moment, experiencing how they would take care of anyone.”
The couple, married last summer at Holy Cross Church, Kaukauna, is expecting a baby in late August. Biese, who will participate in the Biking for Babies ride July 12-20, will be on alert.
“Everything is going as planned,” he said. “Hopefully there are not any issues. If something happened, I would leave the trip and be home as fast as possible.”
Biese will be cycling a new route this year. Biking for Babies is adding two new trips to its traditional New Orleans to Chicago trek. He will help lead a group starting just north of Dallas. A third group will depart from St. Augustine, Fla. All three Biking for Babies teams will arrive in Chicago on the same day.
“The family gets bigger now with three routes, more bikers,” said Biese. “We raised $64,000 last year, $10,000 more than our goal. The goal this year is $80,000, which I think is very attainable with the additional bikers.”
Biking for Babies also supports two other facilities in Wisconsin — the Women’s Care Center in Milwaukee and the WomanKind Medical Clinic in Appleton. Biese was joined on last year’s trip by Nikki, who served on the support crew, and his cousin, Nick Weber, videographer for the trip. He will be the lone Wisconsin representative this year.
“Nick is off to grad school in Washington,” explained Biese. “Nikki wanted to go this year, but I told her, ‘People are going to want to help you instead of the bikers.’”
He is approaching the 2014 ride as possibly his last. Biese will attend graduate school next summer to earn a master’s degree in athletic training.
“This year, I’ve taken on more of a leadership role,” he said. “I will continue to be involved with Biking for Babies, but I may not be physically biking.
“Wisconsin still needs to be represented by a biker,” he added. “We have a lot of bikers from Illinois this year. We need a Wisconsin biker to step up.”
Enduring a 1,200-mile trip on a bike has helped Biese grow in his faith.
“It is supposed to be suffering; it is supposed to be a struggle. We wouldn’t do it otherwise,” he said. “Last year, I meditated a lot on the crucifixion. We can never imitate what Jesus did, but during days when it’s a struggle to keep pedaling, I think about the cross from a spiritual standpoint. I’ve grown a lot in my understanding of what it means to sacrifice. You need to suffer in your faith.”
The Kaukauna native believes that this summer’s ride will be even more special as he prepares to become a father. He looks forward to sharing his story with people he meets on the route and is open to talking to groups in the future.
“I have no problem telling people that Nikki and I didn’t plan this baby,” he said. “I’m still in school. We got to experience the fright that many couples face. How does this work with me still being in school? It was God’s plan. That’s always been my belief. A child is a gift. We are very excited to be having such a gift.”
To support Biking for Babies, go to www.biking forbabies.com or send checks to: Biking for Babies, P.O. Box 252, Sikeston, MO 63801.