Dozens got on their bikes to spend a day cycling throughout the city of Medellin.

December 14, 2022 | Medellin, Colombia | Daniela Arrieta and Inter-American Division N

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s “I Want to Live Healthy” Cycling Club in the city of Medellin, Colombia, recently invited dozens of their friends and neighbors to get on their bikes and cycle together through the city.

The activity drew more than 80 cyclists young and old on Nov. 14, 2022, as part of the club’s objective to connect with other cyclists through the church’s banner initiative “I Want To Live Healthy”. The initiative promotes the eight natural remedies to live a healthy lifestyle which includes drinking water, keeping a positive attitude, eating salads, exercising, resting, avoiding poor foods, eating a better breakfast, less dinners and promoting happiness.

A cyclist belonging to the church’s “I Want to Live Healthy” cycling club, rides through Medellin, Colombia, with his dog on the bike during the club’s tour of the city on Nov. 14, 2022. More 80 cyclists young and old joined the initiative which promotes a balanced healthy lifestyle. [Photo: Hope Media Colombia]

Cyclists ages 13 to 60 took part in the 30-kilometer journey which lasted about three hours. “Church members saw this sporting activity as an opportunity to reach out and be part of the church’s concern about promoting health in families,” said Pastor Mauricio Buitrago, health ministries director of the North Colombia Union and main organizer of the event.

It was about highlighting the Seventh-day Adventist Church through the sport, its healthy lifestyle it follows, and showing church members how they can connect more with the community, organizers said.

“We should go out and organize different activities, not traditional activities but modern ones today, like cycling because it has turned into a banner sport in Colombia,” said Buitrago, who is an avid cyclist himself.

Cyclists pedaled throughout the city, stopping at the church’s El Poblado Evangelistic Center, Simon Bolivar Adventist School and La Foresta Adventist Church, where they were offered hydrating drinks and a vegetarian breakfast with fruits and snacks.

A teenager laughs as he rides with the group through the city of Medellin, Colombia. [Photo: Hope Media Colombia]

Special recognition was awarded to the youngest and oldest cyclist, a young person with autism and a family who went the entire distance, as well as  the cyclist with the most time cycling among the group. In addition, Professional Cyclist Jarrison Vélez, who cycles with the Medellin’s Cobelén Club, was also recognized in the youth category.

“Vélez expressed to me his astonishment on how an evangelical church can hold these types of activities and include people who are not members of the church,” said Buitrago.  “Next year he will cycle in Europe and said he would tell others about how the Adventist Church organizes such activities.”

Young cyclist pedaled for 30 kilometers around the city of Medellin, Colombia.[Photo: Hope Media Colombia]

Cyclists were gifted magazines and books from the church’s publishing house IADPA as well as gifts from the local Adventist university and other church organizations. Cyclists were able to rest under tents and receive massages after the journey.

The event was also sponsored by special vehicles advertising medical services that followed the cyclists.

Many “I Want To Live Healthy” Cycling Clubs are increasing their activities to bring about more awareness to a healthy lifestyle throughout the nation, said Buitrago. Plans are underway to have a special application exclusive to the church’s cycling club so that cyclists can keep track of their distances and races across Colombia.

A member of the cyclist club waves as he approaches the finish line in Bucaramanga, northern Colombia. [Photo: Hope Media Colombia]

Plans are underway to hold the first cycling tour throughout Colombia starting from Bogotá, the capital city, to the northern city of Bucaramaga, a distance of 408 kilometers. The tour is scheduled to be held from October 11-15, 2023.

“We hope that many people can take part in the cycling tour so that we can generate an impact in each of the communities where the ‘I Want To Live Healthy’ across Colombia event will be an example for other regions in the country can be inspired to different activities through the cycling sport,” Buitrago said.

Part of the more than 80 cyclists who took part of the three-hour tour of the city of Medellin, Colombia, on Nov. 14, 2022. [Photo: Hope Media Colombia]

To learn more about cycling initiatives led by the North Colombia Union, go to unioncolombiana.org.co

 

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