By Alice Ortiz/Monroe Journal
AMORY – The Rev. Ron Oliver and his two sons, Nelson, 18, and William, 16, of Goshen, Ky., (northeast of Louisville), decided to arrive at the annual Oliver “Cuzin Camp” at the home of Ann and Hershel Hood on Highway 371 on bicycles instead of auto.
The ride stemmed from an idea that William had about six months earlier when he suggested to his father that they ride bicycles to Mississippi.
“I didn’t take the idea seriously,” William said. “It was hard, but a lot of fun getting to Mississippi.”
Ron had been training this year on long-distance rides, and the boys had been riding some. “The boys were young and could do the ride, but I couldn’t have done it without training,” said Ron.
“It is good to be able to say that we rode all the way from Kentucky to Mississippi,” Nelson said.
Ron and Nelson left Kentucky on Monday, June 25, and picked up William in Nashville on Thursday, June 28, after he had returned 12 hours earlier from a mission trip to Costa Rica.
The trio traveled 165 miles on the Natchez Trace. They said that had been a good experience. The Trace roads were good, stops clean and people were friendly.
Other than 100-plus degree temperatures, the ride was mostly perfect with the exception of a semi purposely running Nelson off the road, Ron having a small crash and William having four bicycle flats the last day.
The group arrived on Saturday, June 30, after the 455 mile trip, where their cousins waited to welcome them to the finish line.
“Nelson updated pictures on Facebook regularly or they would text,” said Joyce Oliver, Ron’s wife, and Nelson and William’s mother. “He would also send along a funny quip so as long as I was getting humor I knew they were okay.”
Just before the trio arrived at the Hoods, Ron told the boys, “Kick it up a notch, boys. We are not going to come into this place limping.”
Ron, who is systems vice president, mission and outreach, Norton Healthcare, was riding in support of Bike to Beat Cancer (BiketoBeat Cancer.org). He has been involved since 2009 in a cancer ride. He named the team Holy Rollers.