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Bicyclist to begin 'Journey of Hope'

Richard Dixon and Monte will follow the path of the Mighty Mississippi to focus on overcoming physical limitations. (Submitted photo)

A Colorado man is embarking on a 1,500-mile journey along the Mississippi River.

His trip is a little different than some, however. He will be pedaling a bicycle from the north woods of Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana - using only his arms.

What are the limits of the human body? What is the power of the human spirit to overcome? Those are some of the questions Richard Dixon hopes to answer along his journey.

Dixon, a retired educator who lost the use of his legs in a fall from a ladder, is going to follow the course of the Mississippi River through the heartland of the country in a physical and spiritual journey he is calling the "Rich's Ride: Together on a Journey of Hope."

"Too many people dwell on their limitations," Dixon said. "That's not what life is supposed to be about. We were created with this amazing ability to overcome obstacles. This ride is one man's humble attempt to demonstrate that we're defined by our abilities, not our inabilities."

He is on his way to Minnesota and plans to start his ride Monday morning, Sept. 12, at the Headwaters of the Mississippi at Itasca State Park. Dixon will hand pedal his specially designed bicycle more than 1,500 miles through eight states. He plans to arrive at the Mississippi Delta around Nov. 5.

Rich is providing multiple opportunities for a larger community to "ride along."

n Via his website he will provide video, photos and blog entries.

n He also will be available to speak in churches, schools, and community groups.

"Rich Dixon is more than a survivor. He is a victor," said friend Dick Foth. "Difficult circumstances have hammered him, but he has not allowed them to define him in a negative way. His dream to help others in spite of his own circumstance generates hope and healing at a number of levels. Rich's Ride is the definition of vision, compassion, and leadership."

The Journey is being sponsored by OtterBox, Yancey's Food Services, 1st National Bank, Everitt Companies, Poudre Valley Health Systems Foundation, Timberline Church, Acorn Creative Studios, Spradley Barr Motors, and McWhinney.

Friends and individuals along the route are also helping to defray the lodging and food expenses of Rich and his team. A goal of the Journey is to raise funds for Convoy of Hope, which serves millions of people in the U.S. and throughout the world through international children's feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.

For more information about Rich's Ride and his story, go to

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561