Kids riding bikes across country make stop in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A group of kids riding their bikes 3,000 miles across America made a stop in Columbia Monday. 

The Ride2Freedom cyclists will ride their bikes to the Boone County Courthouse for a rally, and will then ride their bikes to Stephens Lake Park for a picnic.

Ride2Freedom volunteer Sara Effner said anyone is welcome to ride their bikes along with the group while making their way through Columbia. 

"I ride because it's the best way for me to help the children of Falun Gong in China," 15-year-old Jenny Zhi's Ride2Freedom profile said, "Living as a teen in the United States doesn't really give me many opportunities to help, but through Ride2Freedom, I am able to save kids - as a kid."

The group is raising awareness to rescue five orphans in China who are orphaned by persecution of Falun Gong meditation. 

Effner said community government leaders will be at the event to give a community welcome. 

"I thought it was very significant that they were stopping here because Columbia is such a supportive community for human rights and for cyclists, so I just thought it was appropriate that we have a big event for them here,"

Ride2Freedom volunteers in Columbia made a banner and asked people to sign it this past weekend at the Columbia Farmers Market. 

"It has a large picture of the state of Missouri, so even if people can't come to the event, they can sign the banner to help support Ride2Freedom, and there are a lot of ways people can support Ride2Freedom as well on the website," Effner said. 

The kids started their journey in Los Angeles. They will ride 3,000 miles in 45 days and stop in 19 different cities. New York is the final stop on their journey.