Eight-year-old bikes across N.C.
C.J. Burford (center) completed a 315 mile ride through N.C. at the South Carolina state line last year. With C.J. were his father Craig Burford (left) and family friend and fellow cross-country cyclist Bernard Molinda.
Eight-year-old C. J. Burford of Walkertown will set off on a bike ride across the state of N.C. Monday morning, traveling 360 miles and raising money to provide live-saving heart surgery for children.
”This bike ride isn’t a race,” Burford said, “instead it’s a great opportunity for many people to help me show God’s love and support families all over the world with children who do not have the medical care they need.”
Burford, who has biked over 430 miles in the past two years while raising over $7000.00 for charitable organizations, has found a way to combine his love of cycling with his desire to help others.
One day in 2011, Burford was riding in the back seat of the family car listening to the radio when he heard the song “Do Everything” by Steven Curtis Chapman.
“It said everything you can do, do it for the glory of God,” he said. “I asked my mom, ‘does that mean I can ride my bike for Jesus?’”
His mother, Katie Burford, said it did, and suggested he start riding at a local bike track.
But, Burford also took inspiration from a family friend who was a cross country cyclist, and wasn’t keen on riding in circles. “I want to ride somewhere,” he told his parents.
His first distance ride was 30 miles, he said, which he completed in four hours. His second ride was from Winston-Salem to Charlotte, a distance of 92 miles.
Last year, Burford biked 315 miles across N.C., he said.
Burford’s rides have raised funds for The Ronald McDonald Houses of Winston-Salem and Charlotte, the Samaritan’s Purse “Turn on the Tap” Water Project, and for medical missionaries in Africa that assisted in building a hospital in Dandora, Kenya
May 13-25, he will once again be pedaling for a cause, this time for Samaritan’s Purse to raise funding for their “Children’s Heart Project.”
Burford will be cycling from Elk Park on the Tennesee line to Emerald Isle on the coast. There are four children in his family, so he set a fund raising goal of $8,800.00, the amount needed to provide help for four children in need of life saving heart surgeries.
Burford asks: “Please share my story with your family and friends and ask them to pray for me as I ride, to pray for the people this money will reach, and to give a love offering in honor of this ride. If every person will come together and do this it would help in a HUGE way!
To follow along with CJ’s story and travel route updates you can find him on Facebook at:
For more information about Samaritan Purse’s “Children’s Heart Project” please visit: