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Ann and Norb Bagley plan to leave Sept. 19 or 20 from St. Augustine, Fla., on a 3,000-mile cross-country trip across the southern U.S. to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. In 2008, the couple traveled 4,000 miles across the northern U.S.
Ann and Norb Bagley plan to leave Sept. 19 or 20 from St. Augustine, Fla., on a 3,000-mile cross-country trip across the southern U.S. to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. In 2008, the couple traveled 4,000 miles across the northern U.S.

After 5: Tour de Bagleys

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Springfieldians Norb and Ann Bagley are at it again.

The Bagleys, who pedaled on a 4,000-mile, three-month journey across the northern United States in 2008, are preparing to leave the week of Sept. 19 for their second “miracle ride” for Children’s Miracle Network of CoxHealth.

Their first cross-country cruise raised $15,000 for the nonprofit that serves youth needing health care in southwest Missouri. Funds come from pledges and online donations.

“We were able to accomplish two things – help out the kids in southwest Missouri and do something we planned to do when we retired,” Norb Bagley says.

Bagley, 68, retired in 2007 as CoxHealth’s chief operating officer after 23 years; Ann Bagley, 61, is a retired Missouri probation and parole supervisor.

The Bagleys – cyclists for nearly 30 years -– will roll out of St. Augustine, Fla., biking 3,000 miles across eight states to San Diego and hoping to top last year’s amount raised, Ann Bagley says. Before leaving town, they’ve received more than $2,800 in pledges.

They say the trips were on their retirement to-do list. Ann Bagley is anxious to start, especially launching from St. Augustine, Fla., the oldest city in the U.S.

From Florida, they’ll cycle across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

“We get to cross the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama, which I’m looking forward to,” she says. “We are going to be riding through the hill country in Texas.”

With its 2,000-foot peaks, the Texas stretch will be scenic but difficult; the Bagleys are riding where Lance Armstrong trained for the Tour de France.

In New Mexico, where the Bagleys will face the highest peaks of the trip in the Rocky Mountains, the couple will cross the Continental Divide.

The rugged 30-pound, steel-frame touring bikes will get a workout, but so will the riders.

“You have to work hard,” says Ann Bagley. “If you’re not willing to sweat and not willing to push yourself a little bit physically, then probably you don’t enjoy bicycle riding too much.”

The sense of freedom from biking overrides any pain, says Norb Bagley.

“You’re just out there. The only thing you need to be concerned about when you get up in the morning, you look at your map, decide how far you want to go and when you want to end the day,” he says. “That’s really a very liberating feeling – you just kind of leave all the political B.S. that the news feeds you behind and don’t worry about the little things anymore.”

Norb Bagley estimated that they would arrive in San Diego in mid-November, about a month shorter than the 2008 ride.[[In-content Ad]]

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