JOPLIN, Mo. — With the school year close to being over, many area families are planning vacations and road trips.

But one area family chooses a different mode of transportation than most to get from point “A” to point “B”.

When members of the Hendricks family in Southwest Missouri go on a trip, they do so on wheels, but without leaving any carbon footprint. Like most families, this family takes trips, but they don’t use cars.

It all started a few years ago when Chris Hendricks, an employee of the American Ramp Company, which sponsored a ride for charity, decided to give cycling a try.

“First one that I did was from Moore, Oklahoma to Joplin to raise money for tornado victims. I enjoyed that so much I told my wife about it, she got kind of excited. We got her a bike and we turned around the next year and did another ride from Joplin to Nashville so it was like 600 miles in 6 days,” said Chris Hendricks, Proud Dad.

Hendricks’ jersey

The couple even did a seven day, 700 mile ride to Chicago.

And when their son, Coren, was about 10 they bought him a bike. As it turns out, he’s pretty good at it. Coren’s ability on the bike has captured the attention of the USA Cycling Olympic Development Academy that has selected him to represent the USA in an upcoming event in Europe.

“We leave somewhere around July 7th through the 27 for the Netherlands and we’ll also be racing in Belgium, very excited it will be a big change but I think I’m ready for it.” Coren said.

“I’m very proud. I think I’m most proud of his work ethic, and his willingness to just keep trying even if it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, he’ll just keep trying, and keep trying and that’s what makes me proud,” said Amber Hendricks, Proud Mom.

“My understanding is it’s a pretty select group that they choose from, they usually have a few hundred applicants and they choose 10 to 20 athletes a year to do that so the opportunity to be on a development path towards the Olympics or the national team is just something that as a parent you couldn’t be prouder,” added Chris.