By Andrew Manglos
2012 Bicycle Adventurer
Andrew Manglos is my name and I hail from Anaheim, California. I am more affectionately known as “chops” by many members on the bike ride due to the muttin’ chops I have grown while on this trip. I am 22 years old and currently go to Cal Poly Pomona. Six years ago I had to have corrective surgery for Scoliosis. This surgery fused two metal rods to my spine and prohibited me from achieving my life goal of joining the Marine Corps. Since this surgery, I have decided that I will not let this handicap hold me back but will in fact help to drive me forward through life. Originally, I had signed up for this bike trip to prove to myself that my body was just as capable as the next persons. Little did I know that it would become so much more.
When signing up for this ride I thought it was just going to be an endurance race of the body. I soon found out that it was much more. While riding is what we do, it is simply the medium through which we are trying to share our message. Our goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Fuller Housing Center and to end poverty housing. Everyday on this ride brings new and amazing things. What I have personally found inspiring is the closeness of our group and the love that people have shown us. Every member of this group is not just another rider but is a family member. Earlier last week I had hurt my ankle while riding. Not a day has gone by when almost every rider has asked how I am doing and if I need anything. The people we have met along the way have also been simply amazing. Every day a new church or group opens their doors to us and treat us as family. Many times offering their prayers and even cooking meals for us.