A day to remember

Ryan Iafigliola,
FCBA founder 

A high speed accident, passengers hospitalized, dramatic photos. It’s the kind of thing that seems to define the nightly news. Yesterday, it was our story, and the news stories, pictures, and our blog do a thorough job of filling in the frightening details.

But as one of those in the van who was given a front row seat (literally – the driver’s seat, to my great dismay), I’d like to tell what I see as the real story.

 I saw all 8 people successfully out of the van. I saw the paramedic who "just happened to be driving by" stop to help us within minutes. I saw a woman who had swerved to avoid hitting us so genuinely excited to see our safety that she never once mentioned concern for her own. 

I saw our rider Alyssa Hostetler forgetting her fear of blood as she focused on wiping up my leaking leg. I saw a busy business owner drop everything to drive us around and help anyway he could. I saw injured teammates in the hospital bonding and laughing a riot together as they spent time nursing their injuries. 

And it didn’t just start at the accident – how could we forget the delicious, warm breakfast that morning in the home of Tom and Lois Weber with their fun-loving friends in their 55+ community? Or the visually stunning drive through Wyoming and Utah that left me full of praise for the God who allowed us to witness such beauty?
As the movie Braveheart put it, "All men die; not all men truly live." On this day, I had the privilege of sharing life with some of those who truly live. On this day when death seemed so close, I felt more assurance than ever that true death never came near, because we are offered an eternal life that begins in the here and now.
So it was no surprise when the riders told me they want to continue. Even Tom, with his shoulder in a sling, can’t help but talk of joining us in just a few weeks. They want to continue to serve those in need, to provide opportunities for simple, decent housing to the poor through the Fuller Center’s ministry, and to incarnate the love of God as they put their faith into action. These are people who want to truly live. 
So the story of our accident? I suppose there’s a lot of ways it could be told. But that’s mine, and I’m sticking to it.

The Bike Adventure cyclists will ride on despite the accident – learn more about their trip here


  • Thank you for sharing your story of the accident. We’ll be glad to welcome home Tom, Lois, and Norm to Chesapeake Drive in Broomfield even though we know Tom’s heart is with you. We thank God you are all safe and have found His Presence with you through this large bump in the road. Prayers are with you, Tom’s neighbors, Erv and Jo Bode P.S. Please tell Rae and Alyssa, who stayed with us, that we’re thinking especially of them, too.

  • My son, Ryan, called us Tuesday night around midnight just to let us know that he was involved in an accident. Nothing to really worry about Mom and Dad, just some minor injuries and perhaps some body work would be needed on the van. A small set back for their bike trip promoting awareness for housing needs, not only in American cities, but through out the world. He obviously did not want to worry his parents. As it was, we didn’t sleep the rest of the night. It was not until after reading the blogs, newspaper articles and viewing pictures that we realized just how fortunate and blessed everyone involved had been. Ryan never mentioned his own situation but only of his fellow riders, especiallythose who needed medical treatment. We did not know that he had been trapped inside the vehicle with the engine on fire. Diesel fuel does not distinquish easy. This is Ryan’s fifth bike trip across America. My wife and I have been priledged to meet some of the riders who have sacrificed their summers to support the Fuller Center’s cause. They are truly special and remarkable individuals. It is not suprising to us that Ryan clearly sees past the vivid and sensational news articles of bent metal to the real story of the good samitarians who instantly offered their genuie concern and time to those they never met. We hardly hear the stories of people who make personnal sacrifices and will do anything to help others. The newspaper articles did not mention all those who rushed to the aids of our children. We do not know their names, the lives they live or why they were there, we may never met them but we will be forever grateful for their kind deeds. Without sounding insensitive, I noticed the spare tire on the underside of the van and windshield wipers looked like it would fit my car. Is there anyway you can send them to me? I hope every has a safe journey from here on out. You definitely have many people and guardian angels watching over you as you continue your mission. Nick Iafigliola

  • Ryan, I want thank you for sharing your account of those around you during the accident. As always, God had you in His hand and will continue to as you and the others move forward with this year’s trip. I’m so glad that you are all safe and look forward to hearing how you, those around you, and The Fuller Center are blessed by the work you are doing.

  • You crazy kids! So glad to hear that everyone is in good spirits, but I’m not really surprised. What a fantastic and resilient group you’ve already assembled! 🙂 Sounds like nothing is going to slow you down, and that makes my heart smile. We’ll all keep sending up some prayers to the Man Upstairs asking Him to continue to keep you safe! I hope everyone’s injuries continue to heal and that you’re ready for the rest of the adventure!

  • I’m so grateful that you’re safe, and now safely on your way!! You’re all a constant inspiration to me and to so many other people. Thanks for your hard work, endurance, and love :)… and I can’t wait to join you in a few weeks!

  • Thank you for the inspiration, and thank God for your team’s perseverance and strength and laughter. Prayers for wounds that heal and continued high spirits and further travelling mercies. God speed!

  • Thanks, Ryan. I really like your version of the story – the one that sees God’s hand. I’m very grateful that you all survived the accident physically intact, but even more thankful that your souls seem unscathed. And, after reading your dad’s comment, I see where you get your great sense of humor. I pray that the rest of your trip is a bit less of an adventure. Ride strong!


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