Ahhh. Sunday has arrived. After a long, but terrific, first week that featured build stops with Fuller Center partners in Atlantic City, NJ and Philadelphia, PA and more rolling hills than anyone would wish to count, a day of rest was welcomed. In our first two years of this adventure we used to consider our build days the "rest" days just because we weren’t biking! We had 2-3 rest days total over the whole summer. Big mistake. Rest is important, especially in a brutally challenging multi-week marathon like this one. Now we try to take Sundays off every week, and it’s a great improvement to the ride. We’re always learning and improving!
So how do we use these precious days of rest? Oh in so many ways. We go to church. We fix our bikes. We wash our bikes. We take long, glorious naps. We explore the town. We buy things we really need. We hold a team meeting. Since it’s the transition day between each week-long segment, we say goodbye to our new friends who are leaving and hello to even newer friends who are joining!
Today we said goodbye to Laurence and Renee, and big hello’s to some new riders joining us for the next while, namely AJ (Alvin), John, Doug, Bill and Bob. (Actually, the first four listed there are returning riders, which means that for many of us they are just long-time friends returning.) Our group continues to grow! And as we leave Pittsburgh for its historical sports rival of Cleveland, we look forward to an awesome week ahead.
Two notes more: First, we’ve had an absolutely wonderful time here at Grace Lutheran Church. They have just totally jumped on board with us and have provided us food and given VERY generously financially in supporting our mission! We’re staying with them, and we love it here. A bunch of us also enjoyed our time at rider Sarah Doren’s home church called City Church Philadelphia. It’s the first church we’ve seen that has served nacho’s after the service! A neat group.
Secondly, I wanted to take a moment for a personal note to mention how blessed I’ve been to be able to do the ride this year with my bride-to-be Jisun Lee. After being part of it for 6 years, the tandem bicycle experience has been a cool twist, and it’s great to have my very own "Korean engine" to do all the heavy pushing! Despite some mechanical trouble, we’re still having a great time. Thanks for riding with me, Jisun!
(Y’all can show her some support by giving to her fundraising page here: http://fullercenter.donorpages.com/BikeAdventure/jisunlee)
Ryan Iafigliola is the Founder of the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.