Bicycle Adventure friends help tie up loose ends after Legacy Build in West Point
WEST POINT, Georgia — Regulars on Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure rides are used to having a few days when they hop off their bikes and have build days with Fuller Center covenant partners. While the Adventure is primarily about raising awareness and funds for The Fuller Center’s work, a good many Adventurers develop a love for building.
So, the sight of volunteers who are clad in the Adventure’s trademark orange t-shirts as they work on two homes in West Point is hardly unusual. What is unusual is that there is no Bicycle Adventure ride going on at the moment. In fact, the most recent ride — a weeklong fall ride down The Natchez Trace Parkway — just wrapped up over this past weekend. Most of the ride coincided with last week’s Millard Fuller Legacy Build.
But a group of Bicycle Adventure regulars led by Diane Bies wanted to play a role in the Legacy Build — and the days following blitz builds always have plenty of loose ends to tie up. After last week’s torrential rains at the build, there are a few more loose ends than usual, so the Adventurers who’ve come to volunteer this week are not just helpful — they’re providing crucial support as the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project works to catch up on the homes of Latrisha Finley and Rita Rowland, both of whom have been on site with the Adventurers this week.
“I’ve been on Legacy Builds before, and we’re never quite finished,” said Bies, who was a support driver for the Natchez Trace ride. “And then they were blessed with so much rain last week. I knew that even if they were finished with the houses when we got here that there would be a little bit of painting and a little bit of finishing to do. And worst-case scenario, Kim Roberts would find something else for us to do. They found lots for us to do, but I think this will move the houses along a lot faster than if we hadn’t come, which is very encouraging.”
Dan and Cindy Hepp also were on the Natchez Trace and knew following the ride with another week of service in West Point would be helpful to others. And Dan is grateful for the sunshine that is allowing him and the other volunteers to tackle projects that were delayed by lat week’s rains.
“That’s all in God’s timing,” he said. “That’s just the way it worked out. Diane put us all together, and we’re here because of her efforts.”
One of the main reasons the group planned to be here for this week of service, of course, was simply to enjoy the camaraderie that has been nurtured through the years.
“These are friends who’ve done multiple trips together,” Cindy Hepp said. “We enjoy being together and doing things and giving back. And we work well together. You’re achy from the day, but you feel good.”
Two of these volunteers — David Maidt and wife Diane Buckley-Maidt — have likely enjoyed the sunshine of this week more than anyone else on the job site. They also volunteered during last week’s rain-soaked Legacy Build.
“Last week we were in mud up to our ankles,” Buckley-Maidt said. “It was very hard to work. Last week was a great group of people, but we didn’t really know anyone. This week, it’s a bunch of our buddies, and we work together pretty well.”
While getting together with friends was a primary motivation for gathering in West Point this week, the desire to help others and build a better world is something that runs in the blood of everyone on the site. They are all driven to serve, including Peggy and Mark Goodwin, who were at the 2019 Legacy Build in Lee County, Alabama, and who’ve made repeated mission trips to Mexico, where they’ve also built homes and served in myriad ways.
“This is just another extension of mission work,” Peggy Goodwin said. “We’re both retired, and life’s too short. There’s too much to do. I have people that say I can’t drive a straight nail or I can’t do this or that, but there’s always something that somebody can do — sweep a floor, wash a window. They’re simple things that can mean a lot to somebody else.”
While Dan Hepp counts his blessings, he also has not forgot the trials he and Cindy have experienced through their lifetime. They know the value of a helping hand and are eager to keep extending one.
“God has blessed us,” he said. “We’ve been through hard times, so we know what it’s like. We’re over that hump, and this is just our way to give back.”