Bicycle Adventure squeezes in two build days on 2-week Tour de Florida
HOMESTEAD, Florida — Cyclists on the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure’s Tour de Florida spent today pedaling through one of the most remarkable environments on the planet as they rode 104 miles through the Florida Everglades from Marco Island to Homestead, Florida.
A ride like that gives cyclists plenty of time to think about what’s next — such as the final three legs to Tavernier, Marathon and, finally, Key West — and what they’ve already accomplished. Those accomplishments include the first two Bicycle Adventure build days of 2023, a first for the brief Tour de Florida, which expanded to two weeks and 800 miles this year.
That expansion opened the possibility of having two days on the Tour de Florida for the first time. In fact, they had a build day in Tallahassee before their first day of riding, building a safe landing and steps for Robert Riggins, a disabled homeowner.
The project brought Doug Stephens full circle. Stephens rode on the very first Adventure from San Diego to Tybee Island in 2008 and has since volunteered at multiple Fuller Center builds, including serving as a house captain at Millard Fuller Legacy Builds. This year, he finally returned to the Adventure in a crucial support role as he drives the Adventure’s van.
“I have been involved on the build side many times since that first ride in 2008,” Stephens said. “It was good to be back on the riding side this time but also to have a build day to kick it off.”
The second build day came a week later in Brooksville, Florida. There, the riders helped raise the first walls on a new home the Nature Coast Fuller Center is building with homeowner partners Nathan and Lindsay Adams.
“They are forever grateful,” Nature Coast’s Tom Rogers said. “Their hearts are filled with gratitude.”
It’s the first time that Nature Coast has been able to host a Bicycle Adventure build day, and they now understand exactly how other Fuller Center covenant partners have been uplifted by these experiences through the years.
“Neil (Mullikin) and the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure group are a very spiritually blessed group of servant-hearted brothers and sisters,” Rogers said. “We feel grateful and blessed to serve alongside them and to get to know them. Thanks be to God for the many blessings they bring wherever they go. This is, by far, the best spiritual experience in growing the Kingdom of God that we’ve been blessed to be a part of.”