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.
This morning was nice because we actually got to sleep in till roughly 5:45 (around an hour later than usual). We left Santa Cruz and rode 57 miles to Carmel. The route was beautiful and the ride was made even better due to the shortness of the mileage! Although it was a little too chilly for my liking the coast was so beautiful. Plus, I was able to ride with the trip leader Allen, which always makes for a hilarious day.
Tomorrow brings a new challenge. 105 miles from Carmel to Cambria. While this will be an amazing ride with great scenery…it will also be very difficult. Not only the riding aspect but the waking up at roughly 4am to get ready for the day. The routine will start again as it does every day. Wake up, get dressed, use the bathroom, pack your bag, take your bag to the trailer, check your bike, eat breakfast, use the bathroom again, devotions and finally the starting of another day in the saddle.
As we pass the halfway mark of our journey I am filled with excitement and joy. Soon we will find ourselves in beautiful San Diego and will have hopefully spread the good word to end poverty housing. For now though, I’m heading to bed!