Flexibility and adventure – By James Bernstein

Flexibility. Today was the day to live flexibility on the Bike Adventure. A relatively short ride was planned, 62 miles from Denton to Huntersville, N.C. Plus, we wanted to arrive at our destination of Hopewell Presbyterian Church after 2:30 p.m. to avoid a scheduling conflict.

It should have been an easy day, a leisurely departure and about four-plus hours on the bicycles (at least at my speed). Then came a bike breakdown, a broken chain. Okay, no problem, that’s why Kelli drives the support van. Kelli to the rescue…but when she tried to catch up with the riders for our next break, the van wouldn’t go. Fortunately, one of our riders is an engineer who had worked on similar vehicles, and knew a blown fuse was a likely cause. Also, a kind gentleman named Larry stopped to help, and drove Brett the engineer to buy a new fuse. Meanwhile, the riders who are about 10 miles ahead at this point found a local diner in Richfield and enjoyed a good lunch. Our friends at the van sweated all the while in the North Carolina ‘warmth’. Van fixed.

On the road again…and on to the afternoon thunderstorm with plenty of booms and flashes. One pack of riders took refuge at the student center of UNCC, while another pack was sheltered in the office of an apartment complex by an office manager. But eventually we all made it to Hopewell Presbyterian in Huntersville. Barbecued chicken, two kinds of mac and cheese, vegetable casserole, and banana pudding followed. And big foam mattresses and showers too! There are rewards, after all.

Sometimes the sun is hot, the hill is steep, and my legs are unwilling. And then follows the privilege of sharing with people we meet along the way and with a congregation excited by Millard Fuller’s vision of being a good neighbor to people without decent housing. And those are the rewards of the adventure.

James and two of his friends and fellow riders, Scott and Mark are hoping to raise enough money to fund a home in El Salvador. Then they plan to travel there to help build it. Click here to help them accomplish that goal!

**Missed the first mail stop? Your next shot is Americus, Ga., where The Fuller Center is headquartered. Send your mail to arrive when we arrive there on July 24. 

c/o The Fuller Center for Housing
701 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Americus, GA 31709

*Flat Tire Count*

Current riders:     
Aaron Alaman – 3
Brett Safran – 8
Chris Cosby – 1
Ivan Cunningham – 0
Kyle Halat – 9
Ryan Iafigliola – 7  
Susan Pratt – 0
Mark Benjamin – 0
James Berstein – 0
Previous Riders:
Abby – 4
Jonny – 0
Leah – 2
Melissa – 3
Nate – Still collecting data
Olivia – 0
Sarah – 2
Tom – 2
Tony – 0


  • I’ve been praying for all of you, including the van. GOOD JOB, Brett!! It’s so great to have you (and Larry!) there. They couldn’t have gotten through the day without you! And good job team, for getting through that crazy day and making it to Hopewell.

  • Glad to meet you, James, and the rest of the gang, and it was good to see a couple of familiar faces too. Remind Ryan that if he wants to change the world, he’s going to have to wake up before 7:30 a.m. or in his case 8:30 a.m. It was our pleasure to have you all, and too bad we won’t be on the way from Washington to Washington next year, but maybe we’ll round up some riders. Godspeed!

  • Hi Bike Adventurers 2010! You’re riding through my beautiful home state of South Carolina! Can’t wait to see you in Macon on Friday! You’re doing a fab job and I’m so grateful to you all! See you soon!


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