This is the third post in our series of blogs about the Global Home Challenge.

Ellie Arguimbau (left on recumbent bike) with friends Judy and Verne Blalack, long-time leaders of the Silver Valley Fuller Center for Housing in Idaho.

Avid cyclist jumps at this unique opportunity

We are now one week into the virtual “Around the world in 80 days” tour. Last Friday, Judy and Verne Blalack and I kicked off our tour walking from their home at Cataldo, Idaho, along the beautiful North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River.

After they returned to their house, I got on my recumbent tricycle to add some more miles. The first 2 days of the tour were really hot by North Idaho standards, so I was glad I had brought my spray water bottle

I am secretary of the local Silver Valley Fuller Center for Housing. I joined the board in January 2013 after moving to Kellogg upon retiring from my 35 years as an archivist with the Montana Historical Society.

I’ve been an enthusiastic bicyclist for many years. I have done trips with VBT (Vermont Bicycle Tours) in Austria, Holland, Croatia and other places in Europe and in Vermont, Maine, New York and Mississippi in the US. One of the reasons I retired to Kellogg was the availability of the fabulous Trail of the Coeur d’Alene rails to trails. Other motivations were two ski areas and a river suitable for paddling.

In March of this year, the coronavirus hit Idaho. I immediately thought “I’ve got to keep myself mentally and physically healthy”. Since both ski areas had been forced to shut down due to the virus, I decided I would try to bicycle every day that the weather permitted. At first it was quite a challenge. I could only go 2 or 3 miles before I was in packed snow. A recumbent trike does not do well in snow. By early April as the snow began melting off the trail, I was able to gradually extend my rides. Riding the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene along the Coeur d’Alene River is a real pleasure. It became even more beautiful as the trees and bushes began greening up.

When I learned of the virtual bike tour the Fuller Center for Housing International was planning. I became an instant convert. The Fuller Center’s Bike Adventures had been coming through Kellogg, Idaho, during their cross-country tours for several years. I was very impressed with the dedication of the riders who would spend their occasional 2-3 days off bicycling in helping with local community Fuller Center projects along their route.

The last two summers they spent a weekend with our local Fuller Center for Housing. They climbed ladders to repaint second story windows, repaired roofs and porches, and whatever other tasks were needed. They were always upbeat and friendly. So, I decided I wanted to repay some of the help the bikers had given us. I formed a team which I called “Team Silver Valley Idaho”.

Judy and Verne Blalack immediately joined the team and became my first sponsors. They also recruited their son and daughter- in- law George and Melody Blalack. Although George and Melody live in Hawaii, they were happy to be part of our Silver Valley team.

Share this post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print

We'd love to hear your comments!

we love Our sponsors!


Want to see your logo here and throughout our event? Just offer a great prize for our participants! Contact to discuss.