Meet the Spring Riders!

Meet the Riders: Spring 2014

Liz Bellantoni
Diane Bies
Harper Bolz-Weber
Matthew Bolz-Weber
Kenneth Detone
Martha Dysart
Christine Dysart Field
Bob Edmondson
Kim Eisenbarth
Joe Ergle
Michael Evola
Molly Fulghum
Ky Griffin
Ellis Grossnickle
Kathryn Grossnickle
Bill Harris
Cindy Hepp
Dan Hepp
Jack Hughes
Ryan Iafigliola
Maryrae Kearney
Renee McCullough
Melissa Merrill
Dieu Merci Nsangwa
Michael Oliphant
Ben Rivers
Matt Rivers

Patrick Roberts

Joseph Roarty
Michael Rutherford
Dan Sheridan
Kurt Schneider
Tim Shally
Karen (Toolie) Warkentien
Tom Weber
Dan Wehrly

2014 Summer Riders

History

2013 Summer Riders | 2013 Spring Riders
2012 Summer Riders | 2012 Spring Riders
2011 Summer Riders
2010 Summer Riders

 


Melissa Merrill, 27
2014 Trip Leader
Returning 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2013 Fuller Center Cyclist

Americus, GA
Fundraising Goal: $10,000 – Where most needed

A year ago I never would have guessed I’d be leading a team of amazing people on a bike ride across the country–although it sounds pretty cool, it was definitely never in the plan.  However, as Millard Fuller often said, "a planned life can only be endured". After the 2013 Spring Ride and the awesome 3,700 mile journey we took from Savannah to Vancouver last summer, I can now say from personal experience that Millard was right. I could not have planned a more fulfilling and joy-filled path on my own!  

 
So, I’m excited to stick around and work to make this amazing ride happen again!  Last year 80 cyclists collectively biked more than 80,000 miles, helped re-build 20 homes in partnership with families in need, and raised more than $140,000 to support the Fuller Center’s mission to end poverty housing, all while seeing their own lives change in the process.  I’m excited to do what I can to help this adventure grow and change more lives, and I’m even more pumped to get to witness another year full of the miracles, small and large, that make this incredible journey such a success.  I’d like to say "thank you" to everyone who played a role in all of those miracles last year; whether you biked, hosted, cooked, donated, or prayed, we couldn’t have done it without you.  Likewise, I want to invite everyone reading this to get involved in 2014… even if it’s not in the plan!  See you on the road!
 

Ryan Iafigliola, 28
Bike Adventure Founder
Returning 2008-2013 Fuller Center cyclist
Segment 1+: Atlantic City, NJ to Cleveland, OH
Americus, GA
Fundraising Goal: $5,000 – Where most needed

When God led ​us to launch the Bike Adventure in 2008 with our first cross country ride, He gave us a big vision for how it could impact the world, and by grace it has. But I had absolutely no clue how much of a blessing it would be to me personally. How lucky am I to get to be part of this every year?  I treasure the time spent with the other riders, our Covenant Partners, and our church hosts.

2014 is a particularly exciting year for us. ​We’ll not only have a cross country ride…and a Spring Ride…but also a bonus ride! We’ll let everyone know the big idea soon.

​​It’s also awesome to have Melissa back as the ​T​rip ​L​eader. I’m inspired by seeing all the familiar faces on this page, and all the new ones. ​Our Bike Adventure community grows and grows, and I love it.​​


Diane Bies, 58
Returning 2013 Spring Rider
Evansville, IN
Fundraising Goal: $3,000 – Sierra Leone

I am an avid long distance cyclist.  I have been riding for over 20 years now and actually ride year round in Southern Indiana even when it is extremely hot and cold.  I have done several week long tours and some long weekend events through the years.  My favorite will always be riding with the Fuller Center for Housing.  After riding the spring ride in 2013 I knew I had to ride with the Fuller Center again.  I truly fell in love with this organization and all it represents.  I made so many wonderful friends on our trek down the Natchez Trace.  What a piece of heaven to spend a week on your bike, meeting like minded people, serving God through a home repair project, and taking in all the wonderful scenery He has laid out for us to see and hear along the way.   I still wear my memento "rag" from one morning’s devotional and remember this trip and all those on it each time I feel it on my wrist.  I look forward to another adventure.  Please consider joining in on the ride and or supporting my ride, or one of the other riders, financially.  With your help we can build a better world, one house at a time.

 


Molly Fulghum, 48
Lanett, AL
Segment 9: Lewiston, ID to Astoria, OR
Fundraising Goal: $500 – Where Most Needed and Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project

My father was Millard Fuller’s cousin, often sharing with me stories of how they grew up together. I personally met Millard when I was in my 20s and had the opportunity to spend more time with him through our local Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project. My Dad passed away in 2007 and our family sponsored a house in his and other family members’ memory for the Millard Fuller Legacy Build 2009. Fuller builds have become a family affair, with my husband Jeff helping on another build in 2013 and his father providing building materials.

I am fortunate enough to work with a company, InterCall, that has been involved with the Fuller Center since 2007. InterCall has provided sponsorship in many ways over the years including providing volunteers every year for builds and a full home sponsorship last year. I met the Fuller Center Cyclists when Chris Cosby rode the West Coast 2012 and his donations helped sponsor our home. My coworker and close friend Traci Crosby, Executive Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator, thought it would be a fun if we surprised Chris in San Diego at the end of the 2012 West Coast ride as a way of thanking him. It was there we met all the riders and helped on the San Diego build. I was amazed at their accomplishments and completely inspired by all the riders! So inspired that I am joining in on the Spring Ride and at least one segment of the Summer Ride.

I love the Fuller Center and all they do. Even though I have helped with builds and sponsorships over the years I would like to continue to do more – these bike rides are a unique opportunity to support the Fuller Center, spend time with a great group of people and challenge myself in the process. I’m very excited about this new adventure, even though I’m not really a cyclist…yet. 🙂

 

 


Michael Rutherford, 37
Middletown, OH
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

This is my first year as part of the Fuller Bike Adventure but I’ve been following the group for the past year and I’m excited to get the opportunity to finally join the group. I started biking in 2012 and one of the main motivations to pick up biking at the time was to tackle the Fuller Center Spring ride down the Trace. I’ve participated in volunteer building projects both internationally and domestically for the past 6 years and I spend a large part of my free time volunteering. I can’t think of a better way to spread the work about the need for affordable housing in the US than combining biking and volunteering.



If you aren’t familiar with the Fuller Center or the bike trip I encourage you to look around the site and consider supporting us on our ride to help address the housing situation both here in the US as well and internationally. Better yet, grab a bike and join us on the journey in 2014!


Tim Shally, 64
Vonore, TN
Fundraising Goal: $1,500 – Where Most Needed

I am about to turn 64, but still in good shape. I rode a somewhat challenging century in 7:09 2 weeks ago, and rode the Assault on Mount Mitchell in 2012 in 9:38. My wife is a pastor (second career), and we both retired from the military (Army). In addition to prison ministry, I have a bicycle ministry (Community Bike Outreach of Tennessee) which refurbishes donated bikes and gives them to those in need – recycling them back into the community. I attended 3 weeks of training at Barnett’s Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs, so I would be happy to lend a hand with basic bike repairs, as well as be a member of a chore team.


Michael Evola, 59
Lake Orion, MI
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Michigan

 
I am a retired business owner; I am privileged to have the time and energy to aid in providing affordable housing for others. I have assisted in supporting housing relief through local and national disaster relief organizations.  Last year through a neighborhood bike group, I was acquainted with long distance bike riding. I thoroughly enjoyed the riding experience, the camaraderie, and the benefits to my health.   As a result, I am excited to use my enjoyment for biking to draw awareness to the vast need for decent housing.


Kenneth Detone, 61
Rochester, MI
Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Where Most Needed

I have participated in numerous habitat programs in Mississippi and Michigan. I am a flooring contractor by profession so I know how to work hard. I am always willing to help my fellow man or woman. 

This will be my first long distance ride and I am looking forwrd to the challenge.


Michael Oliphant, 63
Hendersonville, NC

Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Haiti

I have been a college professor for the past ten years and will be on sabbatical until August 2014. Prior to college teaching I worked with a local non-profit housing development organization. I have had the privilege of traveling with student volunteer groups to Koinonia Farm where we had a chance to meet with Millard Fuller and learn about the work of the Fuller Center. I am married to Martha Dysart, who is also taking a break from her work. In February we plan to volunteer building houses with the Fuller Center in Haiti. We will join the Spring bike ride because we love being outdoors and on our bikes.


Martha Dysart, 53
Hendersonville, NC
Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Haiti

I am a Certified Nurse Midwife and plan to volunteer with my husband in Haiti to build houses with the Fuller Center. I also plan to volunteer with Midwives for Haiti, a group that works with Haitiian midwives. We will join the Spring Ride to participate in a great long bike ride.


Kurt Schneider, 52
Returning 2012 and 2013 rider
Franklin, NY
Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Where Most Needed

Happy holidays…or whenever you find yourself reading through rider profiles.

2014 will be my fourth and fifth rides with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure. (2012 west coast, and 2013 spring and summer rides.) Looking forward to more time on the bike, meeting great people along the routes, and enjoying the company of a few like-minded volunteers.

See you on the road.


Karen (Toolie) Warkentien, 49
Returning 2011 and 2012 rider
Arlington, VA
Fundraising Goal:  $10,000 – Toolie’s 50th Birthday Blitz Build

Hi, I’m Toolie and I’m looking forward to riding again with the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure, this time on the 2014 Spring Ride. I’m also fundraising to support a blitz build that I’m sponsoring in June 2014 to celebrate my 50th birthday. I hope to raise additional funds for the build through my Bike Adventure and have set a goal of $10,000, which is one-fifth of the $50,000 that I need to raise to help one deserving family attain its dream of a simple, decent, affordable home to call its own in Americus, Georgia, the birthplace of Koinonia Farm, Habitat for Humanity, and The Fuller Center for Housing. Won’t you give to help me help others?


Ben Rivers, 54
Returning 2013 Spring Rider
Columbia, SC
Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Where Most Needed

Riding and serving with Fuller Center on the Spring 2013 Ride was great. I look forward to spending time with like minded volunteers and cyclists and meeting all of the terrific people in the host churches and communities along our way. Our church has been very active for years in building efforts at home and overseas – using my construction skills while enjoying a bike tour make for an ideal combination.  See you in Nashville!


Tom Weber, 71
Returning 2011, 2012 and 2013 rider
Broomfield, CO
Fundraising Goal:  $750 – Where Most Needed

In 2013 I rode the spring ride with my son and 14 year old granddaughter, which was a very special treat for me. In the summer, I rode less than half of the cross country route, and supported the ride with my personal car for the rest of the trip.

It started in 2011: I was selfishly looking for a way to ride across this great country of ours, when I discovered the Fuller Bike Adventure, so I signed on for that. After getting a first hand look at a couple of build stops, and what it means to the families that we help, it was no longer about the bike. I realized God had directed me to the Fuller Center, and this was going to be my way to give back the many blessings I have enjoyed. I now consider myself a riding ambassador for The Fuller Center for Housing.

In 2012, I rode over 4,000 miles for Fuller Center: the spring ride, the East Coast ride, and finally the West Coast ride. It was a great year for me. I rode, I talked to church groups, I talked to individuals, I helped at build sites, and I raised money for the Fuller Center. One day on the East Coast ride I celebrated my 70th birthday by riding 70 miles.

This year I will be 72, and I plan to ride the spring ride, and support the summer ride, the whole way, with my personal vehicle.

I wrote about my biking adventure with FCBA the last three years on my blog, geezerlog.blogspot.com, and will continue writing as I prepare and ride in the 2014 adventure.


Matthew Bolz-Weber, 43
Returning 2012 & 2013 Spring Rider!
Denver, CO
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

It’s cool how the Fuller Center gets folks a hand up into better housing. I’m psyched to be part of that effort. Plus, it’ll be fun to do this ride with my daughter and my dad.



Harper Bolz-Weber, 15
Returning 2013 Spring Rider!
Denver, CO
Fundraising Goal: $500 – Where Most Needed

I’m Harper, I’m 15 years old, and I’m doing the spring ride for the second time with my dad, Matthew, and my grandpa, Tom.


Liz Bellantoni, 56
Shepherdstown, WV
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Nepal

I stumbled across the Fuller Center’s website in my search for information on riding the Natchez Trace, and instantly new I wanted to be part of this amazing ride. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve done any long distance bike touring, so I’m thrilled to have a chance to share this experience with a group of like-minded individuals. I’m also excited about the opportunity to support the work of the Fuller Center, having been involved in similar efforts with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program, as well as my local Habitat affiliate’s Women Build program.

Yikes, just three months to train for the ride. It’s a daunting challenge, but I’m looking forward to it!


Matt Rivers, 49
Columbia, SC
Fundraising Goal:  $2,000 – Where Most Needed

Having been in the affordable housing "business" for over a decade, I’m familiar with the great work that organizations like The Fuller Center for Housing do help people with that most basic of needs: shelter. As a bike rider, I’ve logged several thousand miles in the last few years, and am looking forward to a ride that will test my endurance while supporting a very worthwhile cause.

I’m also excited about making the trip with my brother Ben, who is riding for the second year in a row.


Christine Dysart Field, 59
Rochester, NY
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

My name is Christine Dysart Field from Rochester, NY.  I am a retired teacher and a gymnastics instructor/coach.  Presently, my ministry has been in music worship & in marathon training/running.  Having worked for over 30 years with children & over 12 years as a caregiver for my late disabled husband, I have learned enduring patience & using those opportunies that the Lord put right in front of me. My sister, Martha Dysart & brother-in-law, Mike, encouraged me to become a part of the team.  For me, the biking is only one part.  The serving & ministry opportunies for the Fuller Center make this journey an exciting adventure.


Patrick Roberts, 50
Searcy, AR
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

I love helping and serving other people and I also love bicycling! I do road biking in the summer and mountain biking in the fall. I love the outdoors and look forward to experiencing the Natchez trace. I have been married for 23 years and have 1 son, 20 years old who is a junior at ASU in Jonesboro, AR. He is a psychology major and also a very talented musician (music minor).


Jack Hughes, 86
Springdale, OH
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

Being a retired IT nerd, I am also an 86 year old biker with over 36,000 miles on a bicycle. At my age I plan to drive most of the Natchez Trace. I will serve as a second sag wagon and gofer. I rode with the Fuller Center spring Ride last March.


Kim Eisenbarth, 50
Tuscola, IL
Fundraising Goal: $1,000 – Greater Kansas City

Well, I love biking.  And I especially love biking for a cause.  For the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to have ridden on the Habitat 500, which is a weeklong bike ride throughout Minnesota promoting Habitat for Humanity.  I look forward to that week like most kids anticipate Christmas morning!


So when a friend (and Habitat biker) told me about the Fuller Center, I HAD to check it out.  I discovered a wonderful, well focused organization dedicated to Millard Fuller’s vision.


And….THEY HAD A BIKE RIDE!!!!!   It seems like a natural fit.  I am a little nervous about being in good riding shape by mid March, but very excited to be a part of this group.


When I am not on my bike, I am a veterinarian.  I own a small animal practice in central Illinois.  (So I hope my associate will take the pager while I am on this trip!)

I will turn 50 in early March, so this will be my birthday gift from my fabulous, supportive husband!


Cindy Hepp, 58
Returning 2013 Support Volunteer!
Springfield, OH

I am Cindy Hepp, 58 yrs old, wife of Dan Hepp (rider) for 35 yrs, mother to 3 girls and 1 son, grandmother to 5 grandsons and 8 granddaughters, and great grandmother to 1 great grandson. I am a registered nurse working at a skilled nursing facility. At church I am an Awana leader (30th yr), mentoring a group of 6th graders and a Heart mentor to one inner city girl. I’m involved in the ladies Bible study. In my spare time, I love to travel with Dan, usually a bicycle adventure, cheer at my grandkids sporting events, read Christian novels, and watch movies. I did the Sagging portion of last year’s spring ride and look forward to seeing my new friends once again and making new ones. I want to be a support and encourager for the leaders and bicyclists, along with being a helping hand on our work day. Fellowshipping with the church members we meet along the way is an added treat. Praying for many prepared bicyclists who raise lots of money, good weather, no mechanical difficulties, a positive influence on those we meet along the way, and for preparations to go smoothly for our ride leaders.


Ellis Grossnickle, 66
Harrisburg, PA
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

Looking for early spring riding in the south with friends.



Kathryn Grossnickle, 35
Harrisburg, PA
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

I enjoy traveling, working out, biking, being with friends and meeting new people.



Renee McCullough, 58
Gaithersburgh, MD

Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

I am joining the Spring Ride to advance my cycling skills and experience, especially on longer rides, while serving God and helping others. I have completed two two-day rides of the entire C&O Canal and about four century rides last summer, plus a two-day, 130-mile ride in North Carolina. I teach Sunday School, coordinate missions projects, and do other tasks for my church in Damascus, Maryland. I also direct a small health research library and volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy clinic. I have been married for 32 years and have two adult children living in Texas. I am thankful that God has blessed with me with good health and opportunities to enjoy his creation through activities such as cycling, hiking, and kayaking. I enjoy challenging myself physically and spiritually by setting and working toward goals a bit outside my comfort level and look forward to the challenge of the Spring Ride this year.


Dan Hepp, 58
Returning 2013 Spring Rider!
Springfield, OH
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Ohio

Hi, I’m Dan, a life long cyclist and advocate of helping others. I’ve been on several construction mission trips, multiple cycling tours but only put the two together once. This will be a renewed adventure for me and my wife Cindy who will be the SAG driver. We are both excited to again be a part of the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure to see what God has in store for us on this trip.


Dan Sheridan, 56
Returning 2013 Spring Rider!
Marion, OH
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

I’m a hospital pharmacist from Ohio. I’ve done several dozen week-long bicycle rides. I’m more interested in seeing the sights along the way than I am in getting to the destination in a hurry. I have 3 adult children, an 11 year old son, and a wonderful wife. I’m on our local county park board, and spend lots of time working to build our county’s first rail-trail.

I rode the spring ride last year, and was delighted to meet so many caring and enthusiastic traveling companions. The trip is a wonderful opportunity to combine my passion for bicycling while making the world a better place. I’m looking forward to a terrific week!


Bob Edmondson, 65
Broomfield, CO
Fundraising Goal: $1,000 – Where Most Needed

I am retired and biking is my main hobby and exercise. I have volunteered as a worker for Habitat for Humanity in the past and describe myself as a "do it yourselfer." I learned about the Fuller Center through Tom Weber a neighbor of mine here in Colorado.

I am married to Ruth for 44 years and we have a married son and daughter and 5 grandchildren. I have taken a one week course in bike mechanics and can help with minor repairs and adjustments.
 


Maryrae Kearney, 71
Returning 2013 Support Volunteer!
Springfield, OH
Fundraising Goal: $100 – Where Most Needed

Cindy Hepp and I provided SAG support for last year’s Natchez Trail Ride. It was a real blessing and a top of the mountain experience. I’m so looking forward to serving the team again. I have been bicycling all my life! My husband and I like to choose our vacations close to bike trails. We have three children, one deceased, and six grandchildren. I am a volunteer with our local Jail Ministry, vising with inmates one-on-one. It is a privilege to partner with the Fuller Center and to witness the construction of better homes for those in need.


Ky Griffin, 60
Jasper, TX
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

Ky D. Griffin, longtime cyclist. Riding "The Trace" in the spring is a bucket list item that I look forward to sharing with other cycling enthusiast in a christian environment.


Dieu Merci Nsangwa, 25
Returning 2013 Spring Rider!
Americus, GA
Fundraising Goal: $500 – Democratic Republic of the Congo

This will be my second spring ride with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure. 2013 spring ride was fun and I am glad to participate again this year to help reach the Goal and change more lives.


Bill Harris, 52
Official caffeinator
of the 2014 Bike Adventure!

Americus, GA
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Peru

Just call me the caffeinator. Years ago I biked the Natchez uphill.. really looking forward to the downhill route!


Joe Ergle, 25
Gainesville, FL
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Peru

I am an amateur bike racer, coffee enthusiast, and bike shop sales representative (Bikes & More!) in Gainesville, Florida. I am super excited to take some time off from training to meet and ride with some positive outgoing new faces, do something awesome for people in need, and see more of the beautiful scenery that the Southeast US has to offer. I am absolutely ecstatic to bring my bicycle and coffee knowledge along with me on the ride to help keep the ride moving in whatever way that I can.

 

Joseph Roarty, 65
Broomfield, CO
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Moffat County, CO

I’m a retired engineer living in Broomfield, Colorado. I’ve been married for 40+ years and am fortunate to be living near my three children and three grandchildren. I’m also fortunate to be joining Tom Weber and Bob Edmondson on this trip; they are great friends who enjoy cycling and sharing their talents.


Dan Wehrly, 55
Arlington, TN
Fundraising Goal: $750 – Where Most Needed

I have enjoyed cycling since I was a child riding my stingray all over the county as directed by my father to pick up food, clothes, farm equipment parts and back and forth to school. As I grew the bike got a little bigger but always had a basket or saddle bags to carry items. While I was in the military I was assigned to an Italian Air Base. I got involved in the week end rides and rode to and from work (28 miles one way) on good weather days. I rode a 1400 mile across Europe in 14 days in 1984. I absolutely enjoyed the countryside and the people I met along the way. I slept only one night on the ground. The people of each country took my partner and I in at each nightly stop. It made for great friends and some really interesting conversations due to the language barrier. I ride with my wife and a group during the week and on week ends. It is more for socializing than speed or endurance. We always enjoy our rides and conversations. Such a nice way to relax and enjoy life. Now at 56 with the children out of the house it is time for me to explore this great world once again in the saddle of my trusty 1987, Ironman centennial. Looking forward to meeting everyone along the way and sharing stories. C Ya all in Nashville.