By Bud Smith
2012 Bicycle Adventurer
When I signed up for this ride I really had no idea what to expect. Were the other participants going to be a group who just love riding and having fun but have no real concern about eliminating poverty housing? Would they show themselves to be merely pacifists and have no desire whatsoever to get their hands dirty for the welfare of others? Or would they realize that they actually had before them an opportunity of sharing in and potentially achieving the dreams of Millard Fuller and so many others with like minds?
Well, it did not take long to learn that the answers to these three questions were no, no and an absolute yes! Now please understand that I’m not blind to the fact that I’m old enough to be the father of most of these riders (except for Geezer Tom that is) and that at first there was a lot of, well, let’s say, silliness going on … at least when looking through the eyes and listening with the ears of a 52-year-old. But what I soon started to uncover was a group of young people who were OK with having fun with each other with dropping their guard now and then. They saw no harm in enjoying themselves and this great sport of cycling.
They were not just out to have fun, though.They accepted their assigned chores knowing they were part of a team and a well-oiled machine and often ignored the lines drawn between their assigned chores and those assigned to others, offering to help wherever and whenever needed. They respected each other’s opinions and ideas and most of the time used well-thought-out words when responding to something they didn’t agree with. Yeah, most of the time. After all, they are human!
They were not perfect and, yes, they all had their own little situations to deal with, myself very much included. But they proved themselves, so very well, to be women and men of honor and respectful of the job at hand. They had realized that the task set before them — and all of us for that matter — is that there is much work to be done and that even though the economy is what it is and that some might think that there are so few willing to support such a worthy and Christ-like cause such as the FCBA, there are still those who will! There are those, just like us, who only have to be told of the great need all around us to eliminate this disease called poverty housing not only in our own country but internationally, as well.
It has truly been a pleasure sharing the floors of churches and the roads of the many cities and small towns that join us together in this small part of the U.S. between Charleston, S.C., and my home here in Daytona Beach, Fla. I look forward to supporting next summer’s ride either as a single or multiple segment rider. What a joy it has been participating with these wonderful guys and gals and the FCBA!
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