After biking 100 miles on Monday, everyone’s muscles were slightly stiff as we rolled out of our sleeping bags at 7 a.m. The First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant of Erie, Pa. gave us space to shower and sleep for the night. Without the hospitality of churches we would be camping – not my idea of a fun evening after a day of arduous biking. I am amazed at the scope of the architecture in the churches we have visited. The facilities will accommodate over 1,200 people in the sanctuary.
We began biking with a nice slow pace through the city of Erie. What would a day on the bike be without a flat tire. Fortunately, only one flat tire in the group today–Leah.
As we biked through the town of Saybrook, Ohio we passed a man riding a Nishiki mountain bike. I haven’t seen one of those bikes in over 10 years. I don’t think he had an operational front brake and his wheel had more rust than clear metal. Yet he pedalled with us and chatted until we reached the rest stop. As we rolled into the rest stop we encountered Mike. His ruddy, sun-burned complexion supported the yarn he told. Mike and his dog, Scooby, have been biking the perimeter of the country since 2007. He is headed across Ohio and then the northern plain states. Hope he gets through the Dakotas before winter. We also met a man hauling a full milk crate of supplies on the back of his mountain bike. He said "I’m going to Arizona." We wish him luck also. Meeting these two men gave a whole new meaning to long distance biking.
As we left the rest stop, one of our team members, Ivan, said my handle bars were knocked crooked when my bike fell over. Three of us stopped and I promptly fell over – didn’t get my foot out of the pedal. I sprawled well enough to avoid any scrapes. I don’t think I have had a spill like that since I first began using clip-less pedals. A show like that keeps one humble.
When we reached Perry, Ohio we stopped at the home of Melissa’s parents. They are hosting us for the evening. Before dinner, we jumped in Lake Erie to cool down. Brett found an old log that he rolled into the lake. Have you ever tried riding a log? Brett won the contest for the longest ride. Melissa’s parents and siblings provided a magnificent feast that satisfied the appetites of 11 hungry bikers. They even did our laundry!!!! This meal will give us the rest and calories we need for a longer ride tomorrow.
As we pedal along each day, we remind ourselves that our sweat and sore muscles lead to contributions that will provide better housing for needy families. I have had a hand in building ten homes with Habitat for Humanity. I will always remember the joy and exceptional gratitude of the recipient families.
You can help us help more families in need of decent housing by contributing to the Bike Adventure fundraising goal of $250,000.
And here are some other ways you can get involved… Thanks for your support!