The fast track!

By Ryan Iafigliola
Bicycle Adventure founder

Some days you just want to ride fast. This Saturday was one of them.

 
Although all of us were tired after our first week of cycling 50-100 miles per day, today was a day of releasing some pent-up energy. The traffic and stoplights of New York City and the surrounding area gave us 10+ hours of frustratingly slow progress on the bikes each of the past two days, so now as we began to approach the open countryside, we were ready to go!
 
Joined today by Ray Schenk, the father of Dani Schenk who rode the whole way with us as an intrepid 18-year-old during our inaugural cross country ride in 2008, we set out from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church around 7 a.m. following our daily morning devotions and enthusiastic shouts of Oyee. Thanks to St. Rose’s remarkable generosity, we were also setting out with an outrageous supply of food for the team. It was unbelievable how much they gave us! An entire fridge full of food, whole boxes of fruit, and tables full of snacks — it must have been one of the most generous places we’ve ever stayed in our five years of this event.

 
With a swirling tailwind leading us on and Ray’s energy pushing us, many of us cruised at 22-25 miles per hour for much of today’s journey. Finally free from the concrete terrain and incessant lights of yellow and red, we zipped past open fields in the strong but pleasant gusts of wind. Thanks to the food given by St. Rose’s, each rest stop filled us with the good things our bodies craved, but for which we previously didn’t dream: juice boxes, Gogurt yogurt, fresh nuts, and even string cheese! Shockingly, even today the peanut butter didn’t completely get a much-needed day off.
 
By 3 p.m. we had arrived in Tabernacle, New Jersey, home of one of our enthusiastic Fuller Center covenant partners. Made up entirely of volunteers, it’s a group of high-energy folks who are a real force in the community. They’ve been anticipating our arrival for months, and we felt the love as they invited us into their homes to sleep (beds! clean bathrooms and showers!), fed us dinner, and told us the exciting plans for the rest of the weekend, including our chance to help on a Fuller Center project Sunday for a physically handicapped high school freshman. You’ll hear more about this courageous young man soon.
 
Today also marked one other occasion: my last day of riding on the East Coast ride. Monday I will be heading back to our home office to help take care of the rest of the Fuller Center world. It’s one of God’s ironies — or maybe life lessons – that in order to do God’s work, sometimes it means getting up and riding our bikes even when we’d rather sit, and other times it means putting down the bike, even when we’d rather keep riding. I guess that’s why we’re all part of one body of Christ — each working together but in different ways. 
 
This ride and this group have been great. I’ll miss them all, but it’s great knowing that the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure continues to be in God’s hands and good hands. Ride the good ride, my new friends.

To contribue to Ryan’s Bicycle Adventure fundraising, click here!

LEARN MORE ABOUT RYAN IN THIS VIDEO
 

Chris Johnson
This post was written by
Chris Johnson is the Director of Communications for The Fuller Center for Housing, a multi-award-winning columnist for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer and author of 4 books.

1 Comment on "The fast track!"

  • doug stephens says

    That was a ton of food. Glad you had a good reception at St Rose of Lima in NJ. I see you finally had TAILWINDS – wonderful news. Good to see that Dani’s Father was able to ride with you. Safe travels back to Americus. Good luck to you as you get back to your main job of International chapters. When you get settled in would you send me a copy of the photos taken last week with you, me and Tony. Thanks. Oyee/Doug

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