Written by: Jim McCracken
The start of a Fuller Center Bike Adventure is a flurry of activity as people arrive the first day from all parts of the the USA, and sometimes from other countries. Greeting old friends and meeting new ones, assembling bikes that have been boxed and shipped to the starting point, beginning the process of becoming a tight-knit, efficient team that will ride across the country together building and sharing the mission of the Fuller Center.
Much of this is planned in advance, but what makes the bike ride an adventure is the amazing unexpected “God connections” that seem to pop up whenever there is a need. I had one the first day when I was assembling my bike and discovered a missing bolt that holds the seat-post in place. It’s a very simple, but very important part. I found Bernie’s Bike Shop nearby that would be open for just a few more minutes, and one of our hosts, Jackie, at St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church offered to give me a ride. On the way to the shop I discovered that Jackie has also ridden her bike across the country, so I asked her what the best part of her trip was. She said it’s the amazing people you meet and the acts of kindness that that they share with you.
I thanked her for being such a “trail angel” herself as she was kindly helping me, and asked her if a particular experience stood out. She said it happened near Lewiston, Idaho as she was riding on a remote road along the Clearwater River, where she met some local people who were curious and amazed by her bicycle trip. They began suggesting all the best places to get food along her route, especially a fantastic bakery, but Jackie knew that they would all be closed when she and her riding partner got to town. However, when they did arrive to their hotel later that evening, they found a huge bag full of fresh bakery pastries waiting for them, and a nice note from their new friends, the local trail angels.
What makes her story especially hit home with me is that I’m from Lewiston, Idaho. What are the odds of me being helped on a cross country bike ride, by a trail angel in San Diego who was similarly helped on a cross country bike trip near my little hometown in Idaho? As Jackie and I finished exchanging stories, we made it to the bike shop before they closed, and they had the right part to get me on the Fuller Center Bike Adventure on time. God does cool stuff! Thank you to St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church for your hospitality and friendship.