By Ed Vander Pol
We begin our 2022 Fuller Center Bike Adventure in Seaside, Oregon and end 10 weeks later in Portland, Maine covering approximately 3,800 miles.
Keeping with the mission and spirit of the Fuller Center, there are 7 build days when the riders are “off their bikes” and help with a local Fuller Center to work on home projects.
Personally, due to life commitments, I am only participating on the first day of riding from Seaside to Astoria. It’s in my “neighborhood.” This is the fourth time I have participated in a Fuller Center adventure. And it is always an adventure! During initial meetings and orientation, friendships are renewed and new friendships developed. We share our experiences and become a family! I think of “neighbor helping neighbor.”
Orientation covers the basic adventure life including the general daily schedule and chore teams/duties. Each rider also signs a safety pledge, code of conduct, and commits to “live simply so others can simply live.” We also heard about the history of the Fuller Center and its mission.
With all that information, we begin our adventure on our square wheeled bicycle! Yes, you read that right! You need to think outside the box a little. One definition of a circle is an infinite number of infinitesimally short straight lines at a common radius. Going further, think of an infinite number of infinitesimally small squares at a common radius! Therefore we ride square wheeled bicycles!
We left our host church with a ride to the beach for the traditional dipping of the rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean and devotions. A local rider, Mike Davis, a member of our host church Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, provided an excellent scenic route that kept us off busy roads from Seaside to Astoria, about 20 miles.
It was a very pleasant day with warm temperatures (days like that are hard to find in northwest Oregon this spring!). The route had more climbing than the original planned route but the reward was some excellent descents!
Enjoy the adventure! Stay safe!