Why I ride

Written by: Gary Schroeder
I’m sure there are as many motivations to participate in the Fuller Center Bike Adventure as there are riders who participate.  For me, I’ve found the reasons I joined my first ride—the reasons I keep coming back— have changed the more I experience the work of the Fuller Center for Housing first hand.

I initially signed up for my first Fuller Center ride because it was a great way to combine my love of cycling with the opportunity to go out and help others with my effort.  Everyone is all too familiar with the problem of homelessness, not just in the United States but around the world. As a fundraising event, the Bike Adventure would allow me to leverage my contacts with family and friends to make a contribution, however small, to fighting that problem.  Through the support of my family and friends, I was able to make OUR first foray into fighting poverty housing.
The warm fuzzy I got from knowing the money I raised was great, but was eclipsed by the end of my first week of riding by the two build days I got to participate in during my ride across Washington.  A day in Spokane preparing a site for a proposed “tiny house” community and providing much needed repairs to a house in Kellogg, Idaho gave me the opportunity to pick up a hammer, saw or paintbrush or practice my demolition skills and make a DIRECT contribution to safe and secure house for someone.  Being able to stand back at the end of the day and see the contribution our group had made that day made the fund raising part pale in comparison.
The thrill of being being part of a construction/restoration team was great enough that I’ve since been on week long building trips in Haiti and Puerto Rico.  The weeklong trip is generally long enough to complete a house someplace like Haiti or restore one here in the United States. Seeing the contrast in the “before” and “after” of the house and knowing because I had been there, we were able to hand the keys over to the owner raised the bar to the max.  Being able to convert donations to domiciles is the ultimate excitement
Because of the satisfaction of living the idea of giving, I’ve shifted my focus to not just raising money and building myself.  Now, every chance I get, I’m encouraging those same family and friends to join me in the Bike Adventure and building trips.  I know they would experience the same satisfaction I get from knowing that although we can’t help everyone, for those we are able to help, it’s life changing.
Won’t you join me in the Adventure?

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