Steven’s Pass

Written by: Ryan Iafigliola


Day 3: Skykomish to Sunnyslope

71 miles

4,621 feet of climbing

After a few days of riding to warm us up, today was the first great challenge! After leaving one of our favorite places, Skykomish, we immediately start climbing up to Steven’s Pass. It starts gradual at first, but it doesn’t get easier until you reach the top, which for us was around mile 16.5. The total climb brings us from around 1,000 feet of elevation to 4,061 feet, but it feels higher! It’s a ski resort at the top, after all.

The climb is slow and arduous, but as long as you keep moving forward eventually you’ll get there. It’s an intense challenge for a group of volunteers on bicycles from around the country — after all, many of them don’t live anywhere near a mountain to train on. I’m amazed at how well the group did, all but a couple made it to the top with nothing but the power of the pedal.

What followed was a gorgeous descent on a beautiful summer day, following the green rushing Wenatchee River for mile and miles. One of my favorite moments is seeing the bright red ripe cherries right next to us on the swaying trees as we arrived into Sunnyslope, because the sweet and juicy Ranier cherries are definitely one of my favorite parts of Washington.

The start of our rides is always the hardest — the complications of arrivals, the abundance of information during orientation, the new group dynamics and bonding, the nervous energy, our bodies still needing to get conditioned, etc. If today was any test — and it was a pretty intense one — this group is off to a good start and going to do just fine. And best of all, so many of them are already passionate about the Fuller Center and making a difference not only through their fundraising, but also through their relationships back home and even starting Fuller Centers there!

So great to join the team this week for its early challenges, always one of the highlights of my year!Continue reading

Glorious Scenery and Incredible Kindness

Written By: By Dan Sheridan

Today we arose to a delicious breakfast provided by John, and elder at the Woodinville Unitarian Universalistic Church. My favorite was a crockpot full of steel-cut oatmeal and raisins. What a wonderful way to start our day!

At our devotion Ryan shared the Rag Man story, written by Walter Wangerin. This always touches our hearts and helps us to understand our mission of changing lives as we cycle across the country.

We started our day with a challenging climb followed by a beautiful downhill. We rounded a curve on a country road and saw beautiful Mt. Rainier in the distance. It was a day of incredible views, which only got more beautiful as the day went on and we drew toward the Cascade Mountains.
After our first snack stop we climbed a long hill, with grades as steep as 13%, followed by a joyous downhill on a curving wooded road. Soon after reaching the bottom we arrived at our second snack stop, which was near a rushing river.

We cycled through the beautiful town of Index and followed the river through the gorgeous Sky Valley until we came to the beautiful town of Skykomish. With incredible generosity, school superintendent Thomas Jay invited us all to his daughter’s 6th birthday party, held at a park a mile from the village. This park is in a valley along the Skykomish River. Thomas, his wife Lena and their older daughter Rebekah teamed up with Jennifer and David Childs, Ashley Church, and Lynne Kelly to make us a delicious picnic dinner.

We are staying in the gym at the school in Skykomish. It’s a gorgeous old building with 60 students making up grades preschool through 12. We heard of the challenges of living in this rugged land, including a school that was flattened by an avalanche (fortunately, on a weekend) and a highway that was washed away soon after Jennifer and David drove across it. 

Each time a community takes us in and feeds us, it allows us to devote more money to our mission of giving people a hand up to a simple, decent home.  We’ll always be grateful to the kind people who open their hearts to us along our journey.                   

Dan and ShellyContinue reading

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.

Continue reading

5 Tips to Keep In Shape Through the Winter Months

Riding with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is a great way to get in shape, but we don’t currently offer rides in the winter. Here are some tips I have learned to keep in shape from the summer, and make spring training a whole lot easier:

  1. Set a goal. The only way to motivate yourself during the winter season is to have a reason! Sign up for an early spring event that will encourage you to get out and train when you need that extra push. While we are on the subject, the Natchez Trace ride with FCBA is April 5th – 14th!
  2. Keep riding outside! I know it is easy for me to say, being based in south Georgia, but this is the easiest way not to lose your edge. The winter can be a great time for developing your base fitness with shorter more consistent riding. Commuting to work is a perfect example of this type of riding, just be sure to get the gear you need to keep your extremities. In the winter, I use my ski helmet that has insulation and ear coverings built in. A solid wind-proof shell and some windproof gloves will go a long way towards keeping your body temperature healthy during these rides.
  3. Up your indoor game. There are a great many trainers and spin bikes on the market now. Find one with the features and price that meet your needs, and go for it. You can plant the trainer in front of your favorite Tour de France segment re-runs, or catch up on your favorite show. Whatever you do to stay mentally occupied, make sure to interval intensity to simulate typical road riding. This is also a great opportunity to increase your cadence. A cadence of 80 – 100 rpm help increase blood flow and endurance capacity. Practice intervals of 90, 100 rpm to stretch out your cadence comfort zone. Also focus on engaging your core and perfecting a complete pedal stroke!
  4. Team up with other cyclists. If you have a gym membership then you not only have access to indoor equipment, but you have access to teammates. Consider joining a spin class, the community that builds in the spin room can keep you accountable and excited to keep pedaling. Even if you do belong to a gym, you can build community by setting your early spring goal with a fellow cyclist. Having a teammate training beside you, or even far away, is a huge motivation!
  5. Cross-train. Variety is so important during the long winter months. If you are not keeping new activities on the schedule, you will have a harder time sticking to it. Sprinkle in some basic weight training, or winter team sports like basketball or volleyball to keep moving fresh. Focus on increasing core strength, and controlling your breathing throughout all of your exercises. Both are very important, but less discussed aspects of being a strong cycling. Cross-training can also help strengthen and stabilize your joints in ways that cycling may not. Having that strong base will also help you not develop injury when the spring starts and you jump back on your bike.

Remember that steady activity is the goal through the off-season, and that KT Tape can help with support and recovery during all your winter activities! Follow the Bike Adventure’s Instagram account for periodic KT Tape giveaways throughout the off-season.

I look forward to riding with you in 2019!