A long rest before a long ride

Day 5: Wilbur to Spokane Valley

73.9 miles

1778 feet of climbing

Written by: Libby bauman

After two intense rides, today’s ride went by like a breeze. We left the cozy church in Wilbur early in the morning and cruised up and down hills along Route 2. A tailwind boosted our speed and our confidence at the beginning of the day.

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Yesterday’s challenge, today’s beast

Written By: Adam Thompson

Day 4: Sunnyslope to Wilbur

96 miles

5,368 feet of climbing

If yesterday was a great challenge, today was a beast!  It didn’t take long to warm up as the temperature reached the 90s with very few clouds. 

We had a nice ride through parts of Wenatchee and enjoyed views of the orchard-filled valley and Columbia river.  The route took us through a beautiful park with trails.  At one point a barricade was in place stating that the path was closed.  Rather than trying to find an alternate path, we promptly jumped the barricade and handed each other our bikes.  A groundsman was on the path and called law enforcement to report us.  As we came out on the other side of the forbidden path a park ranger had his siren lights on and threatened to fine us.   Elliott sweet talked us out of a fine by pulling the “charity organization” card.  Thanks Elliott!

Soon after we came to Pine Canyon which was a beautiful rocky, winding canyon with a small stream flowing with some greenery around it.  From the start of the canyon to Waterville we gained over 2000 feet in 10 miles.  Highway 2 turned into something that looked like a view out of the midwest, with rolling hills and wheat fields as far as you can see.  The road was nicely paved with swept shoulders, which made for a smooth ride.  After the 2nd rest stop we enjoyed a long downhill followed by a beautiful, sprawling gorge with scenery out of southern Utah.  The next hill took us up another steep hill and then more rolling farm land.  We passed an espresso shop after passing Banks Lake (which cooled the temp considerably).  A few of us indulged in a milkshake (Jeff got peach which reminded him of home). 

When we arrived at the Community Presbyterian church in Wilbur, we were graciously welcomed with a terrific meal and warm, loving community members.  They even gave us a big bag of quarters to take showers at the local campground.  The people here stayed to chat with us and hear stories about some of the projects that the Fuller Center is undertaking. 

Several people sagged at various points today but everyone gave an incredible effort on today’s challenging ride.Continue reading

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

Back Again

By Mike Wieser

This is my 7th ride with the FCBA. Last year was the first time that I was not an all-the-way rider. Since I did not join the group at the start of the ride, I had some reservations about joining a group of riders that had been working together as a team for a month, but whatever apprehensions I had quickly disappeared.

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First Impressions

By Mark Murphy

This is my third summer ride and at the end I will have logged more than 10,000 miles with the Fuller Center.  Yet I continue to be amazed at the genuine compassion, caring, and I dare say love exhibited by all those involved (riders, support, churches, and general population as a whole). Before this years trip one of my riding buddies asked me how I dealt with “jerks” that I met on the trip.  While I will admit I have encountered some “unique” personalities on FCBA events I must say that people who came across as “jerks” in week one became much more human as the miles went by.  Maybe it was their protective layers were shed and they felt safer sharing who they truly were?  Maybe it was MY protective layers diminished and I was able to see who they truly were? 

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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

The Generosity of Others

By Scott Baker

I was struggling to find an interesting topic for our blog tonight. Honestly, I am a little tired and a little sore from today’s ride with heat approaching and possibly exceeding 100 degrees. Well, my topic is the generosity of others. I have been riding with the Fuller Center for 3 years. In my first year, I was amazed at how churches and communities would open up their doors to help us on our mission. You know what, I was getting used to it and less appreciative as the rides go on. Taking it for granted. But today finally snapped me back into the wonder of people and their generosity.

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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.

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A Great, New Adventure

By Ana Pridgen

I’ve always been a huge fan of photography. Every since I played with my mom’s ginormous 90’s camera as a child, to the time I decided to change my major completely to photojournalism, photography has always led me to new things. I never knew what amazing things, though.

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