All Things Are Not What They Seem…especially in Nevada

By Laverne Nakai

Today started out with me thinking, I’ve done century rides before and its “all down hill with a little bump’ here and there, “I can do this!”. The long miles of declines were the best, on the other hand the long inclines felt never ending. From the top of one hill I could see the next hilltop and think, that’s not too bad, until I start my incline from the bottom of the hill, the hilltop starts to move away.

Continue reading

The People Who Make Things Possible

By Fred Smoak

I enjoy riding my bike – most of the time. Today was a day (104 miles through the desert with 3,600 feet of climbing) that I was VERY glad to see the end of the ride. Still, it was what I signed up to did, and the experience of being on the ride continues to be one of the high points of my year.

Continue reading

The Donner Party

By Peter Asmuth
In 1847, a group of ill-prepared pioneers were trapped by snowfall and had to spend the winter snowbound in the Sierras. Barely half of the 87 members survived the ordeal and some resorted to cannibalism. The FCBA foray to Yosemite had an eerie similarity, although no one was eaten.
The campers set out in two cars and a 12 passenger van, towing a large trailer, which carried their tents and sleeping bags. The nearest pass was closed due to snow, so the intrepid cyclists took a 4 hour detour through the Sonora Pass and made it to Yosemite by early afternoon. The Sonora Pass is extremely steep, with switchbacks, no guardrails and challenges in the best of conditions. They made it to the park by early afternoon and had a great time enjoying the natural beauty that Yosemite is famous for, along with the many, many other summer visitors.
The next day they all headed back to the church, where I stayed, in Bridgeport. The cars had no trouble, but the trailer-towing-van got a later start and headed up the pass after the weather took a turn for the worse. Soon they were seeing cars coming down the mountain covered in snow and concerned drivers waving at them to turn back, before it was too late.
They pulled into an outfitter’s ranch and waited out the storm while they ate dinner and discussed camping there for the night. By this time they had been on the road for 7 hours.

Eventually, the storm passed and they cleared the snow and opened the pass to traffic. Our Great Leader, Connor and another brave soul, Dan, took the trailer over the mountain and then returned to pick up the campers. I wasn’t there, so it would be unfair for me to describe the crossing, but the next time you’re on a steep road, take note of the grade and then try to imagine a 26% grade, no guardrail, on a dark, winding road. Some stuff.
Pic: I’ve been accused of exaggerating, before. 
They got to the church at 10:30 pm, said their prayers and went straight to bed, grateful for their delivery.

The next morning we packed up and left the Sierras in our rearview mirror and headed into the high desert of Nevada.

A Real Adventure

By Bill Black 

It is impossible to overstate the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park.  Seeing it for the first time is an experience like no other.  As a first time visitor, my expectations were high.  Growing up on the east coast, I was certainly aware of Yosemite.  I knew it was beautiful.  But I really didn’t know what was there.  In fact, I merged Yosemite and Yellowstone in my head and wasn’t sure which one had Old Faithful.  I think I learned more about Yellowstone recently from the movie Free Solo, about the rock climber who climbed El Capitan without a rope, than I did in my while live previously.

Continue reading

Slow and Steady

By Brandon Gotha

This past week has been a fun and challenging one. We have had a lot of up hill climbing. Earlier in the week I posted to my facebook friends when I realized there were a couple different ways to get up a hill, one being slow and steady, and two being a sprint-and-rest method. However, the hills out here are way too big for that option. The third option that came to mind would be wait at the bottom for a person in a car to pick you up. I came to this theory when we were looking at two straight days of climbing with relatively little down hill. It is called the parks and peaks ride not the parks and peaks down hill tour. The climbing can’t be avoided. I went for the slow and steady option.

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.

Continue reading

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? 

Continue 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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Friends and Family

By Brandon Gotha

I am a first time full trip rider with the Fuller Center. Go figure the first ride I sign up for is the longest and most elevation the group has ever organized. I was introduced to the group by my buddy Dan Zassick. Many of the Fuller Center followers might already know him because, he has attended 3 previous rides and this summers Parks and Peaks ride makes number 4 for him.

Continue reading