An Amazing Day On the Bike Adventure (and Safari)

By Ryan Iafigliola

With less than a 60 mile ride on flat terrain and surprisingly low heat for southern Georgia in June, many of us finished before noon today. Then the Pastor at our host Nashville United Methodist Church took us on a totally unexpected ‘safari’ at a local lodge that has ostriches, zebras, antelope, buffalo and a huge herd of deer that are skittish, but still had a few that ate out of the hands of many of our riders! What a special experience. And the church is feeding us dinner, and just doing everything to make this visit great. If you’re ever in Nashville, go visit Nashville UMC!

There’s always new surprises on the Bike Adventure, even here in year 14. This is the ride that felt like it would never happen. Many, many organizations counted out holding rides this summer, knowing that there was enormous uncertainty and that it would take an awful lot of work to pull it together so quickly once it was apparent it would be safe to do so.
But we’ve never been a group to sit back and wait calmly. There is too much work to do! Too many families who need homes. Every year, every day that families live in mud homes with atrocious roofs that rain on them every night is too many. It’s easy for us to say, “Let’s just be patient and wait until next time,” but for too many families living in desperate situations, there is no time to waste. At The Fuller Center we hear their stories every day. 
So we worked our tails off to make this ride happen. Riders were tested in their patience and flexibility as we shared the ups and downs of planning, even suggesting we may need to camp outside this time. Support people amazed us by jumping up at the last minute. Even now, we have a great need for more help driving the support vehicle, since our driver leaves after week 3. We don’t know yet what we’ll do, but it’s a journey of faith, and we never know whose heart God may stir to step up and help just where and when we need it. 
Onward we go. The community and camaraderie is back. The churches are opening their doors and kitchens. Pleasant and even amazing surprises keep finding us. We just finished #3 all-time in fundraising for the Bike Adventure in the month of May, raising over $60,000 — getting us ever closer to our $600,000 Covid-era goal (2020-2021). And we’re doing it all safely, thanks to vaccines, Covid tests, and through empowering riders to ride from home through our new Home Team
Oyee for today!

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