Have you done something in your life that has literally brought chills to your spine? Not in a million years would I have thunk about riding across America on a bicycle. Really? Then, I found the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure online. I was mesmerized! Not only will we ride our bikes cross-country for at least 9-weeks, but build homes for strangers along the way? There are moments in life that open your eyes, that truly affect your body, mind, AND soul. This was a defining moment for me.
…and the Journey begins.
When I started this cycling journey across America, I was not your typical hardcore, long-distance, mountain-climbing, all-together athlete ready to ride 3,600 miles! 😳😳
SIDE NOTE: To this day, I still strive to be that disciplined even after 6 years. 🤪🤪
But, this LA girl with a happy-go-lucky, naivete attitude signed up. 😱💪🏼
I had NO CLUE how this will turn out. 😳😱
My longest riding mileage at the time was a Century (100 miles).
I was also 55lbs overweight. 😩😩
(I still battle over-eating BTW)
What did I get myself into? 😨😨😨
I’ve NEVER been away from my family for that long.
NEVER fully ventured outside the LA bubble.
I’m NEW to long-distance riding.
Besides, I just bought my first road bike a few months before the trip. 😱😱
So many NEWS and NEVERS.
NOT a good combo! 😬😬
With all my heart I knew it was time.
I felt lost, I felt empty, I felt purposeless about life.
I was working 60-hour weeks and feeling depleted,
On the edge of depression,
my cup was empty,
I was at a tipping point. 😭😭😭
Flashback 2014 on the shores of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where we dipped our back tires to start the journey West for 3,600 miles in 9-weeks.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
There’s no sugar-coating this.
It was H-A-R-D! ☠️☠️
We rode through RAIN the first 3 weeks! 😭
You hear thunder, you get off your bike, take cover, wait, then get back on the bike! 😱😱
We would end the day, muddied and soaking wet!
Being overweight and undertrained, got me riding out there the longest since I’m the slowest rider in the group.
My first impression? This S-U-C-K-S! 😂😂
I would recall riding over an Appalachian mountain pass, IN THE RAIN, with cars and big rigs stopping and waving me down to see if I was ok.
I must’ve looked so MISERABLE! 🤣🤣🤣
Seriously, it was so tempting to get a lift,
So easy to jump in our SAG vehicle,
But for some reason, I didn’t.
I’m glad I didn’t.
Eventually, I made it to the top of that mountain pass, saw the most refreshing glimpse of the sun overlooking the sea of clouds, 🌤🌞🌤
and I thought to myself,
“I would’ve missed this if I had quit.”
Highway 30, Appalachians Mountains
The Rockies were a different beast, however.
Instead of rain, we had the blistering heat and high elevation. 😱⛰😱
The endless elevation gain was excruciating, to say the least, but the exhilarating down hills was worth the pain.
This was turning out to be addictive as I got stronger and felt more confident. 🤩🚵🏼♀️💪🏼
Coeur d’Alenes, Idaho
Mt. Rainier, Washington
As We Rest Our Bikes
Thank God for off-days…off the seat at least.
We had scheduled a few off-days throughout the trip in various communities where Fuller Center Chapters are located.
We would spend the day with local volunteers to pick up a paintbrush and paint entire homes,
Pick up a broom to sweep the streets,
Pick up a trash bag and fill it to the brim with litter and debris.
We were strangers riding through a community, who became life-long friends that left behind rehabilitated homes,
and cleaner neighborhoods, especially for disabled vets, families in need, and the elderly.
I thought, wow. 🤩🤩🤩
This is amazing!
It feels so good to give back, right?
Even though I would push my body to the brink of exhaustion at times, I was beginning to feel something different about myself.
My heart was beginning to heal,
my mind was beginning to have clarity,
and my body was getting stronger. 💪🏼🤯
I was experiencing something I never thought in a million years I would experience.
SIMPLE LIVING within a community of a vastly diverse group of people representing all age groups,
and helping each other,
for 9 whole weeks!
It wasn’t perfect by all means.
It was a group of people who love to ride and are passionate about serving others.
This LA-girl’s mind was blown! 🤯🤯
I am HOOKED!
I came home with a whole new perspective, a clear vision, and a vigor for positive change in my life.
Year-after-year, I kept coming back, eventually riding across all 48 states.
Layer after layer of hurt, mental, and spiritual havoc would be replaced with healing, beauty, and new understanding. ❤️
However, I wasn’t the only one who experienced this.
The bike adventure has been serving riders and communities across America for 12 years now.
Most of the riders who participated, keep coming back year-after-year? Why?
Because this bike adventure is not only about building homes.
They are about building lives through the experience of biking across America and the friendships that have been built for life.
NOW, I’m on the verge of cycling in other countries where Fuller Center for Housing partakes in.
Can’t wait to continue supporting this amazing charity.
Join me along this adventure! 🚵🏼♀️🚵🏼♀️🚵🏻♂️🚵🏻♂️
I hope this has inspired you to create your own epic and memorable moments on a bicycle.
Go out there and BECOME the difference!
Until I see you on the road…
Peace out for now. 🤩✌🏼
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, all adventure rides have been postponed to 2021.
Instead, take part in the GLOBAL HOME CHALLENGE with me through your generous donation OR your commitment to fundraising the amount of cycling miles you complete during May 29th – August 16, 2020.
Let’s help them continue their mission of helping families worldwide have a decent home in which to live — right when they need it most.
GHC GOAL: 50,000 land-mile journey together around the globe. 🤩💪🏼🚵🏻♂️
For more information, visit www.fullercenterbikeadventure.org
It’s FREE to join the Cycle Travel Club Facebook Group!
CTC aims to be the BEST RESOURCE for an informative travel community that can cycle together thru cycling group holidays, bike touring, and/or bike packing.
Here are books I found helpful about Fuller Center, traveling America, and bike training below. CLICK on the pictures below to direct you to the products on Amazon. Enjoy!
Any questions about cycling with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure? How about cycling across America? Drop me a message in the comments below!
DISCLAIMER: There’s a very good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no extra cost to you.