2017 PA-to-DC Bike Trip… riders pedal off on May 19!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Jump to the  2017 schedule (with pictures!)

It’s hard to believe that the PA-to-DC trip is in its 6th year!  The trip kicked off with a blessing and sendoff on the afternoon of Friday, May 19, and conclude with Hill Visits on Wednesday, May 24.  You can follow the whole thing on our blog, and by using #paiplonbikes on social media.

Over their 5-day trip cyclists stay with supporters and congregations, and when they arrive in Washington, some riders will join PA IPL staff on visits to the Hill to bring a message from our faith communities to elected officials. Both riders and cheerers-on are always welcome for the blessing and sendoff!  Contact us   See all the stops on the 2017 schedulethen scroll down below the schedule to find links to the route, to a TV spot, and more.

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Get to know the riders from their profiles on our blog.  Once they leave on May 19, follow bike posts on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter with #paiplonbikes.

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2017 SILVER sponsor SUNDIRECTED
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2017 BRONZE sponsors: KBB-BETH RICHARDS GROUP and FREEZE/THAW CYCLES
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2017 ride schedule
Jon Brockopp 2016 send-off(photos from previous years)

Friday May 19, 3:45 p.m. Foxdale Village Retirement Community, State College
 Blessing and send-off  Join us at PA IPL supporter Foxdale Village Retirement Community, at 500 E. Marylyn Ave. There will be singing, a blessing of the riders, and maybe even cupcakes. Community Riders are welcome to join in for the first mile, or all 21 miles to:

6:30 p.m. Plowshare Produce in McAlevy’s Fort.
IMG_88181Pot luck dinner (please RSVP by emailing Cricket)
Our favorite farmers, Bethany and Micah Spicher-Schonberg, welcome one and all to a pot luck dinner – hopefully outside on the lawn. Plowshare Produce is one of several CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in the State College Area. Buying locally sourced food can be a great way to cut down on carbon emissions, and Micah and Bethany run an exemplary outfit. Cyclists will stay nearby overnight, leaving the next morning for:

Saturday, May 20, Huntingdon

11055724_628156917829_7683247150366917782_n We have many friends in Huntingdon, and this year they’re organizing an event at Riverside Park (Pennsylvania Ave.) from 1 to 2 p.m. “Climate Change: Why Your Voice Matters.” With action opportunities for people of all ages. Co-sponsored by Citizen’s Climate Lobby and the Sustainability Circle of PA IPL member congregation Stone Church of the Brethren. We’ll be heading out of town by 3 p.m. for:

6 p.m. Dinner at the United Methodist Church of Orbisonia

IMG_88261This will be the sixth year that the Orbisonia UMC has hosted the cyclists overnight at their Outreach Center, an all-around community center that is the heart of this small town. Pastor Ed Seeley and his wife Lisa have embraced our traveling band with warmth and hospitality, including dinner and breakfast for our entire crew. We will attend services on Sunday morning, heading south
IMG_6828[1](with a favorite picnic lunch stop in Cowan’s Gap State Park) to:

Sunday, May 21 Hagerstown, MD
6 p.m. Dinner at Christ’s Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
Once again, we are hosted by Pastor Gregg Meserole and his congregation, who have expanded their church in downtown Hagerstown, taking over an abandoned shoe factory. We stay in the homeless shelter portion –  normally closed by April – and are grateful for the cots and hot showers.
01-cruccNEW THIS YEAR: dinner is being sponsored by the Open Table ministry; we’ll have a chance to hear about this important work and the possibility of bringing it to State College. After breakfast at the shelter, we head along the C&O canal to:

IMG_6900[1]Monday, May 22, 6 p.m. Dinner in Poolesville, MD
Our bike trip wouldn’t be the same without the enthusiastic support of Joyce Breiner and her husband Dave Yaney, members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg. This year, we will be staying at the Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Retreat Center, joining community members for dinner there. Poolesville powers its water treatment plant and municipal buildings with a large solar array that we hope to tour again this year.

Tuesday, May 23 – ride into Washington, DC
Adat Shalom Torah scroll bike 2016The last day of the trip is always exciting as we complete our journey to the nation’s capital. In 2016, the riders toured  Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation and we hope to stop there again.   We end our trip at:

4 p.m. Steinbruck Center at Luther Place
This is another addition for this year – we will all be staying together in DC at this hostel attached to Luther Place Memorial Church. The Steinbruck center also houses Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and we have a pizza dinner planned to hear about the work of these volunteers who devote a year of their life to community service. In the morning, we’ll connect with Cricket and Alison, all scrubbed up and dressed for business on


00lobbyistsWednesday, May 24, bright and early to Capitol Hill
to visit with our congressional representatives.  Please pray for receptive ears that day, and for creative, courageous leadership in the days and weeks to follow.  Lend a hand!  Mark your calendar to call your Senators and Representatives  to let them know that you support the PA IPL bicycle riders who are coming to speak to their staffers on May 24, and you’re looking forward to hearing about the conversations.  These calls make an ENORMOUS difference to the level of engagement of the Capitol Hill staff.  IMG_89711

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How could you participate?

Contact us  to learn more or get involved.  Want to create a more accessible local ride to learn about climate solutions (weekends possible) or head to the district office of one of your state or federal legislators (weekdays)? Let’s talk!

  • donate in honor of the pedal-ers — help them reach their $12,000 fundraising goal!
  • be an engaged host for a meal, a meeting, a talk, a sing-a-long, or an overnight en route.
  • be a media maven: reach out to your local media with a story or a press release.  En route or not, connect YOUR local events to the bike to DC, or write a Letter to the Editor in support of the cyclists’ visit to your congressman on May 24.
  • visit, thank, or BECOME a trip sponsor.
  • 0trailride along for a portion of the route. (Check out Google Maps Bike Directions to plan your in-and-out.)
  • come to the blessing and sendoff in State College
  • call the DC offices of your Congressman and Senator Toomey (202.224.4254) and Senator Casey (202.224.6324) to let them know that you support the PA IPL bicycle riders who are coming to speak to their staff on May 24, and you’re looking forward to hearing about the conversation.  These calls make an ENORMOUS difference to the level of engagement of the Capitol Hill staff.  Feel free to use the answering machines after hours if that works better for you.
  • collect postcards and messages of support in your congregation, and get them to us at 243 S.Allen St. #337 State College, PA 16801 BEFORE MAY 19 to deliver during the meetings.
  •  JOIN IN SPIRIT by planning a get-out-the-bike event at your congregation or community: (and be sure to share it with us, so we can share it at paipl.org — with announcements before and/or stories after with photos and stories)  event possibilities include: 
    • a blessing of the bicycles
    • a how-to workshop on spring cleaning and basic bike maintenance and repair
    • installation or dedication of a bike rack (You have a bike rack already?  Does it need a coat of paint, a shelter, or more slots? How about other climate-stewardship options: a bus bench or shelter, or marked priority parking spots for every-seat-taken carpool folks?)
    • blessinga community ride before, during, or after the PA-to-DC ride.  There are so many possibilities for this: congregation to congregation ride, a sustainable features “scavenger hunt” or solar tour, a multi-point, multi-congregation 5K pleasure ride to Creation care picnic, a “they speak for me” visit to lawmakers’ district offices—reach out to brainstorm with us and connect with existing resources.
    • May is National Bike Month  Bike to Work day is on our departure date this year:May 19, 2017.  Schedule Bike to Worship day! Planning guides available here.

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Want to hear more about these trips?  We will work to get riders to your congregation (like this Sunday service arranged by cyclists Dorothy Blair) or gathering of interested people.   Get a glimpse of the riders from the 2013 trip on this nationally-televised PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly segment from April 19, 2013. Most of the folks climbing the stairs and walking through the halls at the beginning are PA IPL cyclists.  Some of them are introduced later in the segment — on their bikes.  [NOTE: the video works best on the Chrome browser]

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Past Rides

Browse past years’ posts 20162015, 2014, 2013, and if you go back to our old blog click…the first trip in 2012training ride group

Check out the route —including elevation changes—on our old blog.  Maps from the 2013 ride.  [CAUTION: not for navigation — there are a few changes year to year]

allison7In 2013 then-12-year-old Hannah Ballenger joined the ride on a tandem with her father, Jesse. Read Hannah’s letter here and her blog here. Hannah collected well over 100 prayers, drawings and well-wishes from children all over central PA. Joining them were Jon Brockopp, Andy Hayes, Dave Hunter and Ray Najjar.

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