2017 PA-to-DC Bike Trip… training has begun!

It’s hard to believe that the PA-to-DC trip is headed into its 6th year!  Rider profiles will start rolling out in mid-April — they’re already training their legs, hearts, and minds.  There is still time to jump in as an event host along the way, and both riders and cheerers-on are always welcome for the blessing and sendoff!  Contact us!


The State College-to-DC trip will kick off with a blessing and sendoff on the afternoon of Friday, May 19, and conclude with Hill Visits on Wednesday, May 24.  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, others will do a service project or program with area faith groups.

Get to know the riders now as their profiles roll out on our blog.  Once they leave on May 19, follow bike posts on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter with #paiplonbikes.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.43.47 PM

______________information below this line is about the 2016 trip!________

2016 SILVER sponsors:

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2016 BRONZE sponsors: Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 1.38.01 PM  web

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How could you participate?

Contact us  to learn more or get involved in 2017.  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 $10,000 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 (and THANK) the trip sponsors.
  • 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 during this weekend: (and be sure to share it with us, so we can share it at paip.org — before and/or after with photos and stories)  possibilities include: 
    • a blessing of the bicycles
    • a how-to workshop on spring cleaning and basic bike maintenance and repair
    • install or dedicate 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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2016 trip

Friday April 29, 4 p.m. State College Presbyterian Church, State College
Blessing and send-off
Join us at PA IPL member State College Presbyterian Church, on 132 W. Beaver Ave. Pastor Dean Lindsey will bless the riders.  There will be singing, 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.
Pot 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, April 30Huntingdon
We have many friends in Huntingdon, and this year they’re organizing an event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Original Italian Pizza restaurant, 628 Washington St. Folks interested in attending contact Laura at (814) 251-4363 to RSVP. We’ll be heading out of town about 3 p.m. for:

6 p.m. Dinner at Star Pizza followed by an overnight at the United Methodist Church of Orbisonia
This will be the fifth 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. We will attend services on Sunday morning, heading south to:

Sunday, May 1 Hagerstown, MD
6 p.m. Dinner at Christ’s Reformed 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. NEW THIS YEAR is the opportunity to have dinner with members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown. After breakfast at the shelter, we head along the C&O canal to:

Monday, May 2, 6 p.m. Dinner in Poolesville, MD
Our bike trip wouldn’t be the same without the enthusiastic support of Joyce and her husband Dave Yaney, members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg.  This year, Joyce is organizing a dinner at her home, after which we will go off to individuals host families’ homes. In the morning, we look forward to meeting with Pastor Bill Maisch and members of Memorial Methodist Church. Poolesville powers its water treatment plant and municipal buildings with a large solar array that we hope to tour again this year.

IMG_6924[1]Tuesday, May 3 – ride into DC
The last day of the trip is always exciting as we complete our journey to the nation’s capital. In 2014, the riders’ toured  Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation and we hope to stop there again.   We end our trip at:

4 p.m. Gallaudet University
Interfaith Power & Light is holding its national conference on the campus of Gallaudet University. In past years we’ve had a “heroes’ welcome” as we’ve pedaled into the conference hall. We’ll connect with Cricket and Alison, separate for the night, and then return, all scrubbed up and dressed for business on

00lobbyistsWednesday, May 4, 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 are with their PA IPL office visitors in spirit!



MANY THANKS to our 2016 silver sponsors Sun Directed, and Beth Richards, KBB Realtor, to our 2016 bronze sponsors the Bicycle Shop and West Arête, and the Rock Ethics Institute for their support! for their support! (Become a sponsor)

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Past Rides

Browse past years’ posts 2015, 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, most notably that the group now goes through Rothrock on forest roads instead of over the mountain at Pine Grove Mills at rush hour]

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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