During college my friend Matt Styer introduced me to the joy of touring by bicycle. Matt inspired a group of friends to embark on slow-moving bike trips through quiet country roads where the focus was slowing down and connecting with the people we met, discovering places we had never been, and most importantly enjoying and savoring delicious local food (Matt always made sure his pack included a decent frying pan, chef’s knife, and cutting board). Matt loved life in every way, and the bicycle was his favorite mode of transportation. Leukemia took his life in 2011, but his spirit lives on in the lives of those of us for whom he inspired to take that first pedal stroke.
Chilling at Micah and Bethany’s wonderful home in McAlevy’s Fort – tired, well-fed, and listening to Micah and Antonio jamming on their guitars. Ever since Janet Swim showed us the way through Rothrock forest, this first leg of the trip has been a breeze!
This year’s trip to Washington started out from University Mennonite church, sent off by a wonderful gathering of church members and friends. Pastor Marv read us excerpts from Genesis and Psalms, explaining the responsibility that human beings have for caring for God’s creation. We also took some pictures of our shirts and were pleased to have sponsors Heather and Michael Shadow there at the send off!
Join the PA to DC cyclists for a blessing and sendoff with Pastor Marv Friesen of PA IPL member congregation University Mennonite Church. If you wish, bring your bike and join the group for 1 mile or 23.
Last year, I really enjoyed the bike trip. I got to spend 4 days outside on my bike instead of under florescent lighting inside in school. I got to look at beautiful landscapes, eat good food, and meet a bunch of great people. When we arrived, I met up with my mom (Cricket) who had already been in DC for the conference, and got to stay with some lovely family friends the night before Hill visits.
Hill visits, although not my favorite part of the trip, are interesting and important. Most of the aides are interesting to talk to, and polite, and appreciate the bike ride and my perspective as well. I think it’s important to do what’s right, and am both old enough and young Continue reading 2015 Rider Profile: Molly Hunter
Bob Hampton is the building superintendent at our church. He sees to just about everything. When our old heater was in danger of giving up the ghost, Bob started sleeping at the church on alternate nights. For the past twenty years, he’s been quietly changing the light bulbs to CFLs and putting in energy-efficient windows.
When we started our Green Team about five years ago, I thought it’d be smart to replace all our exit signs with LEDs that use 1/10 the electricity… but Bob had already done that. I’ve come to really admire Bob’s quiet competence over the years, and as we talked, I discovered that his ability to make things work extended to people as well.
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The bike trip is less than a week away and we are all-a-flurry with preparations. This thing gets bigger every year, but this year it has gotten huge! Not only do we have more cyclists than ever before, more people are participating at every level. We are also at 55% of our goal of raising $9,000 – thanks to everyone who has contributed already!
In the past several weeks, I have made five visits to congregations, telling them about the ride and about our commitment to respond to climate change. These were inspired by a service that Dorothy Blair arranged last summer at the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Centre County. At that service, several cyclists gave testimonials about the trip and why they rode, and I realized that this was an excellent way to spread the “gospel” of the bike trip.