The distance: 3600 miles. The time span: nine weeks. The mode of transportation: a bicycle.
Look out United States, because Anne Troyer will be bicycling through your mountains, through your heartland, from coast to coast. Troyer, a junior, along with 20 other full-time riders, will be bicycling from Seattle to Washington, D.C. as part of the Fuller Center’s Bike Adventure fundraiser.
“The Fuller Center is like Habitat for Humanity and builds homes on a mission to eliminate poverty housing,” said Troyer. Every year the center organizes a bike trip, and this year’s trip is the longest. The center will support the riders throughout the trip by arranging housing in churches and a support trailer for their belongings in exchange for funding and labor.
The group will travel about 70 miles per day on a route that takes them through Washington State to Yellowstone, Denver, Kansas, Ohio and finally to Washington, D.C. The route is 1,000 miles longer than the Tour de France. Participants are asked to donate a dollar for every mile they ride and along the way the group will stop one day a week to work at Fuller Center build sites.
When asked about how she learned about the bike ride, Troyer said it was a friend who suggested the trip and it didn’t take much to convince her to come along.
“It’s on my random list of life goals to bike across the country,” said Troyer. Bike Adventure was the perfect opportunity to complete a dream and donate some time and money to a good cause.
Troyer got her bike a few weeks ago and took it out for its first trip on Saturday. But she isn’t too worried about training; instead she’s focusing on becoming comfortable on her bike.
“People say that you don’t need to train for trips like this,” said Troyer, “that no matter how hard you train, the first week is really hard. I think the hardest part will be getting used to the seat and my arms will be painful.”
Troyer is already looking forward for the chance to see the landscape from a biker’s perspective. “I’m excited about seeing more things and experiencing the country, like Yellowstone and the Rockies,” she said.
But even as she is excited to see the Rockies, she’s also daunted by them. “I’m most scared of the Rockies,” said Troyer. “Most people say the Plains are the worst, but I’m terrified of going through all the canyons on small roads with curves and fast cars. I’ll be glad to be out of them.” The end of the Rockies will also be a relief because it is the four-week point, or the halfway mark for the trip.
Thus far, Troyer has raised $200 which at a dollar per mile gets her just short of the Washington State border. But with a start date of June 11, Troyer still has two months to raise money and prepare for the trip. If you’re interested in joining her or donating for her trip, you can find more information at http://www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure.
Once the trip starts you can check in on what the group is up to from the blog on the website. As you’re relaxing by the pool or earning money at a job, keep tabs on Troyer’s cross-country adventure of cycling and service.