Bike Blog 2015.5: team changes, American history, and so much more.

IMG_6863[1]It’s 9:30 p.m. and I’m only now getting to write this; it’s been a full, wonderful day. We started it in Hagerstown, waking to the smells of coffee, eggs, fried potatoes, and sausage from Christ’s Reformed Church member Tommy van Metre. After breakfast, we packed up, put our cots away and hit the road. Already at 9 a.m. it was 60 degrees – a perfect day for biking!

As Dorothy mentioned in the last blog post, our group changed a bit, adding Pam’s daughter Fiona and Fiona’s husband Tony, but also saying goodbye to Karl and Eric. As leader of the group, I had to get used to looking out for different people (and not worrying about where Eric was – the recumbent bike is always a little hard to see).IMG_6867[1]

We were also on the lookout for Peter Buckland, who was due to meet up with us along the way. You see, Pete wanted a bit more of a challenge, so he left State College at 5:30 in the morning to try and do 150 miles in one day. Sure enough, I got a text message just before we left: Pete was already in Orbisonia! What took us a day and a half took him 3.5 hours! Continue reading

Bike Blog 2015.4: Crossing to MD— and a swim!

Guest blogger: Dorothy Blair (profiles: 2015, 2014)DorothyBlair.Buddha

IMG_6819[1]Sunday Morning in Orbisonia: At 6:30AM Karl Raynar roused us out of our sleeping bags with the smell of coffee brewing. Pastor Ed Seeley and his wife Lisa and their cooking crew soon arrived with scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes, home-made maple syrup, yogurt, coffee cake, fruit and juice. I must have been stuck in REM sleep, because I just couldn’t wake up for a while, but their good humor, plenty of Pastor Ed jokes, and the smells of breakfast soon had me pushing the air out of my mattress and chowing down with the rest of the hungry bikers.

IMG_6820[1]The early morning service at Orbisonia Methodist consists of songs of praise and adoration – words projected on an overhead screen, while the congregation is led in song by the Huntington high school music teacher, his harmonizing companion and a small band of musicians. We were invited to join the congregation in taking communion, and afterwards were doubly blessed by Pastor Ed, who Continue reading

Bike Blog 2015.3 from McAlevy’s Fort to Orbisonia, with Huntingdon between

11196352_628156823019_2677313869240718948_nGuest blogger: Ben Wideman (profile)

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.

IMG_6778[1]Day two of the PA-IPL bike trip was a day full of life. From the early morning homemade breakfast and thinning the carrot patch at Plowshares Produce (our wonderful first night hosts), to the Continue reading

Bike Blog 2015.2: Sendoff and first welcome — plus sheep!

IMG_1385[1]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!

IMG_6752[1]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!

IMG_6762[1]Fortified with prayer, song and wishes for a successful and safe journey, we made our way to Continue reading

2015 Rider Profile: Molly Hunter

Meet Molly Hunter, twelfth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2015 PA-to-DC ride  will take place May 1-5.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.02.11 PMLast 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: Jon Brockopp

Meet Jon Brockopp, eleventh in our get-to-know-the-riders series (and organizer of the ride).  The 2015 PA-to-DC ride  will take place May 1-5.

Rt1ek.AuSt.421Bob 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.

Our Green Team got a bit of opposition at first – folks worried we were worshipping nature instead of God. Bob suggested Continue reading