CYCLES OF POVERTY: Spurlin riding cross-country to help build houses
Published 6:52 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014
By Mandy Pascal
Taking a 3,600-mile bike ride across the United States is not something you hear of people doing everyday, but Troy native Leah Spurlin is doing just that.
Spurlin and 67 fellow riders began their journey June 5 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will conclude their ride Aug. 10 in Astoria, Oregon. On average, the riders will travel approximately 75 miles per day in order to complete the adventure in the allotted amount of time.
“At times it is overwhelming to think of how you prepare for a ride like this,” Spurlin said. “There are a lot of different aspects that make up the training such as physical, mental and spiritual.”
But this ride is about much more than seeing the sights on a bike. The group of riders is traveling with The Fuller Center for Housing, whose purpose is “riding bikes, building homes and changing lives.”
Throughout the trip, participants will stop for several days to build homes for the less fortunate. “I’m looking forward to the building days and being a small part of something so much bigger than myself,” Spurlin said. “I’m hoping that through our actions we can change lives and help others see Jesus.” The annual bike ride is the biggest fundraiser for the Fuller Center for Housing Ministry.
A trip like this is not something one decides to do overnight. For Spurlin, the inkling came 11 years ago when she had the opportunity to hike the Appalachian Trail. “I learned through the experience to enjoy the simple things in life, be one with nature, and just to live,” she said. After a friend referred her to the Fuller Center website, she knew immediately that she wanted to join their program. She said it was a great way to combine ministry and cycling.
In the past 6 years, The Bicycle Adventure has been able to raise more than $950,000 to help fight against poverty housing around the world. The program could raise $1 million this year.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause or contributing to Spurlin’s fundraising effort can visit www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure/meettheriders.