3rd Annual FCBA Spring Ride

                                     2014 Spring Ride:
  The Natchez Trace Parkway
                 march 14 - 23


About the Ride | Join! | The Route | Ride Logistics | Meet the Riders | The Summer Ride
Riders from the 2nd Annual Spring Ride at the finish line in Jackson!

About the Ride

As promised, the Spring Ride is back again! The ride has been such a huge success that we've decided to make it an annual event, continuing the tradition of cycling and volunteering, of putting faith into action, and of working to break the cycle of poverty with each stroke of the pedal.

This week-long, 400-mile ride down the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway will allow riders the opportunity to enjoy what ESPN rated as one of America's ten best biking roads while contributing to the eradication of poverty housing. As an added bonus, riders can indulge in a brief hiatus from homework and busy lifestyles as they leisurely wind through the picturesque countryside of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

This event is not only about riding – we will also have a focus on raising funds and awareness for our Fuller Center projects all over the world. Similar to our summer ride, participants may choose a Fuller Center Covenant Partner to which they'd like to designate their funds. Also, to gain a first-hand perspective on The Fuller Center’s work, participants will also have the opportunity to work on a housing project in Mississippi.

Why we Ride

The idea for a Spring Ride arose in the summer of 2011 when the Bike Adventure's founder Ryan Iafigliola participated in a historic return visit to Millard Fuller's first international project - in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here was a nation plagued by a long history of almost unimaginably horrific tragedy, and yet where a hope was born that continues to inspire the world. Standing amidst that ironic tension, the idea for this new ride began to form. More than a bike ride, it would be an invitation to join us in providing hope and opportunities to the poor, tragedy-stricken, and war-torn places of the world. Read more about its inspiration here. 

We're excited this year to place a special emphasis on Africa!  The Fuller Center is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the start of Millard and Linda Fuller's experiment there that ultimately began this great movement.  On the ride, participants will learn more about the rich history of our affordable housing ministry and its roots in Africa, the work the Fuller Center is doing now on the continent, and the great need that still exists there.  Learn more about what we're doing to celebrate!

Join the Ride

There are a couple of ways you can join the adventure!

Register as a cyclist
To ride your bike with us down the Natchez Trace Parkway you'll first need to fill out the online registration form which will be available starting in October 2013. Regular registration will be open through February 21, 2014 (late registration is open now through March 7th).

The $225 registration fee paid during registration covers your lodging on the ride, most meals, a jersey and a water bottle. Also, to meet our team fundraising goal, we require that every rider raise at least $750 (unless you are a full-time student - then you'll get the student discount of $500!).

You can choose to designate your fundraising to one of the Fuller Center Covenant Partners across the U.S. and around the world, or send it to where it's most needed in our ministry.  You can also choose to designate it for the Fuller Center's 40 years in Africa celebration!  We encourage you to set your fundraising goals high - the more we can raise, the more lives we can impact!

Don't let the fundraising aspect of the ride intimidate you - we have great tools and advice to help you reach it, including helping you send out letters, creating a personal fundraising page and much more. Year after year riders discover they can raise more than they thought they could. Check out the fundraising section on our Tools for Riders page for some helpful hints.

Support Volunteers
Our volunteers make this ride happen.  If you're interested in lending a helping hand and being a part of the adventure, but you're not sure you want to sign up for 400 miles on a bike, we need your help!  The best part is, you still get to see this beautiful part of the country, be a part of an amazing team of pasionate people, and serve an important role in this great mission.  We're looking for volunteers to:
  • Drive our support vehicle
  • Take photos, produce videos, and help share our message on social media
  • Drive their own car along with the ride as additional support
We'd love to talk with you about these opportunities.  Contact us if you're interested at bike@fullercenter.org or 229-924-2900.

The Route

We’ll begin our adventure with an orientation on Saturday, including a short but scenic practice ride down the first miles of the Natchez Trace. Then on Sunday afternoon, we’ll embark upon our 400-mile ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway! We’ll roll into our final destination one week later at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Natchez Trace is a great route for both experienced and new cyclists...

  • The entire parkway is a designated bike route, very well marked with many signs.
  • The maximum speed limit for cars is 50 mph, commercial traffic is not allowed, and motorized traffic in general is very light.
  • There are NO stop lights or stop signs!
  • The scenery is amazing and you will not see any utility poles, billboards, and large buildings ... just beautiful forests, creeks, and vistas.

Overall, we’ll have six biking days, with an average of 65 miles a day. Take a look at the schedule below to learn more about the daily mileage.


Fri 3/14 Arrive in Nashville, TN between 5:00 and 9:00 pm  
Sat 3/15 Orientation and practice ride 11 mi
Sun 3/16 Attend church and then Bike to Williamsport, TN 37 mi
Mon 3/17 Bike to Collinwood, TN 55 mi
Tue 3/18 Bike to Tupelo, MS 100 mi
Wed 3/19 Bike to Houston, MS 40 mi
Thu 3/20 Build day in Greenwood, MS  
Fri 3/21 Bike to Kosciusko, MS 76 mi
Sat 3/22 Bike to Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS 62 mi
Sun 3/23 Riders Depart  



Ride Logistics

Preparing for your ride

Take a look at the Tools for Riders page and Frequently Asked Questions page for tips on how to prepare and to learn more about what daily life on the ride is like!

Print and complete the required waiver.

Check out the packing list.  Note that jerseys and tshirts will be provided at the start of the ride!

Tell your friends and family to follow the ride online!  Share these links to our Facebook and blog:
You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from the start and end of the ride, but here are a few ways we can help. If you'd like to take advantage of our help with transportation please share your plans with us no later than February 28th. 

Busses, Plains and Trains: We can pick you up at a local bus station, train station or airport in Nashville, TN, and drop you off at the local transportation hubs in Jackson, MS.
Driving: If you would like to drive to the start in Nashville, you may leave your car at our host church where we'll be starting the ride.  We will be driving back to Nashville at the end of the trip and can help you get back to your car - let Melissa know if will need a ride back to Nashville at the end of the trip.

Take a look at the Meet the Riders page to see where all the riders are from and check if there might be any opporutnities to carpool!  If you see one contact Melissa at bike@fullercenter.org for help making arrangements.

Arrival in Nashville:
You should plan to arrive between 5:00pm and 9:00pm on Friday March 14th. If you need to arrive outside of that time frame please contact Melissa at bike@fullercenter.org as soon as possible.
Meeting location:
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (meet in the Fellowship Hall)
525 Sneed Rd.
Nashville, TN
Basic Orientation Schedule:
Friday:       5:00pm - 9:00pm: Riders arrive!
dinner will be on your own--you can either plan to eat before you arrive, or we will help arrange transportation to local restaurants for those who need it! 
9:00pm: We will have an optional showing of the documentary film called Briars in the Cotton Patch
Saturday:   Full day of orientation activities including a short practice ride! 
Dinner Prepared by chore teams!
Sunday:     Attend church at Holy Trinity... then the adventure begins!
Shipping your bike:
If you need to ship your bike please let Melissa know (bike@fullercenter.org).  Have it shipped to our office at the following address, with arrival no later than March 13th!  For tips on packing and shipping check here: Ways to Ship Your Bike.
The Fuller Center for Housing
Attn: Bike Adventure
701 S Martin Luther King Blvd
Americus, GA 31719
Departure from Jackson:
We will leave Jackson early in the morning on Sunday March 23rd and plan to arrive back in Nashville by 4:00pm. 

If you need a ride back to Nashville let Melissa know.
If you are scheduling a flight, bus or train out of Jackson, we can drop you off at the airport or bus/train station in the morning on Sunday March 23rd before we depart.  Let Melissa know your transportation schedule.

Want more?
If you have any questions never hesitate to contact us at bike@fullercenter.org ... and don't forget to check out our Summer Adventure from Atlantic City, NJ to Astoria, OR!