by Dave Perry

The ride to Gillette, WY was very pleasant as far as the temperature. The light rain and road construction made me focus on riding safely, but it really was't that bad. I had plenty of time to reflect upon the ride since I joined in Sioux Falls, SD. It is hard to believe that my two weeks will be up soon. The riding has been challenging and fun, and I'm glad I signed up.
Having never done a trip like this before, I was not sure what to expect. I was very encouraged by everyone's friendliness and quickly felt a part of the group. Also, everyone seems willing to help out, and the logistical part of the operation runs very well.

What I have liked the best is the generosity and kindness of our hosts. They have been genuinely interested in us and the work we are doing for the Fuller Center. Last night and also at breakfast, the members of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Sundance, WY really went all out. It was wonderful to sleep in a real bed, and their "pot luck" food was delicious. These are clearly people that are really living their faith, and I found that very encouraging. 

Now I'm in Gillette, WY; showered, in clean clothes and resting. Thank you Lord for these simple comforts.

Hi, my name is Steven Dobbs, I live in Houston, and I am in for the full nine week experience. There is a fair amount of time to think, both when you are on the bike and in the afternoon free time, and here are some random thoughts I have had so far five weeks into the trip:
  • This ride is not a life-changing event for me, but it is life-enriching.
by Lindsey Olsen

South Dakota, a state that I had never been to before this week and to be honest, knew very little about. This week has been quite the adventure from cornfields and flat lands that we passed on my first day riding with the team on Monday, to the Black Hills that we reached yesterday. I’ve had some unique experiences so far and have already made some great friends and reunited with old ones.

Monday was an easy, flat, and pretty uneventful ride to Parkston. It was a nice “welcome back” ride and kind of a teaser for the following day. Tuesday, on the other hand, was definitely one of the toughest, windiest, and most emotionally draining rides that I have ever had. The first 40 miles we battled headwinds as high as 22 mph and rolling hills. After we crossed the Missouri River at mile 60, we climbed for what seemed like forever up a hill. I must have averaged around 6 mph on that hill, and I remember cussing at it and wanting to give up. The next couple days seem like a blur. We had a 103 mile day that flew by compared to the 96 mile Tuesday, and a 50 mile day with headwinds stronger than Tuesday’s, but luckily only lasted for about 10 miles.
by Scottie Duclos

The last few days have been indescribable. Any words I attempt to put on a page won’t scratch the surface of what this area of South Dakota has been like. Yesterday, I witnessed a band of wild horses galloping right next to the road and then veering up and over the hillside. If you have ever seen Dances With Wolves, imagine that. Acres of grassland and prairie flowers flowing like purple waves across dry river beds that chisel their way through layers of salmon and white colored sandstone jutting out of the ground in every formation imaginable. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Badlands, and Buffalo Gap were the most breathtaking and silently inspiring places to just hear nothing but your breath, your bike chain whirling, and the occasional squeak of my pedal. It’s amazing how taking away all the cares and all the sounds of life can just leave you speechless before the endless glory of God manifested all around you.

By David Snell,
Fuller Center President

Sheilla and I are in Rapid City, South Dakota.  We're on a cross-country covenant partner tour and planned it to meet up with the Bicycle Adventurers on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  I do believe that the adventure in the Adventure has taken on new meaning this year!  I spent a number of years building houses on Pine Ridge, so I wanted to be there for the riders.  It is a fascinating place to spend some time.  They had a work day there and were able to help a couple of families with much-needed repairs to their homes.

Life is hard in Indian Country.  Poverty is a fact of life on most reservations — only the ones that have oil or have struck it rich with a casino are free of the scourge.  The history of the relationship between the U.S. government and the tribes has been troubled from the earliest days and the efforts to make things better have pretty much made things worse.  Those who argue that too much government support robs people of dignity and initiative need only look to the reservation to find support for their case.