My name is Lauryn Kostopoulos and I am one of the youngest riders here. My friend Michael Lamorgese and I are both 19 years old and decided to embark on the journey of our lifetime this summer. We met at school, Sacred Heart University, and were texting over our Christmas break and jokingly said we wanted to bike across the country. We went searching on the internet to try to find a good organization to go with and we came across the Fuller Center For Housing Bicycle Adventure. We did some reading into it and automatically fell in love with it; right then and there we knew this was the one and we stopped looking for any others.

by Nicole Bies

I feel that it is necessary to introduce myself, even though it has only a year since I’ve been a part of this FCBA blogosphere. I’m Nicole. I’m riding the next 3 segments. I arrived late last night and was assigned to write the blog today. Surprise!

by Tom Weber

While chatting with a Waukegan FCBA board member Friday evening, I was asked why I keep riding year after year. Not a simple thing to answer. I’ll try to explain: I am an introvert, which may raise some eyebrows from my FCBA family, but it’s true. Because I am an introvert, I have trouble meeting people and making friends. The FCBA adventure forces me to meet new people and forces me to relate to them. And, this is only a little painful for me, for the people who ride with me very soon become my heroes -- I can sit back and watch the relationships grow between the riders, and eventually they all seek me out to some degree, and soon we start bonding in a very beautiful way. Almost without exception, they are all younger than I am. They inspire me more and more as the weeks progress, as they are challenged both physically and mentally, while they seek out who they are, and who their God is. They witness their faith, which allows me to grow in my faith. I can encourage them as they struggle up the hills, against the wind, against the cold, against the hot, against the road conditions, against the loneliness when they end up by themselves mile after mile, and when I see the looks on their faces as they reach summit after summit of struggle on this adventure, my heart sings for them.

By Lindsay Ebbeskotte

This ride was supposed to be an adventure, something I could cross off my list of things I wanted to do. However, I am going to walk away from this journey with many great friends, lifetime memories, and knowing that I am able to make a difference. I cannot believe the amount of biking experience that the people in this group have. I was able to learn more about my bike in the first 20 miles than I knew in the year that I owned it. My father will be proud that I can finally pump up my own bike tires.

by C. J. Stevens-Pino

Today was a rainy day, but enjoyable. It was a gentle rain that came and went. The ride was thru Amish farm land, and peace was a constant companion.

Traffic was mostly horse-drawn carriages like the one in this photo (taken in the rain).

The horse was spooked by something so the driver was out calming her. Farms range from small and compact meadows and fields to enormous, rolling expanses of corn, soy, hay, and cows. Fellow riders provided companionship and encouragement, support teams at rest stops energized us as much with their warm smiles and pats on the back as the snacks and drinks refill.