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.

by Monica Busby

It's 5:23am, I managed to hear my phone alarm go off...Yes! The last ride of the week and we are off for 2 days straight in Rapid City, SD! I managed to get up 10 minutes later after staring at my floor mate, Michael L., still soundly asleep as the hustle and bustle of shoe clips didn't budge him one bit.  6:00am rolls in...time for breakfast! I'm still amazed by my fellow riders who have already eaten, while I'm just picking up my bowl of cereal. I'm on TIME People!! They are so over-efficient!