June 13, 2015 marked the completion of Syd Sparks and Stephen Roise’s ride from Bellingham Bay, WA to Lake Michigan, WI. They shared a trip summary, fundraising update, and answered some questions on the Musana Camps Facebook page which are being shared here in an edited form. (For the full recap, check out Musana Camps on Facebook – you don’t need an account to access this)
From Syd and Stephen:
We are incredibly grateful for how it all has gone and have put together a summary of the trip. These are some of the stats and common questions that we have been asked. Enjoy!
Dates: May 7th – June 13th – 31 riding days, 39 days total, we took Sundays off.
Start: Bellingham, WI
End: Racine, WI
Total distance pedaled: 2,377.4
Average miles per day: 76.6
Longest day: 118.4 miles from Oshkosh, WI to Williams Bay, WI
Shortest day: 26.7 miles from Laurel, MT to Billings, MT
Total elevation climbed: 68,118 ft
Average daily climb: 2,197 ft
Highest climb: 5,156 ft over 95.5 miles from Potomac, MT to Helena, MT
Lowest climb: 463 ft over 74.6 miles from Perham, MN to Brainerd, MN
Fundraising Goal: $166,000
Percentage of goal raised: 66.9% – $111,084.54 (as of June 19)
Though our ride is complete and we have almost raised enough funds to build 7 cabins and 1 shower house we still aim to build all 10 cabins and 2 shower houses that were in our original goal. So, we will keep saving and raising funds until we reach that goal which will enable us to reach our ultimate goal of leading people to encounters with Christ. If you would still like to donate please go to our donations page and choose “Cabins for Kids – Musana Camps” under program area.
What was the best part?
I really enjoyed the exercise, seeing all of the different landscapes as we rode through, and meeting so many people along the way. (Syd)
For me riding bike through some areas that I have driven many times in a car was a fun experience. The challenge of riding in many different conditions and on many different roads was a great experience. One of the best parts of the ride for me was meeting so many people along the way, and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our host families at the end of hard days of riding.
What was the hardest part?
Battling headwinds was easily the hardest. They can be demoralizing because you never know if or when they will end. I would rather climb a mountain than fight a headwind. (Syd)
Definitely agree with Syd, the winds in our face was the hardest part of the ride. The mountains were not as hard as a long day against the wind. (Stephen)
What kept you going?
Knowing that the miles that we were riding were immediately being translated into cabins constructed since the crews at Musana were already building the first two cabins as we rode. (Syd)
Knowing our goals, both the goal for the day and the ultimate goal of building cabins helped us to keep going and to take one day at a time. We were definitely energized by seeing pictures of the cabins that were already under construction, and news of new donations coming in renewed our sense of purpose and that we were riding for a much bigger purpose. (Stephen)
What kind of wildlife did you see?
Birds, turtles, antelope, deer, bobcat, camel, snakes, deer
1. Finishing all 2,377.4 miles!
2. Staying safe and healthy throughout the trip.
3. Feeling the waves of Lake Michigan on our feet!
4. Crossing the $100,000 mark in fundraising on our last day of the ride!
5. Experiencing wonderful hospitality from fellow Christians across the country.
As they say in Uganda, Jebale Co (well done) Syd and Stephen! Thank you to everyone who prayed, read the updates, hosted them in your homes and churches, and contributed to this trip and the cabins for kids at Musana Camps. Make sure to check out the Musana Camps Facebook for updates on the construction of the cabins.