Fifteen states and 3,500 miles later, Libby Bauman ’18 completed her first cross-country bike ride with the Fuller Center for Housing while simultaneously raising $4,000 for the organization.
The Fuller Center for Housing is a nonprofit organization that partners with individuals as well as community groups to build and recover homes for those in need of adequate housing.
Bauman became involved with the Fuller Center during her time at Wittenberg. In March of 2016, she participated in the Wittenberg Fuller Center Immersion Trip to Albany, Georgia where she spent her spring break with fellow students building homes and meeting members of the community.
The immersion trip had such an impact on Bauman that shortly after graduating from Wittenberg, she decided to partake in the Fuller Center Bike Adventure: a bicycle ride that begins in Seattle, Washington, and ends in Washington, D.C. The Fuller Center has organized this Adventure for 12 years with a goal of raising money for the organization, along with building a strong community with one another on the trip. Riders average 70 miles per day and have roughly seven build days on their trip dedicated to building and repairing homes.
Bauman endured extensive training to prepare for the cross-country ride.
“I had to learn how to ride a road bike, which is different than the traditional upright bike that most of us learn to ride as kids,” she said. “I also had to learn to ride with shoes that clip into the bike’s pedals, which is a more efficient way to cycle. I took a few spills! The recommended training was 500 miles, and I’m not sure that I reached exactly that mileage before the trip, but I did try. It was hard to fit in long distance rides while in graduate school.”
While on the trip, Bauman was able to work on several Fuller Center housing projects, including one in Springfield, Ohio. At the build sites, she added roofing to houses, painted decks, and was even able to finish a house and watch the new owners receive the key.
The most difficult times on the trip became her most rewarding. On the Fourth of July, she rode 102 miles up the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. “I would look to the side as I struggled up the pass and see the most incredible view of the mountains in faded shades of blue. When I finally made it to the top, I felt on top of the world.”
Bauman highly recommends that others consider participating in the Fuller Center Bike Adventure as she was able to face many of her fears and experience the world in a different and indescribable way.
She also recommends that Wittenberg students get involved with the Fuller Center.
“The Fuller Center is a great group of people. Everyone I met was open-minded, adventurous, and committed to helping others. I would encourage Wittenberg students to get involved in any way they can, whether it be a bike adventure, or a build day.”
She added that she loved how the Fuller Center has built a community where everyone is encouraged to come together and support one another.
If interested in getting more involved in a community, building homes for those in need, or taking a bike ride across the country, visit www.fullercenter.org for more information.
-By Mallory Moss ‘20, Office of University Communications