A New Adventure Awaits
In the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to ride my bicycle across the United States along the TransAmerica Bike Trail. It was an exhilarating and life changing experience to complete the 4,427-mile trek. The scenic views, the people met, and the life lessons (also known as my take-a-ways) made for some great memories.
I also rode to bring attention to the Lord’s Gym Ministries of the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State Area and youth addiction through our Youth Resiliency Adventure. This year, the adventure for the Lord’s Gym Youth continues using cycling to help our youth develop greater resilience and grow stronger in the Lord. In 2022, a total of 21 young people will ride 326 miles across Ohio with the Lord’s Gym Ministries’ Resiliency Ride.
Resiliency is the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. It is an ability that we all need to acquire and nurture. Deep purpose and values are core qualities that fuel our resiliency. At the Lord’s Gym, we rely upon the Word of God to reveal purpose and instill values. Long daily bike rides over the course of one week, laden with responsibility and fun, provide the environment to exercise the seven personal attributes of becoming more resilient.
June 18 we will depart from downtown Cincinnati (1211 York St) to embark on one of Ohio’s greatest treasures – the Ohio2Erie Bike Trail. Over the course of the 6 days, we will cycle our way across Ohio (Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, and Cleveland) while camping each night. Accompanied by adult riders and crew, the workload will be shared and enjoyed by all. I have cycled the route two times, and I have accompanied our youth on bicycle rides from Cincinnati to Niagara Falls with City Gospel Mission two times.
One of my favorite experiences is to see the satisfaction on the faces of both youths and adults as they accomplish such a lofty goal by riding hundreds of miles. Does it make a difference? Yes! I remember the experience of one young man, who was living with my wife at the time we made the ride to Niagara Falls. After the ride, one morning he was getting ready for school and did not feel well. I asked him if he wanted to stay home from school. To my surprise, he said – “No”! He told me it was like riding to Niagara Falls. I was shocked. Explain what you mean I asked him. He reminded me it was like mid-week of the journey. You are tired and sore, but you aren’t going to get there unless you get back on the bike and keep pedaling. Exactly.
We will begin training in May and use the winter months to work on the bikes and finalize details. Our youth are already getting excited. I encourage you to get involved too to help me see these kids accomplish this goal by helping me to raise $18,600 dollars. That is $600 each or $1.84 per mile per rider. Such an investment in helping a child to recover from setbacks will pay dividends in the years to come. I invite you to monitor our progress on this website, or www.LordsGymMinistries.org, our weekly blog, or social media outlets.
Please feel free to contact me at SBowers@LordsGymMinistries.org, if you have any questions, would like to donate equipment or resources, volunteer, or be part of this (or other) trips.
P.S. To learn more about the work being done at Lord’s Gym Ministries, please visit our home page and check out our introductory video.