Group pedals over 1,000 miles for homeowners in need - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Group pedals over 1,000 miles for homeowners in need

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Most people would find it hard to ride a bike down the street in this heat, let alone across the country.  But one group of bicyclists are doing just that and for a good cause.  Saturday they peddled their way into Americus making it the 21st city and 6th state on the 1,300 mile trip from Michigan to Florida.

Four weeks ago, 17 strangers dipped the tires of their bikes into the waters of Lake Michigan before peddling off on a 1,300 mile long journey.

The cyclists are taking part in the 2nd annual Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure and not only are they riding for a cause, but working along the way too.

"We worked on 6 projects already, in south bend Indiana in Louisville Kentucky, Winchester Springfield Kentucky, Atlanta Georgia, and Alabama, were gonna work here in Americus Georgia but the ride isn't done yet we are going to ride all the way to the coast just south of Tallahassee and were gonna build with the fuller center in Tallahassee Florida also," said group leader Ryan Iafigliola.

The Fuller center is aimed at eliminating poverty housing by building and repairing homes for those in need around the world.

"Riding 1300 miles in this weather is a pretty big feat as you can see they had a lot of fun, they had bruises sun burns but you can see how joyful they are because through this they are able to spread awareness for the need of affordable housing," said Linda Fuller, Co-founder of the Fuller Center and Habitat for Humanity.

Trip Leader and Bike Adventure creator Ryan Iafigliola says he carried a special token with him in honor of the center's founder who passed away this year. "I'm carrying Millard Fuller's handkerchief along the way, don't worry I haven't been blowing my nose in it its dirty from being on my bike all summer long, but we've been carrying this with us as a symbol in his honor. This year because he wasn't able to welcome the riders in town when they came."

"I just pulled a handkerchief, one of the cleanest I could find out of Millard's drawer I think sometimes along the way he's showed it and I said use it to wipe the sweat of your brow and to shoo the gnats away,"said Linda Fuller, Millard's wife.

Ryan says at the end of the trip he hopes to give every rider a piece of the handkerchief in remembrance of an unforgettable journey, a dedicated man and the relationships built along the way.

This year the group set a goal of raising 200,000 dollars for the Fuller Center.

So far they've raised 70,000.

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