Neil Folks, left, Ben Coughenour, Alex Goldsmith, Nicole Bies, and Nate Stroempl help paint and repair a property at 625 Breeze St. in Craig as a part of the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.

Photo by Noelle Leavitt Riley

Neil Folks, left, Ben Coughenour, Alex Goldsmith, Nicole Bies, and Nate Stroempl help paint and repair a property at 625 Breeze St. in Craig as a part of the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.

Fuller Center bikers cruise through Craig to help those in need

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The Fuller Center Bike Adventure crew rolled through Craig this week, with a group of 18 riders and two service technicians helping the elderly and disabled spiff up homes and yards throughout the city.

“What I really like about the Fuller Center is the ongoing relationships with the people we serve,” said Nate Stroempl, 25 from Cleveland, Ohio. “It’s not just throwing money at people.”

The group started their adventure in Savannah, Ga., on June 7, riding their bikes through Alabama, Louisiana and Oklahoma before reaching Craig on Sunday. They stayed through Tuesday.

They logged roughly 2,500 when they crossed into Colorado, and they did it for one reason — to help others along the way.

They stopped at various cities in each state and helped by painting and building homes, doing yard work and providing basic maintenance repairs for those who can no longer help themselves or are too impoverished to hire a helping hand.

There motto is: “We ride not just to get to our next stop, but to have the opportunity to change lives and have an impact on someone in need of a ‘hand up.’”

The riders provided help to 11 homes in Craig, doing various chores and repairs.

“For me, it’s an exciting way to spend my summer serving others and trying to be a little more selfless,” said Alex Goldsmith, of Traverse City, Mich. “It’s also a fun way of getting to see the country and help people along the way.”

The local Fuller Center specifically requested that the riders stop Craig to help community members.

“I think it’s a wonderful program,” said Neil Folks, from the Fuller Center in Craig. “It gets some of our work done here. It helps seniors and low-income people. It’s very impressive.

It’s the sixth summer the program has trekked across America, and each year the riders travel roughly 3,700 miles. This year they started in Savanah, Ga., and their adventure will end in Vancouver, B.C.

They travel roughly 100 miles per day with a service van following close behind to help with bicycle repairs and to give the riders water and snacks.

The bike adventure is the Fuller Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year and has generated roughly $750,000 in the last five years.

Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or at nriley@craigdailypress.com.

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