Archive for the ‘Bike Ride Across America 2012’ Category

Update Post-Trip

It’s been a few months now since I completed my bicycle ride across America on behalf of the Lutheran Campus Mission Association.  Thanks to the generosity of many supporters over $15,000 was raised for campus ministry!

Riding my bicycle across the United States was tremendously rewarding – but even more rewarding is knowing the difference that all of you are making in the lives of college age young adults. It’s estimated that there are about 80 million young people aged 18-30 in the United States. According to recent figures, more than 21 million—a record number—are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has described the people in this group as less religious than previous generations: one in four—the highest proportion ever—is unaffiliated with any particular faith; and many of these left a religion in which they were brought up, often during their college years.


College and young adulthood are a crossroads—a time when a person’s faith can be challenged and allowed to weaken…  or be awakened, stretched and built up. And this is the Lutheran Campus Mission Association’s call to mission.  Please continue to help with your donation to LCMA in 2013!


The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – Pastor’s bike ride raises $10,000 for campus ministry.  By Melanie Ave


Posted: August 9, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

The Pierce family has returned to Columbia, MO!  We arrived sometime after 2:00 AM on August 8th.  While there are many people to thank for supporting our family and helping make my bicycle ride across America a success, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Jivetti family.


Billy, Lillian and Belinda have spent their summer living in our house and caring for it while we were away.  The house sitting arrangement worked well for both of our families, as the Jivettis needed a place to stay while Billy finished earning his Ph.D. in Rural Sociology and we needed caretakers while traveling over the summer.


I first got to know Billy through a mutual friend, Sharon Kinden, who has been working with Billy to build a hospital, the Fellbaum Clinic, in Billy’s home village in Kenya.  Our congregation, Campus Lutheran, is supportong this project in a variety of ways and I’d encourage you to take a moment to look at the Pathways Africa website and see for yourself the caring work that is taking place.


It is truly a God thing – how He brings people together and blesses us and others through those relationships!


Posted: August 7, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

My family stayed in Connecticut for a few days after finishing the bike ride. We especially enjoyed our time with my brother Kyle and his family… cousins playing in the swimming pool, driving antique vehicles, and eating Mystic Pizza!






On Saturday evening I had an opportunity to share about my bike ride and the ministry of Lutheran Campus Mission Association at Christ Lutheran Church in Niantic, CT.  The congregation has been including campus ministry inserts in their bulletins and collected a door offering.  Then, on Sunday morning, I returned to Storrs, CT and was welcomed again by Hope Lutheran Church. I was the guest preacher and enjoyed sharing God’s Word and talking with congregation members about campus ministry. Hope is a campus congregation next to the University of Connecticut. Many thanks to everyone who blessed our family’s visit!


Lutheran Campus Mission Association-StudentConnect

Day 61

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

3,671 miles!

This afternoon I completed my 3,671 mile bicycle journey across America and dipped my wheels in the waters of Long Island Sound. 

My brother Kyle joined me for the second half of today’s ride, navigating our route to the beach at Rocky Neck State Park, CT.

Kyle’s house was along our route, so we stopped and recruited some additional riders for the last 9 miles to the ocean. My daughter, Emma, and Kyle’s sons, Jon and Mark, rode with us for the final stretch.

While the bike ride is complete, I’ll still be providing some blog posts in the upcoming days with reflections about my trip.  It’s also not too late to make a donation to Lutheran Campus Mission Association.  Stay tuned for post-ride details…

Day 60

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012


We’ve now entered the last state on my bicycle ride across America. If all goes according to plan, sometime tomorrow I’ll make it to the coast near my brother Kyle’s house outside of East Lyme, CT.


Tonight we’re being hosted by Hope Lutheran Church in Storrs, CT. We were greeted this afternoon by one of Hope’s members, Sheri, who showed us around the church and directed us to some local attractions. Hope is located right near the University of Connecticut campus.


We all enjoyed our visit to the UConn Dairy Bar – especially Brennen!



We’ll be coming back to visit Hope this Sunday, as I’ll be their guest preacher. A big thank-you to Pastor Nollet for following my bike ride and extending this invitation!

Day 59

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

Hello Massachusetts!


I left Delmar this morning and cycled through Albany toward the Massachusetts state line.  My route was through the scenic Berkshire hills and I arrived in Westfield, MA by late afternoon.


Along the way I met Jim, another cross-country bicyclist who started in Washington earlier this summer.  Jim is headed to Maine, where he lives.


Westfield, MA is a college town – the home of Westfield State University.


St. John’s Lutheran Church is also in Westfield. Pastor Hazzard and the congregation have been following the progress of my ride and offering their support of Lutheran Campus Mission Association.

Day 58

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

title slideA big thank you to Pastor Mueller and everyone at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Delmar for welcoming our family and giving me the opportunity to share the story of Lutheran Campus Mission Association this morning!  The theme for worship was “Rooted in Love,” based on Ephesians 3:1-21. In his sermon, Pastor Mueller reminded us:  “When you are rooted in God’s love, you are taking in God’s nourishment so that your faith is healthy and strong and will endure the droughts and storms of life.”  Campus ministries help college students remain rooted in God’s love during a time when many young people experience some of life’s droughts and storms for the first time.

If you are college student – or know someone who is in college – Lutheran Campus Mission Association can help you connect with a local ministry.

Day 57

Posted: July 28, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

Tim Mueller joined me for today’s bike ride from Thompson’s Lake to his family’s house in Delmar, NY. Not only did we make it to our destination before it started to rain, but we also enjoyed coasting on some long downhill grades.


Another highlight today was a visit from Kristin Negele, who was a college student at Kent State during the time I served as a campus pastor at Kent.  Kristin lives in New York now and has been following my ride on the blog.


We all attended the evening worship service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and enjoyed the hospitality of the Mueller family. Thank you to our New York friends for a great day!

Day 56

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

Today’s ride brought us to Thompson’s Lake State Park near Voorheesville, NY.  I was able to avoid the morning rain and scattered afternoon showers. There’s a nice swimming beach at the lake, which was a welcome attraction for the kids.


This evening we had dinner at our campsite with our friends, Mark and Bonnie Mueller and their kids, Emily and Tim. Tomorrow Tim and I will bike to the Muellers’ house in Delmar, NY where Mark serves as senior pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.