Riding with the Spirit

 Mayor Pro Tem Randy Bland, deCycles Director Dr. Norm Houze, and Rev. Jack Daniel (Holding up the pastor’s bike that isn’t proper for cross country riding…but made it through town.)

Mayor Pro Tem Randy Bland, deCycles Director Dr. Norm Houze, and Rev. Jack Daniel (Holding up the pastor’s bike that isn’t proper for cross country riding…but made it through town.)

On July 11th, approximately 45 deCycles youth pedaled their way into El Dorado Springs and spent the night at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a part of their “Riding with the Spirit” 2,000 mile cross country bicycle journey through America. Mayor Pro Tem, Randy Bland along with Rev. Jack Daniel and two First Christian youth, Cody LeAn and David Nations, met the group at the edge of town and led them down Main Street to their overnight destination at the church. First Christian Church provided accommodations for the group and served an evening meal and breakfast before the bicyclists continued on their journey across America. Organizers Dr. Norm Houze and his wife, Cricket, are members of a Disciples of Christ congregation in Indiana. The term “deCycles” is a spin-off from the word “disciples.”

 Not exactly appropriate bikes for cross country, but made the journey across town. First Christian Church (DOC) Rev. Jack Daniel, Cody LeAn, and David Nations, Jr.

Not exactly appropriate bikes for cross country, but made the journey across town. First Christian Church (DOC) Rev. Jack Daniel, Cody LeAn, and David Nations, Jr.

The deCycles is a nonprofit ecumenical youth leadership program offering high spirited summer bicycle trips for teenagers and young adults. The deCycles bicycle trips are designed for participants to learn more about themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The 2017 deCycles participants, ranging in age from a set of 12 year old twins through age 19 are living examples of how the Holy Spirit moves in individuals’ lives to accomplish what most would think is impossible – 2,000 miles on a bicycle! But, the impossible happened every day and every mile of the way on their 3 ½ week journey from Los Angeles to Bloomington, Indiana.

 “Leaders of the Pack arriving in El Do”

“Leaders of the Pack arriving in El Do”

Members of the group shared their stories in an evening program provided to the entire community. The deCycles principles of kindness, commitment, faith, and happiness are the foundation for the strength that each rider must possess to get down the road. Started in 1969, this interfaith teen bicycling group pushes everyone out of their comfort zone and challenges riders to look inside for the “power” to make it down the road. The teens ride in groups of 6 and never leave their slowest member behind. The group averages over 100 miles per day with one record breaking day of 243 miles. Together, with the love of our Lord and Creator, deCycles teens are empowered to move through the many adversities of riding down the road and riding down the road of life. We should all be inspired to take time for others as we all journey on the path of life together! For more information about deCycles, visit www.decyclesindiana.org.

Thanks to Jack Daniel and Barbara Walsh for the story and photos.