For Greene County News
CEDARVILLE – Four Cedarville University alumni riding bicycles across the country will take a break in Greene County when their trek passes through the school.
James Blackwell, 2015 graduate from Clare, Mich.; Ben Tuttle, 2015 graduate from Eastport, N.Y.; Ryan Gustafson, a December 2014 graduate from Fox River Grove, Ill.; and Greg Johnson, a 2014 graduate from Dillsburg, Pa. have endured weather’s toughest elements —heavy rain, wind, and scorching sun—throughout their journey, but they are anxiously awaiting their rest on Cedarville’s campus July 29.
The riders, who began June 14 and will have traveled more than 3,100 miles when they reach Cedarville University, are expected to reach their final destination Aug. 11. They are riding to raise awareness and revenue for Springfield’s Safe Harbor House.
In addition to the alumni, several faculty and staff will join the riders for the final 30 miles en route to Cedarville University on July 29. Also, professor Jay Kinsinger, the professor who helped Tuttle build two of the wooden bikes that are being used on the cross-country journey, will meet the alumni in Holland, Mich., one week earlier and ride with them to campus.
“We wanted to do something significant before starting our careers, like a cross-country bicycle ride with a purpose,” said Blackwell, the organizer of the event, explaining why they embarked on this ambitious ride. “We decided that in order to achieve our objective, the event needed to be bigger than ourselves, and we needed to find the right cause to support.”
Safe Harbor House is a residential home for at-risk women who have experience sex trafficking, homelessness, childhood sexual abuse or substance abuse. They named their trip “Riding for a New Day,” identifies their ride from west to east, as well as their hope to give the women at Safe Harbor House a second chance, or a “new day.”
According to their initial schedule, the riders rode their bikes 44 days while taking two days off before reaching Cedarville University on July 29. They’ve traveled an average of 75 miles per day, and enjoyed camping in tents along the way. They have primarily feasted on oatmeal, granola, trail mix, eggs, sandwiches, chicken salad, beans, hamburgers, fruit and vegetables throughout the ride.
For more information visit www.ridingforanewday.com.