“I've done the Habitat for Humanity Cover Indiana ride 5 or 6 times, but the first time was the most significant for me. After being invited for the first time, the founder, Doug Taylor, challenged me to find more females to ride. I knew of one young lady, Lauren, from Butler that liked to ride bikes (and I didn't know much more about her), so I invited her and, for some reason, she said yes.
We rode together all week exploring the countryside of Indiana, eating home-made ice cream, meeting Tigers face to face, sharing meals together, and advocating for Habitat for Humanity. At the end of this long journey, we became close friends and cycling buddies.
Within a few years, we were married and this April (2014) we are expecting our first child. We have joined Cover Indiana riders every year we have been able because of how fun and inspiring the ride can be. I'm not saying everyone will meet their future spouse on this ride, but I can guarantee meeting future friends and experiencing Indiana in a completely new way. ”
Cory Layton of Greenfield, Indiana
“I just want to say that Cover Indiana is my best experience since I came to the US. I had a lot of concern before I decide to go. I thought that I might get lost, no one would talk to me, I might be the last one and I have to ride all the way by myself. When I was packing on the morning of the departure day, my friends kept telling me: "Stay and hang out with us, don't go to the ridiculous bike ride." I thought it's too late for me to quit.
So I decided to go even though I still have so much concerns. And it's my best decision ever. Everyone I met was so nice to me. Completing the ride is the greatest accomplishment in my life. It will take forever to describe my happiness and gratitude in English.
I just feel so happy whenever I think of the ride. IT'S THE BEST!”
Danni Li of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China
“Cover Indiana is both an amazing bicycle trip, and worthwhile fundraiser. My experience throughout the trip was unparalleled by any ride I have been on since. It was amazing to learn that both the staff and other riders where very friendly and willing to befriend and assist a rider who was on his first multi-day bicycle trip. Throughout the week I became close friends with many building lasting relationships that will pick up next year as if a day hasn’t passed. I saw beautiful scenery of rural Indiana from start to finish and overcame obstacles that I thought would defeat me. I enjoyed every day riding and every evening in fellowship with other riders. I couldn’t have expected anything better and was completely surprised by the hospitality and care given by the staff. All in all Cover Indiana was an incredible, challenging, and life changing experience of which I cannot wait to partake again.”
Bryce Bookwalter of Bloomington, Indiana
“Riding Cover Indiana was far more than we ever dreamed or expected. We signed up for a nice bike ride on a marked route...got so much more! Beyond a well-organized ride, with friendly folks, we had great SAG stops, plenty of warm dry places to roll out our sleeping bags, SUPER food, terrific low-traffic roads with beautiful scenery. There were covered bridges, rivers and hills, forests and quaint farms, precious old cemeteries and small towns who welcomed us! And half the riders under 30 - I love those Purdue students for their faith, energy and encouragement to this grandma! The community spirit of this ride makes it EXCEL...there is a camaraderie and supportive caring, with countless little acts of kindness every day. People were thoughtful, helpful, and fun! Each night we were well cared for, well fed, and savored delightful hospitality. I particularly enjoyed the morning gatherings at breakfast, with a review of the route and some tips for us "newbies" on hills and sights not to miss, PLUS the Daily Devotional gave me wholesome thoughts to "chew on" during the ride, the prayer-of-pedal-on-2-wheels. Our common purpose - to build houses for those who don't have one - gave me a sense of deep gratitude to be with these bicyclists together. I learned about Habitat for Humanity and was hooked on this great cause! Cover Indiana is a great ride, and I highly recommend it!”
Diana Oleskevitch of St. Louis, Missouri
“I stumbled across the Cover Indiana Ride via social media and was instantly intrigued, but still hesitant to register. I was intimidated by not only the distance, but also being the 'new' guy among established friends. What I found was a wonderful group of people with big hearts, eager to welcome newcomers. My wife and I are always looking for a great cause to support and I love a challenge; Cover Indiana provided both and was the perfect balance of difficulty and fun. The constant support from experienced cyclists makes the biking manageable for even the most novice riders. The feelings of accomplishment and pride are only outweighed by the friendships made over the course of seven days. Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization and I'm honored to have played a small part in their efforts to support Hoosiers.”
Kevin Head of Indianapolis, IN
“I’d always wanted to get involved with Habitat for Humanity when I was in high school, but between three sports and summer jobs the time just got away from me. During my freshmen year at Purdue I joined the outing club where, at my first club meeting, I learned about Cover Indiana. Instantly I knew I’d found the perfect way for me to get involved with Habitat. I was really excited going into the weeklong trip from Lafayette around the southern part of Indiana finishing in Indianapolis, but nothing could have prepared me for the friendships and memories I’d create. The leisurely plains make it easy to talk to the people around you and really get to know everyone’s story, while the hills give you something to bond over after the days ride. Indiana didn’t strike me as such a beautiful state until I went on this ride. The long hours in the saddle may be trying at times, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t want it any other way. I would truly call this a life changing experience.”
Troy Lenz of Chicago, Illinois
I have been involved with local Habitat affiliates for close to twenty years. I began by serving lunch to on-site volunteers, then volunteered for some builds, and finally started serving on committee and boards. Involvement with the ministry of Habitat has become a very important part of my faith commitment. When I learned about the Cover Indiana Bike ride I was able to combine my love of physical activity with my involvement with Habitat. My first year on Cover Indiana was also the first time I had ever done a long distance bike ride . . . and I was hooked. I have come to enjoy riding a great deal. That first year I was the only rider from our Habitat affiliate. The second year I had a couple of friends who joined me and this last year there were six riders from our Habitat chapter. During these three years of riding we have raised about $10,000 that has been used in our own community to build simple, decent and affordable housing for people in need. Cover Indiana has also been a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and see some parts of this beautiful state that I otherwise might never have seen. I look forward to my fourth Cover ride in May 2014.
Mark Poindexter of Martinsville, Indiana
I can say I was a little more than apprehensive when I committed myself to join this week long bicycle journey for Habitat for Humanity. I did my training and bought all my gear however that didn't even prepare me for what I got into. I quickly learned that this was not so much of a physical challenge to see if we could all bicycle almost 400 miles in a week this journey was much bigger than that. This group of about 80 strangers quickly became united and there were no strangers we were cycling all for the same cause to help the less fortunate better themselves with a home for their families to take pride in. The miles we pedaled were nothing compared to the amount of work that so many of these families put into improving their lives, their families lives and their communities. The least I can do is do my part of the fundraising and continue to sign up for week long experience. I am glad I took the leap and became part of this group.
Katina Curran of Crawfordsville, Indiana
The Habitat for Humanity bike ride not only opened my eyes to the beautiful country side of Indiana, but to undiscovered territory in my heart spiritually. I learned from the comradery, morning prayer, commitment to each other and to being of service how much nourishment comes from that. I also met people who engaged in deep ongoing discussions through miles and miles of countryside, where I found healing and unresolved answers to questions I was struggling with around my own religious and spiritual practices. Not to mention, on the way back to Indianapolis, I found a new apartment and moved from New Jersey to Indianapolis within a month! When you follow your heart and vision, the details all seem to fall into place.
Hmmmmmmmmmm.... and I thought I was just goin' for a bike ride. :>)
Amy Fortoul of Indianapolis, Indiana
I’m always up for an adventure and touring 360+ miles of Indiana via bicycle seemed like a great way to quench my appetite for adventure.
This was my first time ever on a multi-day bicycle trip, and the rain and cold that we had the month prior to the week kept me from training as much as I had hoped too. But I try to stay aerobically fit, and though I felt the sore leg muscles each day, I sensed myself getting stronger each day too. By the end of the week I felt a great sense of accomplishment especially in making it through the hill days.
One of the surprises for me was the ease of raising funds for Habitat as part of the ride. I posted about it on Facebook a few times and sent out an email to family and friends, and raised over $1000. People seem to know about how worthwhile Habitat’s mission is.
I also enjoyed making many new friends along the way. In a very short amount of time a sense of community forms with all the riders, knowing that we’ve come together for a just and worthy cause: to raise funds and awareness of how Habitat for Humanity builds homes and hope around our state, nation, and world.
Cover Indiana has turned me into a cyclist. I can hardly wait for the next ride!
Mark Sloss of Kokomo, Indiana
The Cover Indiana bike tour is a great trip! I have been on the ride for three years, and consider it a highlight of Spring. Riding through Indiana in May makes for perfect cycling, as everything is a lush green, the terrain is rolling, and the weather is pleasant. We ride through beautiful ag land, small picturesque towns, and even a couple of covered bridges. And where else can you visit the Exotic Feline Rescue Center and see a couple of hundred lions and tigers?
However, the people are what really make Cover Indiana so fun. The riders are an eclectic and interesting bunch, and the Habitat chapters that host us along the way are incredibly hospitable and welcoming. Many folks return year after year, which makes Cover Indiana a most inviting tour!
Cathy Scarr of Davis, California