“I have always wanted to do a multi-day tour, but was not sure how to start. Cover Indiana seemed like an event that took care of all the things I might worry about; food, accommodations, road support, etc. I liked that it basically circled where I live, so I would never be too far from home. I also really liked the idea about having fun while supporting such a great organization that has a direct and immediate impact on those they serve. I really enjoyed the meals at the overnight locations and the lunch stops. You can really get to know people when you have good food and time to discuss the events of the day or hear about their lives and what brought them to Cover Indiana. Understand that you are part of this event. Everyone works together to help each other out, whether it is riding or maintenance tips or advice on what not to order at the lunch stops. Habitat for Humanity and Cover Indiana are ultimately about helping people help themselves. Young or old you will be a better person when you complete Cover Indiana."
Greg Lightfoot of Indianapolis, 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
"I have enjoyed exploring the countryside by bicycle since my youth. I started doing organized tours around 1995. One of my colleagues at IUK was very active in the Kokomo Habitat Affiliate and he suggested I participate in Cover Indiana. I am now the secretary of the Board of Directors of HFHK and have seen how much our families benefit from partnering with us. Over the years, I have raised just under $17,000 to support our building projects. Over the 15 years I have been a participant in Cover Indiana, I have loved the opportunity to get to know the other riders. It has been particularly fun for me to watch the Purdue riders as they grow from young freshmen to accomplished and talented adults!"
Barbara Sehr of Kokomo, Indiana
“As someone who is not an avid bike rider, and who didn't train much prior to the ride, I was able to complete the whole 7 day tour without much difficulty. People of all skill levels participated in the ride, so everyone was able to find someone to ride with each day. Better yet, I knew absolutely nobody in the group prior to leaving Purdue, but by the end of the week, I had befriended many of our fellow riders. This tour had a perfect balance of exercise and leisure, as we were typically done biking by the early afternoon and were able to hang out and eat ice cream almost every night. The food along the way was fantastic (and extremely cheap!), including some of the best donuts I've ever had and some great home-style meals. Although I have lived in Indiana my whole life, I was able to discover some amazing places unique to Indiana that I never even knew existed. For example, we visited an Exotic Feline Rescue Center, home to white tigers, jaguars, lions and more. We also took a boat tour through an underground cave at Blue Springs Cavern, which was absolutely breathtaking. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes riding bikes, wants to try something new, or just wants to support a great cause."
Sam Heath of Indianapolis, Indiana
“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 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