Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Riding for a reason: Charity cross-country bicycle trip stops in Kellogg

Staff Writer | May 31, 2024 1:00 AM

KELLOGG — Neil Mullikin started out the day en route from Spokane to Kellogg thinking it would be a 68-mile bike ride. Instead, it actually ended up being a bit more than the 27 riders had anticipated.

“I may have transposed a number,” Mullikin said Thursday. “It was actually 88 miles.”

The Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure group is raising money and repairing homes between their rides. Over the next 10 weeks, they'll travel from Seattle to Washington, D.C.

The ride may have been longer than anticipated, but fair-weather conditions made for a smooth ride. It didn’t bother Suzanne Stack as she got ready to relax in the gymnasium.

“We were spoiled on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes today,” Stack said.

The long journey started May 24 and should end Aug. 4 when riders reach the country’s capital. Cyclists plan to make their way through Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park, Flaming Gorge and Shenandoah National Park, as well as seven locations where they’ll work on homes for people in need.

From finishing up accommodations for a trailer to repairing windows, replacing siding and making roof repairs, the Silver Valley will be the first stop where riders are assisting people with their homes. 

“This ride is designed to do a variety of things: Make people aware of The Fuller Center, to help some families along the way, and just share through grassroots efforts through some churches and people we meet along the way,” Mullikin said.

The fundraiser has already surpassed its goal of $175,000 and reached $186,620.

The Fuller Center for Housing’s mission is to “help families have simple, decent places to live through repair work and new home builds.”

Since the first ride in 2008, more than 1,800 Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure cyclists have raised more than $4.6 million and have traveled more than 1.7 million cumulative miles.

Mullikin said he felt called to leave his former career in finance and work full-time for the organization to make a direct impact on people in need in communities across the country.

“I felt this was an important walk with my faith,” Mullikin said.

    Bob Whitman of The Fuller Center in the Silver Valley welcomes Neil Mullikin on reaching Kellogg after riding his bicycle from Spokane at the start of the day. Mullikin is one of 27 riders going on a cross-country bicycle adventure to fundraise for home projects for people in need.

    Suzanne Stack, of Arizona, Paul Richards, of Ohio and Rossie Bullock, of North Carolina, ride up to the administrative annex building of the Kellogg School district, where they spent the night before assisting with home projects through The Fuller Center.