LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
First Baptist church will be welcoming over 70 teen cyclists from the deCycles group on July 10. This group started their nation crossing tour called the “Southeast coast to climb” in Key West Florida, and will be trekking across several states before reaching their destination in Indiana.
The trip will cover 1,700 miles and last three weeks. Along the way the group plans to make a pit stop in London, in which they will be fed and housed in the recreational center at First Baptist Church.
“It's about team building and team work, said First Baptist Recreational Minister Ursula Brady.
The deCycles group is based out of Indiana and was first established in 1969. The three week bike journey takes travelers along several challenging landscapes such as the Appalachian mountains, but challenge is one of the main points of the trip, according to deCycle member Nancy Seiling.
“We're all getting used to our bikes again,” said Seiling, who said that she and her fellow riders were “in the trenches together.”
Because riders are confined to a single group of people for three weeks, Seiling says it's not uncommon for strong companionship to emerge.
“Lifetime friendships form because of it,” said Seiling.
Brady said that it's important for Christians, even across the country, to maintain community among each other.
“They've got a good place here, and we love seeing our facility being used,” said Brady.
While this is the first cycling group to land in the First Baptist Recreational Center, the church has given shelter to church groups on mission trips, and is used by locals on a regular basis.
“It's used probably every single day of the week, community-wide and now state-wide,” said Brady.
When the cyclists arrive at the church, they will be met with open arms by Brady and the First Baptist congregation.
“I'm anxious to meet them,” said Brady.
The bike trip began on June 21st, and will conclude on July 13th. Both serious cyclists and beginners will be participating, with an emphasis on teamwork and no one being left behind.
Brady said that the First Baptist Recreational Center members might be willing to reciprocate one day, possibly venturing on a bike tour of their own.