Taking life by the handlebars

High school chemistry teacher plans cross-country bike ride

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Courtesy photo

Ms. CLippard will be taking a cross-country bike ride this summer.

Bellwood-Antis’ very own chemistry teacher, Miss Clippard, will soon embark on the trip of a lifetime.

From June 2 to July 11, 2016, Miss Clippard will join 16 other group members and fly to Los Angeles, California. From there, they will begin a 40-day biking expedition across eight southern US states.

Even though a transcontinental bike trip sounds unreachable to many people, it was not a difficult decision for her to make.

“When I was in college, I had a friend who biked across the nation,” says Clippard. “I grew up in a family who owned a bike shop, and have always liked riding, so I think their encouragement finally won me over.”

Over the winter, Miss Clippard began her training by biking 40-50 miles a day. She spent her Christmas Eve with one of her close friends, completing her first “half-century” trip (50 miles).

I grew up in a family who owned a bike shop, and have always liked riding.”

— Ms. Clippard

Miss Clippard will be joining the Venture Expedition on her grueling journey. This 40-day expedition brings you from the busy streets of Los Angeles to the challenging and remote San Bernardino Mountains, across the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, and settles into the flat lands, rolling hills, and unmatched southern hospitality of Texas and the southeastern United States.

Following a set itinerary and only getting Sundays off, she will sometimes be traveling over 100 miles per day.

On an individual level, Miss Clippard loves biking for a number of different reasons.

“I enjoy biking because I love being outside and spending time with friends,” says Clippard. “You get to see a lot of beautiful things you’d normally pass by in a car, and it gives you a lot of uninterrupted time to talk to people.”

While she will be traveling through eight states, over 2,500 miles, and rising more than 30,000 feet in elevation, Miss Clippard can focus on something more than just an epic adventure.

The journey will fund food security, education, and discipleship to refugees living along the Myanmar/Thailand border. This area is a global epicenter for trafficking, sex slavery, child soldiers, extreme poverty, and refugees.

Each participant must raise $4,500 prior to the trip, and they continue to speak to people during the ride, and also fundraise.

Some people would reject this journey, simply because it will take over a month of their summer vacation from them. However, Miss Clippard scoffed when asked if she would miss spending the first half of summer at home.

The Venture Expedition is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying trip, and there is a possibility that she would do it a second time.

“Knowing that I’m doing something meaningful with my time would push me to do it again. I can’t withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s within my power to do so,” she says.

Even though Miss Clippard will be missing graduation, one of the most important moments in her favorite student’s lives, we would all like to wish her good luck. Don’t stop pedaling!