SNU Students Take 3,700 Mile Journey

Southern Nazarene University students, Travis Vernier, Carson Calloway and 2011 graduates, Jared Grosse and Matt Barnes are spending the summer riding bicycles across the United States.

Their self-supported adventure began in Times Square at the end of May. The guys travel around 50-80 miles per day and are currently just outside of Minnesota. They each carry around 35 lbs of camping gear, food, water and other items in bags, called panniers, which attach to racks on their bikes. They had originally planned on camping out, however, the group has been very blessed by families and churches that have taken them in for the night along the way.

Throughout this trip, the guys have faced the challenges of overcoming physical and mental hardships of a 3,700- mile bicycle journey. In Pennsylvania, Vernier experienced tire difficulties that required him to continually pump up his tires for over 20 miles through rough mountainous terrain. Also in Pennsylvania, Calloway had an accident when he lost control of his bike on a downhill slope. He is okay but sustained minor injuries to his shoulder and hip. When asked why they decided to ride across the nation Calloway said, “I haven't got a great answer for that. Perhaps it is because this is a story and everyone should have a story or two before they die.”

Vernier summed up this journey by saying, “from the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains, to warm hospitality of the Heartland; experiencing America on bicycle has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.”

The group plans to arrive in Portland, Oregon at the end of July.

Picture provided by Jared Grosse.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.