Youth-Reach Gulf Coast (YRGC) staff members Tony Jackson and Cole Irvin recently bicycled across the entire width of America in 79 days. Their transcontinental bike ride was a test run for our transitional living initiative, Restoration Cycles.
When young men come to YRGC for Christ-centered recovery and then graduate from a year of resident life, many face a big “what’s next?” Many still need help with staying accountable and free, becoming independent men with jobs, driver’s licenses, insurance, education, and a plan for their future.
The heart behind the YRGC Transitional Living initiative is to provide a solid foundation of Biblical community and support as graduates transition back into mainstream society.
As one of the transitional home counselors, Cole has a heart to help these young men. Along with long-time counselor Tony, they know that a young man’s heart needs adventure and longs to overcome great challenges. Extreme distance cycling provides both.
Cole and Tony learned incredibly valuable lessons on the trip, several of which Cole recapped at the end of his daily video log on YouTube. Now that Cole and Tony have conquered the 4,228-mile TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, they envision some next steps in order to take the first resident on the first Restoration Cycles trip.
To start, we’ll need to fundraise in order to buy at least two new bicycles. We hope to raise enough to purchase entry-level touring bikes that will each cost between $800-1,000. To ensure that we put our residents on safe and reliable bikes, we’ll get two different sizes to accommodate guys of different heights. Made with strong steel frames, these bikes can withstand heavier, longer, and harsher touring conditions than aluminum models can.
For our first trip with a resident, we want to ride through the Natchez Trace Parkway. A total of 444 miles, this ride starts in Natchez, Mississippi, and extends up to Nashville, Tennessee. We expect it to be a great first bike tour as it should be about a week-long ride, camping every 50 miles, with a clearly mapped day-by-day itinerary.
We plan to host the next trip for Restoration Cycles somewhere in spring to early summer 2022.
Please prayerfully consider supporting the vision for Restoration Cycles financially. Help make it possible for YRGC graduates to go on a challenging and wild adventure designed to help bring them deeper into Biblical manhood.