People travel in a variety of ways to reach the
Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee held in Oshkosh, Wis.,
August 11-16, 2014. Many spend hours and arrive by bus; Pathfinders from other
countries travel via airplane; but eleven Carolina Conference Pathfinders rode
Ranging in age from 13 to 67, the Bike for Life
group from the Carolina’s pedaled 830 miles to attend the international event.
The group left Asheville on July 27 and arrived in Oshkosh on August 12 around
12:30 pm. The cyclists averaged 60 miles per day, with 110 miles on a long day
and 40 on a short day, said Brian Aalborg from Charlotte. The group stayed in
Adventist churches and schools or other faith community locations along the way
and even took time to stop in Battle Creek, Mich., to tour Adventist village.
They also took Sabbath off from riding.
“When I started the ride I had not been on a bike
for 6 weeks,” said Kathy New, who attends The Gate church in Canton, North
Carolina, and sits on the Pathfinder Council for the Carolina Conference. “The
kids realized I could not keep up and the boys would ride in front of me and
break the wind. The girls would say, ‘Come on, Ms. Kathy. You can make it.’ It
really encouraged me.”
When people found out one rider is 67 and that New is
64 they were surprised.
said the first ride took place in 1999. The group was so impressed with the
changes for both Pathfinders and adults that they decided to make the Bike for
Life an annual event and they have done so every year, except one. The
Pathfinder group rides for one week each summer to locations in the Carolinas
Jordan Zinke from the Greeneville Northstars
Pathfinder Club in North Carolina is 13 years old and trained two months for
the ride. She said the challenge for her was the headwinds because she is so
“God blessed me because He made my will power
stronger. I asked God to give me strength,” Zinke said.
Zinke, Jordan’s father, led the pack with a radio in one ear and directions in
“God blessed me. He allowed me to experience this
with new people and a new sport,” said Zinke. “It is amazing when you get a
bunch of people together that chose doing something that is rigorous there is a
lot of opportunity for people’s temperaments to come out. I think we really
came through as a group and I think that our Christian experience came
challenge for Zinke along the trip was securing his cell phone to his bike. He
tried three different devices and finally created his own with a belt clip. He
is a mechanical engineer by trade.
Along the way the group also gave away Forever Faithful
Tour brochures that share health information and websites directing people to
Bible studies and health sites.