Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bike Gallery- Bicycle Tours cont...

... overnighters, then weekenders, and eventually we’ve progressed into multi-week overseas bike tours

Traveling and cycling are two things that we really enjoy doing, so it only seemed natural for us to combine the two and that is exactly what we did.  With both our daughters now off to college we purchased our bikes and started bicycle touring.  At first our bicycle tours were overnighters, then weekenders, and eventually we’ve progressed into multi-week overseas bike tours.   Our dream or goal if you will, is to one day take a year or two off from the everyday grind of life and travel around the world.
To keep up with our latest adventure make sure you check out our “Travel Blog”.  If pictures are your thing, click on “Gallery Of Tours” to see photos of past adventures or click on  “Gallery Of Bikes” and select from one of the categories for pictures of loaded bikes submitted from other touring cyclist.
We’d really like hearing from you, so please sign our “Guestbook” and/or shoot us an email; include a picture of your loaded bike and we’ll get it posted in our gallery.  We hope you find our site interesting and helpful.

Charity Events & Cycling

News regarding God's Pedal Power Ministry
March 2006:  We had another successful bike give-away program on the Saturday following St. Patrick's Day. In all, almost 50 bikes were given to people in need. When we have so many people at one time, we really need the help of our volunteers. I especially would like to thank the volunteers who have physical or mental challenges but still give their all to help others.
February 2006:  Used, (garage grade), 4 drawer filing cabinets were donated to GPPM. Our plan is to use these cabinets to better organize our growing supply of bicycle parts. When GPPM receives bikes which have too much damage to refurbish, they are disassembled, and the parts are used to repair and refurbish additional bikes. Thanks to all for your donations.
January 2006:  GPPM received a large amount of donated bikes from families where children received new bikes from their parents at Christmas time. At the same time GPPM found a Hispanic mission with a great need for bicycles for children who did not receive any presents for Christmas. GPPM volunteers met for extended hours to refurbish enough bikes to meet the needs of all the request of the mission. As a side note, My wife and I have now retired from our careers now, so we intend to spend many more hours with GPPM and other causes.
December 2005:  Volunteers applied for and received a grant to help buy new bicycles for a large group of foster children for Christmas. With the help of many people and one great foundation, we were able to identify specific needs, shop for the bikes and distribute 235 new bikes in time for Christmas. GPPM was given a very nice plaque of appreciation from the Hillsborough County Foster Parent Association. An additional 150 refurbished bikes were given out to people in need during the month of December. 
July 2005:  It is a hot time in Florida, but with the wonderful ceiling fans which were donated to the program, GPPM volunteers stay cool. We have a lot of kids visiting the program on summer evenings, and it gives volunteers a chance to spread a positive message. We have been doing a little outreach by taking some bikes to some homeless people who attend a service and receive a lunch meal from a church in another depressed neighborhood. We continue to try to reach people who are in great need. Thank God for the opportunity.

June 2005:  The New Tampa Rotary Club and East Tampa Sertoma invited volunteers to attend meetings in June where both clubs made substantial contributions to GPPM to help the program continue to help those in need. We offer our thanks and our pledge that we will be there to help others. During the month we have upgraded our safety classes with video tapes on bike safety which we received from both the Florida and national offices of the highway safety and transportation offices. The kids seem to really like the videos.
May 10, 2005:  GPPM story airs on nearby WUSF 89.7 radio station.  Click here to listen to complete story as aired.  Story by Brad Stager.
January 2005:  A new year and a new challenge. A freak Christmas night wind storm tore off 12 clear panels from the roof of the GPPM bike building. Our building and our spirits are solid, but the dozen panels had to be replaced. There was very little water damage inside of the building, and volunteers still held our twice weekly bike repair nights while roof repairs were scheduled. (God could just see us a little better for a few weeks). Repairs have been made and we are now busy reorganizing after the wonderful influx of donated bikes that happens every year when people donate their old bikes which have been replaced at Christmas time. Donations and volunteers are always welcomed. God's Pedal Power Ministry (GPPM) is a 501c3 and donations can be properly deducted from your taxes. Thanks again!
December 2004:  The entire month was blessed. A special grant from the Hobbs Foundation allowed us to give 52 new, fully outfitted bikes to children in need (click here for photo gallery). We had our regular GPPM bicycle give-away, we helped children from a Boys and Girls Club. We also worked with a local Corvette Club to enhance their generous gift to a foster children's program. By adding a refurbished bike and safety helmet we enhanced their Christmas. Thanks to the many people who helped us help others.
November 13, 2004:  The rain dampened our clothes a little, but our spirits were high and dry as volunteers of God's Pedal Power Ministry gave away more than 20 bikes to people in need. The rain reminds us of how successful GPPM has been over the past two years.  For the first 5 years of GPPM's existence, volunteers had to work on bikes in the parking lot, and the rain was discouraging.  Now, with our 2 year old bike building, volunteers have a dry, well equipped, well lighted facility to perform repairs and refurbish bikes to give away. Thanks again to all who helped make the bike building possible. We want to also thank the new crew of young men who have started helping on Tuesday and Thursday nights. These teenagers could be involved in many different things, but they choose to come help our bike ministry....thanks guys.  We are getting ready for a very special Christmas giveaway to children in need from a local elementary school.  We hope to have pictures posted on this web site in December.  In advance, we would like to thank the Hobbs Foundation for sponsoring the upcoming giveaway. Keep us in your prayers, and Happy Thanksgiving.
October 19, 2004:  
God's Pedal Power Ministry delivered a pickup truck and trailer load of bikes and used parts to an organization that works with boys with problems. The bikes need to be refurbished, but the organization will use them to train the young boys, and to reward positive actions and grades. Some refurbished bikes will be presented to a young person upon successful graduation from the facility's program. This facility is a step before serious detention, and is designed to transform the young people before they cross a more serious line of trouble. We are impressed with the atmosphere, the discipline and the sense of religion which exist at this facility. 
September 30, 2004: 
With flooding, tree damage and structural damage prevalent around the University Community Area after Florida’s recent Hurricane Season,  we are happy to say that God’s Pedal Power Ministry’s bike building held up very well.  There were a few gallons of rain water on the floor, and the fiberglass skylights will need some repairs, but we were blessed.  We are currently getting estimates for repairs, but it has not affected our ability to repair and refurbish bikes.  Thanks again to those who send words of encouragement and small donations, and a special thanks to the grandmother who stopped by and brought the fresh baked cookies!  As repaired bikes leave our building, we ask the rider to go out into their community and do good deeds for others…..we never expected fresh baked cookies - Thanks So Much!
Just one more thought….Instead of the people of the World trying to  “Better”, their fellow man by buying larger houses, larger boats and more expensive cars, clothes and jewelry as a sign of success………..What would the World be like if we measured  success by looking at the amount of kind deeds we do for our fellow mankind?
Thanks for your time.
 August 28, 2004:  We had  another excellent bicycle adoption this Saturday. 35 refurbished bicycles were given out to people in need.  As usual, we gave a safety lesson, an inspirational message, a bike safety helmet, and a new Bible to those in attendance.  We continue to repair dozens of bikes in the University Community Neighborhood each week.  Additional volunteers continue to stop by to help, and we are still giving bike repair training to residents of the area who want to give back to their community.
July 20, 2004:  God's Pedal Power Ministry was presented with a very generous donation today from the members of the Tampa East Sertoma Club.  Sertoma Clubs perform a variety of fundraising events to raise money for charitable causes.  GPPM is an all volunteer organization, so the donations received will go directly to helping people in need.  Our thanks to Tampa East Sertoma, and to the increasing number of volunteers who help us with bike repairs.
July 6, 2004:  On Tuesday night GPPM celebrated its 7th anniversary.  Cake was enjoyed by volunteers and people who had stopped in for bike repairs.  During the past month GPPM extended its outreach to a young bike ministry in St. Pete, a training facility for young men, a seaport ministry, and a bike ministry located in the Dominican Republic.  We continue to challenge those who we have helped to repay us by doing good deeds for others.  Donations are welcome, but most of all, keep us in your prayers.  Thank you.
June 19, 2004:
 We adopted out 25 bikes to people in need. Some of our regular volunteers have traveled back to their summer homes up north, but additional volunteers stepped up to help with the safety program, the inspirational message, the proper fitting of bikes and helmets, and the record keeping for the new bike owners.
June 19, 2004:
 We were pleased to have members of the Pilot International Club visit with us. The club which meets at the Lake Myrtle Baptist Church in Land O’ Lakes, Florida has just made an additional donation of two cases of bike safety helmets. Many thanks to them, and to all of our volunteers and all of the clubs, businesses, organizations and individuals who make God’s Pedal Power Ministry so successful.
June 11, 2004:
 We received a very generous donation from the New Tampa Rotary Club. We are working with these fine people again this year to provide bikes and safety helmets to Mort Elementary School’s program for children who are recognized for good citizenship.    
May 2004:  GPPM was among the volunteer groups represented at a free event located at the University Area Community Center.  About 150 children from the University Area were given safety lessons, free bike helmets, and were helped with bicycle repairs.  Other volunteers included Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, University of South Florida medical students, and the University Area Community Development Corp.
May 2004:  GPPM volunteers, with help from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are giving kids an incentive to wear their bicycle helmets.  The Buccaneers sent us 200 football stickers to place on bicycle helmets.  The kids are often reminded, "you never see a professional football player go on the field without their helmet".  Reinforcing this message is important in promoting responsibility and safety within our community.  See how the Buccaneers made it cool to be safe 
May 2004:  We are looking for more volunteers to help in our busiest time of the year. We work Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00 until 9:00.  Drop by and check out our facility if you have a spare evening. No one gets paid, but the retirement benefits are out of this world!
March 2004:  Donations have continued to help make our program successful.  Money, helmets, bikes and bike parts have continued to come in.  We have been able to help other people who are starting similar programs and we are about to launch a program, which will help new communities.  We conservatively estimate that over 3,000 bikes have been given away to people in need and bike repairs probably double that number.
2003:  Volunteers worked overtime to complete bikes and finish the inside of the new building.  An office and a parts room were built and volunteers from the Temple Terrace Baptist Church (First Aid) loaned their labor and expertise to help plan and wire electricity into the new building.  All Phase Electric Supply went beyond all expectations with donations for the building.  By Easter, the new building was ready for operation, and the old buildings had been removed from the church’s property, and the old site was cleaned. Volunteering in the new building is so much easier now because bikes can remain on a bike stand if they are not finished.  Parts are organized, work areas are well lit, and ceiling fans keep us cool.  The new building has large rollup doors, and the concrete construction is much safer.  This has been a labor of love from volunteers from many different churches, businesses, and individuals.  See New Building
2002:  The program continued to expand and plans were made for a building to house the entire program.  Following a large single donation, ground was broken and the new building was started.  By the time GPPM had their annual Christmas bike give-away, the new building was dried in and we were able to store 128 bikes for the Christmas giveaway.
2001:  Volunteers kept a steady pace of repairing bikes for those in need in the neighborhood.  Volunteers from many different churches began to show up and help with the increased workload.  GPPM was featured in newspaper articles and TV reports.  Several volunteers were recognized for their efforts.
2000:  The year 2000 saw constant growth of GPPM.  A building fund was started to erect a larger building to house the entire operation and allow volunteers to work inside instead of the parking lot surrounding the bike buildings.
Father's Day 1998:  An additional building was moved to the grounds of the University Baptist Church.  This was an old construction trailer, which was converted to a bike parts trailer to allow for the expansion of GPPM.
May 1998:  Through hard work by volunteers and donations, a 10 x 20 building was moved to the grounds of the University Baptist Church.  It became a free standing building for GPPM.
September 1997:  Members of St. James United Methodist Church were encouraged by Rev. Clark Pickett to get involved with this program as a mission outreach.
July 1997:  God’s Pedal Power Ministry, GPPM, was founded by a member of the University Baptist Church. Volunteers worked out of a Sunday School classroom.

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