Posted on

PAYH Riders Take Off This Week

PAYH Riders Take Off This Week PAYH Riders Take Off This Week

Paul Anderson Youth Home is preparing for its 19th Annual Paul Anderson Bike Ride. Several young men are ready to hit the road as they will be biking more than 550 grueling miles over seven days, starting at the PAYH campus in Vidalia, Georgia.

This year's ride starts this Saturday, July 13, and ends on July 19. The riders will take off from the campus in Vidalia and arrive back there to end the trip. As always they are planning on having one day that they cross the 100 mile mark for a daily ride. The century ride is a prestigious mark to hit in cycling, and this year the riders will be tackling that feat on day 1 as they will be on some of the flatter roads they will traverse during the trip.

Two of the riders this year are Michael and Jack. They are looking forward to the ride, but are nervous as they are finishing their final few training days before they hit the road.

Michael said, “I expect it to be hard. The training has been hard for us, but they take good care of us and I think we are ready. This has been the first time that I have ridden on a real road bike and this is going to be a challenge. The mental side may be the most challenging. When you hit a big hill, you can be tempted to quit. To see others around you stopping can make you want to join them, but you just have to stay focused and keep pushing through.

“I sure would like to get this under my belt. I feel that if I can get through this, accomplish what I have set out to do, that it will be something that I can use in life. I also think that 550 miles will look great on a college application.

“We made it through an 80 mile day training, but we haven't crossed that 100 mile mark before. It was a long day, but once we made it, we were good. I'm looking forward to the test, and I think that this is going to be something else that helps me on this path.”

Jack stated, “The training so far hasn't been that difficult. I am definitely conditioned and ready for the ride. I'm hoping there won't be any problems, and it is going to be a good ride. I agree that the mental side is the most challenging. When you see the hills, man you just want to give up and get off the bike, but you know you can't. You just have to pedal through and keep on going. The temperature and the humidity really are rough to deal with, but you have to think cool thoughts, and just try to drink as much water as you can.

“I know that this is going to help me down the road. There are going to be a bunch of challenges as you get older, but this is something that will help me through those. You just can't give up, just have to keep pedaling in this and in life. You will eventually accomplish what you have set out to do.”

Dr. Jeff Padgett, Chief Communications Officer at PAYH added, “This is our 19th year, and each year you are concerned about the new guys coming, but they always step up to the challenge. We stand back amazed about how much they have overcome, to see their mindset change over this training process, to see their attitudes change, it is just a privilege to watch these guys.

“They will be making the rounds around the state of Georgia as they start in Vidalia, work their way up through Athens, and then head back south on the way around and back to Vidalia. They will be taking a really scenic route around the state, and I'm sure they are looking forward to that.

“This is a big fundraiser for us each year, and to sponsor a rider, they just need to go to PAYHbikeride. com or they can text bikeride to 71777. There is no amount too small or great, and we appreciate everything.”

Today, PAYH young men participate in this charity bike ride to honor Paul’s memory, raise awareness of the Home’s mission and critical funds. The bike ride also showcases the riders’ personal transformations from troubled teens facing incarceration to stable, emotionally healthy, physically fit young men with a future full of possibilities.

'I can still remember Paul getting on his bicycle heading for Omaha. It seemed crazy, but like everything Paul did, it worked out in the end. It is very special to see our young men today honor Paul’s commitment to Christ and to the Home on the Annual Bike Ride,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, Co-Founder and President of PAYH.

Each of the bicyclists exemplifies the mission of PAYH. They have overcome issues with discipline, substance abuse, legal trouble and emotional instability. Through education, mentoring, counseling and a second chance at life through Christ, they are trusted to take on the severe physical and mental challenge of a 550-mile ride.

Recent Death Notices