SMCM's Windsor Bikes Cross-Country for Charity

"We'll talk to the pastors," Windsor said. "We'll link up with them and when we get into town, you have any variation. Some haven't been there. They just leave the door unlocked and say, 'Leave it as you found it.' Others have invited us to their house and we've eaten dinner there and their wives have cooked dinner, breakfast in the morning. The trip has also helped us see how wonderful the U.S. really is and how welcoming a lot of people are."

Another resource they use is warmshowers.org, which describes the Warm Showers community as a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. People willing to host bikers can sign up and provide their contact information, and Windsor said there were some people in the cities along the way who were willing to host them for the night.

Windsor may have started this journey because he's trying to find out how he wants to start his life after college, but he has used it to benefit others, through his work with Johns Hopkins, and has also seen how willing strangers were to help him as he has traveled across the country.

One night in Hesston, Kan., there was a mix-up with their planning, and the three bikers found themselves 20 miles short of the church they were hoping to stay in. After a long day of biking -- Windsor said they averaged between 65 and 70 miles per day -- they didn't want to go the extra distance.

"This one guy talked to us for 10 minutes and then just invited us to have dinner with his family," Windsor said. "Just a really nice family and we ended up just staying there the night. They cooked us breakfast [the next] morning and it was just a great experience. ...

"When someone comes up to you, you definitely should talk to them, because you never know what it's going to lead to. A few times, it's led to meeting great families that'll put you up and are just as wonderful as could be."

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2011-09-17



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