Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

September 17, 2012

MONDAY SPOTLIGHT: For Miller, it's all about the journey

Recent Wabash College grad on cross-country bike trip to raise money for nonprofit he wants to start

GOSHEN — Many new college graduates celebrate this important milestone with a special trip.

2008 Fairfield graduate Adam Miller took that concept to a whole new level when he graduated from Wabash College last spring.

Miller, who played college football at Wabash, undertook a bike trip across America as a way to raise money.

Miller has a very special purpose in mind for the funds he raises. He wants to start a nonprofit organization, which he plans to call “Let’s Have A: Ball,” which will provide sports equipment to underprivileged children.

The idea for the nonprofit, Miller said, came to him through his work at a summer camp, as well as during a summer spent working in Greece.

And when graduation rolled about, Miller decided to forego going out into the job market for now, to pursue his passion of helping others.

Miller’s sister, Katelyn Kaiser, said her brother’s idea and trip came as a result of his college journey — part of discovering who he was, and what he wanted to do with his life.

“This is a young man who has a heart and passion for his nonprofit organization,” Kaiser said.

The trip began in San Francisco and will finish in New York around the end of September.

The trip has been eventful to say the least, Miller said. Using the services of a website. www.couchsurfing.org, he has been able to find places to spend the night all across the country

And Miller has met all kinds of people, he said. Traveling 65-70 miles in a given day — with a friend and fellow recent Wabash grad riding along in a vehicle for support, Miller has been able to see the country, from the splendor of the Rockies to the Great Plains so far, back through the Upper Midwest and home for a well-earned weekend rest stop Sept. 7-9.

Miller spent the weekend relaxing, gearing up for the final push, and visiting with friends. He went to the West Noble-Fairfield football game in Ligonier Friday, Sept. 7.  

It was nice to get home and off the road, Miller said, but after a few days, he was more than ready to hit the open  road again and finish the journey.

The trip has featured more than a few flat tires, as well as the challenge of a knee injury, an inflamed IT band, that flared up  and caused pain.

After a day off the road to rehab the knee as much as possible, it was back on the road for Miller.

As Miller biked through Indiana on his way home, he got what turned out to be a most pleasant surprise: Waking up on Thursday morning, Sept. 6, he got a call from his father, Don, informing him that he would have a riding partner the rest of the way home.

Miller’s dad, Don, met him in Granger and the two pushed the rest of the way home.

“That was pretty special,” Miller said.

Don Miller said Adam has always been the kind of child who looks for a challenge, and the bike trip was another example of that.

“We’ve always been very supportive of him as parents in the things he’s done,” Miller said.

And although the goal is to raise money to establish that nonprofit organization, that’s just part of the project, Miller said.

“It’s all about the journey,” Miller said.

From a free physical therapy session in Colorado, to a night of lodging or a meal here and there, Miller has enjoyed meeting people and getting to know the country.

“I’ve seen the goodness of people all along the way,” Miller said.

Miller has a Twitter account and often tweets from the road. Follow him at @pedaladampedal, and visit his website at www.pedaladampedal.com. There is also a fundraising website set up at www.indiegogo.com/pedaladampedal, where those interested can donate to Miller’s project.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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