Biola ICS professor embarking on 3,000 mile bike race
ICS professor Lloyd Peckham is biking on a relay team that will ride from California to Maryland in 10 days this summer in the 80th annual Race Across America to benefit charity. Photo/ADAM LORONA
What is one ICS professor to do while students are away in June? Why not tackle a 10-day, cross-country bike race?
Lloyd Peckham, who is called Uncle Lloyd by his students and can often be seen on his bicycle or unicycle, is currently training for the 80th annual Race Across America. Along with his eight-person team called Team Life Changers, Peckam will start the race on June 18 in Oceanside, Calif., and finish on June 27 in Annapolis, Md.
Cross country ride to benefit nonprofits
According to the team’s site, RAAM “is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world … and is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.”
RAAM is more than a competition or cross-country bike ride. The point of the ride is to raise money for nonprofit organizations. Each team gets to select the organizations they wish to donate their proceeds. Peckham’s team will be giving their funds to Homes for Hope and the Orange County Rescue Mission. They will also be giving funds back to their home church for their renovations, as well as to Birth Choice Health Clinic, with the hopes of being able to assist them in purchasing an MRI or sonogram machine.
Biola professor combines passion for cycling with ministry
Peckham, always searching for ways of ministering to those in need, discovered that he could use his passion for biking to connect with others. While in high school, he served as a leader in his church’s junior high group, using bikes as a way of connecting with the younger boys. For Peckham, “it was a way of life.”
When asked where his passion for cycling came from, Peckham said his dad, a frugal man, bought him his first bike and he hasn’t stopped riding ever since. His love for riding bicycles is rooted in his childhood when he would ride his bike to elementary school, then to middle school, then on to high school.
Even now, Peckham uses cycling as a way to minister to others, oftentimes packing extra food and clothes in his pack for the homeless he passes on the way to school.
Cyclists to travel 3,000 miles through 15 states
The race has several different components to it. The first is the Race Across the West, which covers 860 miles from Riverside, Calif. to Durango, Colo. The second race is the Race Across America which runs to Annapolis, Md. There are single riders as well as relay teams, such as Peckham’s team, in both races. Peckham and his team will ride over 3,000 miles through 15 states during this 10-day race. They will be covering about 400 miles a day, followed by a vehicle and two RVs.
Their team of eight is split into two groups of four. Each team takes eight-hour shifts, with one team member riding at a time and the other three in the following vehicle. While one team rides, the other team rests in the following RVs where bunks have been provided. Also traveling with them is a crew of 15, including family and friends, providing food, medical assistance, bike repair and massage therapy.
Peckham’s team already making history
All the members of Peckham’s team are members of his church, Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana, Calif. There are two father-daughter teams, one father-son team, and a husband-wife team on Team Life Changers, as well as Peckham.
Their team has the youngest female and second youngest male to ever ride in RAAM. The father-daughter team members are Erick Christianson and 17-year-old Elisa Christianson and Martin Eaton and 15-year-old Elizabeth Eaton. Ross Bennett and 13-year-old Ben Bennett make up the father-son members with Greg and Liz Clark comprising the husband-wife team.
Now, as a Biola professor, Peckham is still riding his bike to school, commuting every day from his home –– the house that he grew up in –– to campus.