July 19, 2023

Roommates to New Hampshire

What started as a vague, crazy idea in their sophomore year of college turned into a 1,000-mile bicycle ride they would never forget. Jonathan Viaud-Murat and Eli Wicker peddled from Cedarville, Ohio, to Keane, New Hampshire, just in time for a friend’s wedding.

Why? Why not?

Jonathan, a 2023 mechanical engineering graduate, and Eli, a 2022 biology graduate, have been friends since their freshman year at Cedarville. Since those early years of their friendship, they’ve been talking about biking across America.

When the cross-country bike ride didn’t materialize, they opted to ride their bikes from Cedarville to a college friend’s wedding in New Hampshire. The trip was filled with memories they’ll always cherish. Eli and Jonathan, along with Jay Kinsinger, associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering, and Will Imfeld — the groom of the aforementioned wedding — set out on their journey.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Cedarville group. Early in the adventure, they experienced heavy rain. In fact, because of the rain, Jay’s e-bike lost power and he was forced to peddle 90 miles without any mechanical assistance from the typically reliable wooden e-bike that he made at Cedarville.

The riders often slept wherever they could find a safe place to sleep. Sometimes it was in a stranger’s house, thanks to a bikers’ program called “Hot Showers.” If they weren’t sleeping in homes, they camped alongside the road or a nearby park.

15 days after departing Cedarville, Jonathan and Eli made it to the wedding just in time to serve as groomsmen for Will.  And, when the wedding weekend concluded, the friendship that was formed as college freshmen was even stronger.

Not even rain, hills, or poor food options could dampen a relationship that will continue to grow throughout the years. And, their memories will last for a lifetime.

Listen to Jonathan and Eli share about their bike ride to the East on the Cedarville Stories Podcast.

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