Gettysburg, Pa. – Anchor House riders come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. They also come from all over the country to participate in the 500-mile ride that raises money for the Trenton-based shelter for runaway and abused children.
In addition to drawing locals from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a record 10 other states are represented on the Ride for Runaways this week: Florida, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
All the out-of-state participants have some connection to the ride. Either they once lived in New Jersey or Pennsylvania and moved away, or they are friends or relatives of Anchor House riders.
Carley Moseley, 23, moved to Chicago after graduating from college, but wanted to bike on the Anchor House ride because of her mom’s involvement with Anchor House.
“It’s been something that has been important to mom since I was really little, so by extension it is something that is important to me,” she said. “My mom suggested I give it a try this year.”
Moseley, the daughter of longtime Anchor House veteran Marty Moseley, started riding her bike in the Chicago area last year.
“Fortunately we had a really mild winter in Chicago,” she said. “I got in a lot of miles on the bike. Sometimes that was easier to do than others. The hard part is , there are not really any hills out there in Chicago, which is great unless you are training for Anchor House.”
Wayne Turczyn, 57, of Largo, Fla. had been wanting to do the ride for at least 30 years. “It was on my bucket list,” he said.
The native Trentonian first learned about the ride through Anchor House founder Joe Yuhas. The pair met at Notre Dame High, and Turczyn served on the Trenton Zoning Board when the Anchor House application was approved by the city.
“The project was very controversial in the Centre Street neighborhood back in the 70s,” Turczyn said. “I was a supporter because it was a very good cause. I could understand people in the neighborhood had concerns, but I could see it could be a really positive thing. Anchor House worked out tremendously.”
Back in the 70s, Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon was the watering hole of choice for teachers, state and government workers. Turczyn, a Trenton teacher back then, was chatting with Yuhas at the bar when Yuhas informed him that he was going to bike 500 miles for Anchor House.
“I wondered how the heck he could bike that many miles,” Turczyn said. “Biking from my house in Mill Hill to Trenton State College felt like a big accomplishment. Joe explained that once you start biking and build up your training mileage, you can do it.”
Turczyn put thoughts of giving the ride a try on the back burner for three decades. He moved to Florida six years ago, completed a half marathon, and hiked the Appalachian Trail. After his epic hike, he biked from Maine to Philadelphia, and realized he could complete the Anchor House ride.
The cyclists biked 63 miles from Frederick, Md. to historic Gettysburg, Pa. Wednesday, a “short ride” in Anchor House speak. Thursday they will pedal 73 miles from Gettysburg to Lancaster, Pa. Mosely and Turczyn said the week has been a fantastic experience so far.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people — some people I knew before, some people I didn’t,” Turczyn said. “Everyone is very friendly. You have so many different types of people from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and biking backgrounds. You look at people biking who have one leg, or one arm. Some people are skinny, some are heavier. Everyone just does a great job for a great cause.”
Krystal Knapp is a cyclist on the 34th annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways. For more information about Anchor House or to make a donation visit www.anchorhouseride.org or call (609) 278-9495.