Sophomore Bike Trip
A beloved tradition. An incredible opportunity. An experience like no other.
The brainchild of legendary former faculty member Pat Clements, the Sophomore Bike Trip takes students from Peddie's campus to the nation's capital, covering a distance of almost 200 miles under the supervision of several experienced faculty. Over the course of the journey the sophomores are able to bond, grow, and experience modern America firsthand. Every day begins with a question prompting them to reflect deeply: for instance, "Does the land make the people, or do the people make the land?" Cycling, preparing meals and setting up camp together, the group operates on the principle that the journey is not about "I" but about "we." By the end of the trip, the sophomores come to a fuller understanding of themselves, each other, and the world around them, preparing them for the latter half of their Peddie career and all that comes after.
As Clements often observed, "It's only a little bit about the biking."
"I thought the bike trip would focus on physical challenges, and that students would be competitive. I pictured the faculty as always giving us directions. I thought that the only learning we would do would be in places such as Gettysburg and Washington D.C. I was completely wrong.
Cycling for miles and miles is not easy, but I learned so much. Every single day of riding was a new experience. There were no distractions or constraints, and no air conditioning. Instead, I could feel the summer weather and the temperature changes. I had a front-row seat to whatever was to be seen.
There were many daily material items we were deprived of. Sure, they were simple things that you could live without for 7 days, but it opened my eyes to the larger, even greater things to be thankful for. My parents remind me of the first thing I said to them after returning: 'After this, I can do anything!'"