Who We Are

 Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage Flyers from Previous Years

[2016]   [2015]   [2014]   [2013]   [2012]   [2011]   [2010]   [2009]   [2008]   [2007]   [2006]   [2005]   [2004]   [2003]   [2002]

 DharmaWheels Foundation, Inc.

Dharmawheels Foundation, Inc., is the official sponsor of the Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage. We are a nonprofit 501 (c) (3), tax-exempt corporation registered in the State of California, Federal Identification Number 75-1664779.

History of the Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage (BBP)

The first Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage (BBP) took place in September 2002 — and was perhaps the first-ever such event in the Buddhist world!

 Opening ceremonyOpening Ceremony 2002 BBP

Organized by enthusiastic cyclist and Buddhist practitioner Dennis Crean, the BBP started out as a simple desire to ride his bike with a few friends from the San Francisco Bay Area to Abhayagiri Monastery in Mendocino County. As he began to talk about his plan, he was encouraged to turn it into a “pilgrimage” and to invite other cycling meditators. Thus, the BBP was born, and within a few short months Dennis’s “few friends” turned into a cycling sangha of 80 riders and 40 volunteers.

Dennis organized the 2002 pilgrimage under the auspices of Abhayagiri Monastery, which encouraged the Buddhist practice of dana, or generosity, as an underlying principle for the event. Inspired by this age-old practice, it was decided to charge no fee and to institute no fundraising obligations for the event. The ride’s many participants and supporters responded enthusiastically, donating over $6,000 in appreciation for the spiritual teachings they received over the course of the pilgrimage.

After covering the costs of the event, nearly $2,000 was donated to Abhayagiri Monastery.
In 2003, Dennis passed the reins to a new organizer, Corry Wagner. Because of her positive experience on the 2002 pilgrimage as both a rider and volunteer, Corry wanted to keep the event rolling. Others joined her on the planning committee. Dharma Wheels Foundation, a non-profit corporation organized and run entirely by volunteers, was formed to carry on the event and to bring together the community.

  • The 2003 event was organized in the same spirit as the first Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage; a community event, organized on a volunteer basis, ridden and supported by spiritual seekers looking to bring practice into all aspects of their lives. Thanks again to the generosity of the ride’s pariticpants and supporters, the 2003 BBP donated nearly $2,800 to our three hosts: Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the City of 10,000 Buddhas and Abhayagiri Monastery.
  • Matt Wathen was the 2004 ride coordinator. Matt rode both the 2002 and 2003 rides, and was the BBP treasurer in 2003. Judi Garland was the 2005 ride coordinator. Judi rode the first BBP. She provided sag for the 2nd BBP when injuries prevented her riding.
  • Judi Garland, Jane Demartini and Leon Sun were the 2006 coordinators. Both Jane and Leon were BPP ride veterans and have helped organize the ride for many years, including Jane as the veteran carpool coordinator and Leon’s doing the training program for the 2004 BBP.
  • Dennis Crean and Jim Brown were the 2007 ride coordinators. As noted above, the BBP was hatched by Dennis in 2002 and he was the first coordinator. Jim Brown has been on the organizing committee since the ride’s inception. Among Jim’s many contributions has been that of one of the food organizors throughout. In 2007, Sae Taw Win was added as a host destination. The 2007 BBP donated $4,500 to our four hosts cultivation centers.
  • For the 2008 Pilgrimage, Eileen Spillane, Megan Hagler, Franklyn Wu and Rinaldi were the ride coordinators. Eileen rode the 2004 BBP, Megan rode the past two BBPs and Franklyn has been a BBP rider since the beginning. Megan Franklyn and Rinaldi practice at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.
  • For the 2009 Pilgrimage, Michael Nellany, Eileen Spillane, were the ride coordinators. Michael rode the BBP for the past 4 years and was moved by the 2008 event to lead the 2009 BBP.
  • For the 2010 and 2011 Pilgrimages, Matt Trojnar was the ride coordinator which was a success in both years. We added two different stops, one of which was at the organic Middleton Farm owned and operated by a charming elderly lady.
  • 2012 proved to be a challenging year in many ways with a lot of obstacles. Fortunately, Lauren Van Ham stepped up and volunteered to be our BBP Ride Coordinator along with 3 new board members which turned out to be a great team.  There were 2 days of inspiring dharma talks, an abundance of good food, perfect weather, fantastic volunteers, respectful riders, a lot of smiles, and inspiring community.
  • 2013 marked a new chapter for the Pilgrimage.  It would be the first time we were joined on the route by Bhikkhunis!  Newly ordained in October, 2012, Ayyas Anandabodhi and Santacitta joined the BBP, along with Sister Jayacita to provide the monastic presence and teachings along the route.  In her second year as Ride Coordinator, Lauren Van Ham partnered with Spiritual Theme Coordinator, Dennis Crean, to communicate the year’s teaching: Generosity.  The 2013 BBP reached a new height in its fundraising and divided contributions of just over $10k between the five spiritual centers. Pilgrims took the rain on Sunday morning in stride and gave generously, all weekend long, in the form of smiles, safety, and open-heartedness.
  • 2014: How fitting that, in the week of Thanksgiving, we’re able to share such abundantly good news with you. Thanks to your gifts of in-kind and financial generosity, the 2014 BBP collected dana totaling $5000, after expenses.  The Dharmawheels Foundation is sending a $1,000 check to each of the five spiritual centers: Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Sae Taw Win II, City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Aloka Vihara and Abhayagiri Monastery.*  Our spiritual theme of “Community” continues! It is a special sangha, indeed, when people, bikes and Dharma come together!!! THANK YOU for your support and participation in this event.
  • 2015: Well, the dust has settled (a little), everyone is home safe and – wonder of wonders! – it decided to rain. I think what this means is the 2015 Buddhist Bike Pilgrimage (the 14th annual!) is over. Thank you all so much for your wholehearted and spirited participation. Every one of you – even the ones who, for one reason or another had to sit this one out – gave their all to make it a memorable and rewarding experience for everyone.  Contentment and Gratitude fill the skies and cover the great Earth.
  • 2016: After all these years of talking about putting together a new route, we were finally able to create one that ended at Aloka Vihara. It worked because of the determination of the Board members, coordinators, volunteers and of course our pilgrims.  The theme was “Continuous Practice” and we definitely “Continued” even though it was somewhat daunting in the beginning with a lot of doubts and confusion, complications, paperwork, finding rest stops, obtaining permits from the counties, having a campsite that turned out to have no kitchen…the list goes on.  But no one got lost (well, maybe lost in thought), we had great weather, smiles were everywhere and our community energy was heartfelt.  Our received donations were near $9,000 which will be distributed (after our expenses) to the monasteries and stops along the way.  We, the Board, hope to see you next year in 2017…and “May our coming here together be of benefit to all beings everywhere.”
Current DharmaWheels Foundation Board of Directors:
Scott Boultinghouse, President
Vacant, Vice President
Paul Ries,  Treasurer
Brian Kruse, Website
Peter Crimmin, Secretary
Arielle Cohen, Director
Autumn Bernstein, Director and Ride Coordinator (2016)