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How a Bike Ride Will Change the World

See how 13-year-old Scotty Parker aims to 'change the world' with bike rides across the U.S. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: When most 13-year-olds asked to go on a bike ride

they usually mean around the block.

Not for Scotty Parker.

His ride went from California to South Carolina.

After hearing kids his own age were living without clean water

and sanitation, he put his compassion into action.

Teaming up with Water Mission, Scotty's 3,300-mile journey

raised more than $570,000 to help design, build,

and implement safe water projects around the world.

Scotty hopes his eight weeks of pedaling

will inspire others to care about people in need,

and spread love.

And Joining me now is Scotty Parker.

It's great to have you here.

You are a man on a mission.

That's great.

Most kids bike around the block, Scotty.

You're not even old enough to drive

and here you are biking across America.

Where did that idea come from?

Well, when I was seven I saw pictures

of kids that were just like me, except these kids were drinking

this terribly dirty water that I would never drink.

And it really made my heart hurt knowing

that every 21 seconds a child under the age of five

dies because of something as simple as water.

And so for my eighth birthday I asked family and friends

to donate money instead of gifts for my birthday party,

and we raised about $618.

And as an 8-year-old, I was, wow--

HOST: You were hooked

--that's a lot of money.

But after a few days I thought about it.

I was like, that's not enough.

And that's when for my 10th birthday

we rode our bikes across the state of South Carolina

and raised over $70,000 for clean water.

HOST: Wow, that's amazing.

And as things progressed you determined to do

this huge cross-country bike.

How long did it take you to do that?

It took eight weeks.

So how far did you go every day?

SCOTTIE PARKER: It was on average 75 miles a day,

six days a week.

HOST: You must have met some amazing people along the way.

What jumps out as memorable to you?

SCOTTIE PARKER: So we were headed to a hotel.

So it was off-route.

So we had to load our bikes up and hop in a car.

And we were at a gas station getting gas

and this lady walks up.

And she had looked up the story because our website

was on the trailer.

And she said, I want to give you this $5.

This is all I have.

And this is all I have to get back to home.

That's was the money she was going to use for a bus

to get ticket to get back home.

But she wanted people to have clean water.

So she gave all she had.

HOST: Wow.

God blesses that, doesn't he?

Yeah, I know that you're a young man of faith.

How has your faith played a role in all of this?

Over this whole trip I couldn't

have done it without God.

And the whole time, some of those days

it got hard going up those hot mountains.

And I just thought, Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

And God can use anybody.

When I was little, I was the kid who was not

great any sports at all.

And so God used me to ride across the country.

So he can use anybody.

HOST: Isn't that awesome?

Doesn't that make you feel significant that God

looked down and said, I want that guy to do this?

Well talk to me a little bit about how you trained for this

because 75 miles a day, you just don't hop on a bike

and do that.

We had to train for two years before the ride.

So every weekend we're saying no to

invites to go anywhere because we were on our bikes

the whole weekend.

And during the week after school,

I was either running or swimming right after school.

HOST: So you really had to focus on this.

Boy, for two years, that's a long time.

Did you have any moments along the way

where you said, boy, I don't know if I want to keep going?

I did have a few of those, but then you think,

and you think about those kids who are still dying.

And who's going to help them?

I wanted to be the person to help them.

HOST: Good for you.

You raised money for an organization

called Water Mission.

Why them?

SCOTTIE PARKER: When I first heard about the global water

crisis it was through them at my church.

And so I heard about it from them

so I decided to raise money for them.

And not only do they provide clean water

but they provide the living water

of Christ, which no other organization really

does that out there for water.

Because they take that opportunity of the joy

that these people have and they tell them how that was Christ

and how Christ has a plan for their life.

HOST: How do your friends react to what you're doing?

Well a few of my friends think I'm crazy.

And then a few of my friends think

it's awesome and want to go with me.

Do you have friends that biked with you?

Not really because nobody else really had the time.

Because I gave up pretty much everything for this ride.

But sometimes me and my friends will go for a casual ride

and they'll be like, so what was it like across the country?

And I was like, it was kind of like this, just a bike ride.

What were some of the difficulties you encountered?

Because you talked about the heat

in going up some of the mountains

but then you've got wind, you've got elevation,

you've got the weather scenario.

Do you go every day unless it's life threatening?


So we were very lucky on the ride.

And we would ride if it was pouring down rain,

as long as it wasn't lightning.

But we only had one day where it was barely drizzling.

So over 52--

Out of the whole time that you--

SCOTTIE PARKER: --days of riding we only

had one delayed start, which was like two hours.

Then we had some rain.

And that was it.

HOST: Wow, that's amazing.

I think we got all the rest of that rain

here in Virginia in the last month or so.

Tell me about the bike itself.

Did you go through a number of tires

or are you able to do that without?

As a team, we had about 60 flats

for the whole entire trip.

I had about five.

One of our team members actually had 30 by himself.

HOST: 30 by himself?

Well that person needs a new bike.

How many of you rode together?

SCOTTIE PARKER: So it was me and the one of my parents.

The other one would be in the car.

And then three other riders.



What do you want to say to kids who are--

I say kids.

You're a young man.

But you were a kid when you started this--

who have a heart for people who are in need.

People need water, they need education, they need clothing,

they need families.

What advice would you give to someone

who says really what you're saying,

which is, I'd like to make a difference?

No idea is too small.

No person is too small.

God can use anybody.

If you have an idea to help change the world, stick with it

and keep going.

God will multiply.

Because I'm just a kid who knew how to ride a bike.

I don't have $612,000.

God took my gift of riding a bike

and multiplied it to now tens of thousands of people

have clean water.

That's amazing.

What do you want to do when you're out of school finally?

I don't know.

HOST: I'm sure God's got a very big plan.

Stick with it whatever it is, Scotty.

It's going to be good.

That's amazing.

Well you've done a wonderful thing.

And children's lives around the world

are touched because of your commitment and your compassion

for them.

Thank you--

Thank you.

--for what you did.


If you'd like to help Scotty raise money for clean water you

can go to

And Scotty, thanks so much for inspiring us all.

We so appreciate you.



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