Monthly Archives: August 2014

Best coffee I ever had

Last night we calculated today’s ride at 55 miles. I was quite happy with the prospect of a shorter ride. After 20 miles we realized that we had made a mistake so we recalculate the distance and it was 80 miles.. It actually turned out to be 82 miles. We pulled in to camp at 6:30 pm, almost 11 hours on the road. As we discussed the mistake I couldn’t rememember how we came up with the number and whether it was me or John, and John couldn’t remember either so I am saying it was John. I will have to read John’s to see if he blamed me.

lots of rolling hills today. I have three sprockets in the front on my bike and 9 in the back. The small sprocket is the lowest geared one. Today I was on the small sprocket the entire day. I could have shifted out of it going downhill, but I just coast then and stand up on my pedals to give my butt a rest.

but it was a good day and I enjoyed the ride very much in spite of the miles and the hills. Reason #1 is even though we are in Minnesota I got no mosquito bites, Hallelejah! I am a mosquito magnet so to have a day with no mosquito bites is near miraculous. Reason #2 is that it didn’t rain, I hate riding in the rain! Reason #3 it was 65 degrees most of day and overcast so riding was very comfortable temperature wise. Reason #4 there was a 6 foot shoulder most of the day so there wasn’t the constant looking in my mirror worrying about drivers behind me hitting me, and ruining Patty’s day. Reason #5 the country side and scenery was great making riding way less monotonous and boring. Reason #6 because . of the wide shoulders on the rode I felt comfortable listening to a sermon as I rode by John Piper and it was superb and I was very blessed by it. Reason #7 we stopped at a little cafe in Cormorant, Minnesota and I had the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life, wow, it was good, and the roast beef and cheddar cheese sandwich on toasted rye bread was amazing as well. And to top it all off I am laying in my warm comfortable tent writing this, reading and snacking on the dried pears my wife mailed to me, doesn’t get much better than that!.

tomorrow we have a treat. We will be riding on a bicycle trail that used to be a railroad track but cleared of the tracks and ties and paved. It is 184 miles long. We will ride on 65 miles of it tomorrow. No cars or trucks. I think I will listen to 4 or 5 sermons! 

Love vet you all very much. Dee



Breaking the law

Yesterday when we were riding from Fargo, North Dakota to Moorhead, Minnesota we had to break a little, itty bitty rule of sorts. All that divides the two cities is the Red River and in looking at our maps we saw that there was a bicycle/foot bridge that we could cross that would save us a lot of miles, time, and riding in heavy traffic. When we got to the bridge it had a barrier across it because of major road work on the Minnesota side. It was getting close to 6 pm by then and work should be done for the day and we really didn’t want to go the extra miles to get to the big bridge so we went around the barrier. As we road on the other side there was zero traffic 🙂 I was wondering to myself if there was a big ticket for riding where we were. Motivated me to pedal faster. There were a couple other barriers as we went along but we got around them by riding on the grass. Got to the very end and there were more barriers and a number of trucks and workers, but as we pushed our bikes around the final barriers on the grass to freedom they never said a word to us. Probably didn’t matter to them. Me with my extra wild imagination, imagined helicopters zooming in over our heads with someone on a bull horn yelling at us telling us we were going to get arrested, and then as we pedaled faster ignoring their warnings a couple of big German shepherd dogs were released to chase us down prompting us to pedal even faster. Life is so much more exciting if you can have adventures in your head. I am totally drug free, really. Love you all. Dee

I am so tired!

Have you ever felt tired? I have for sure and the older I get the more I feel tired, and now with this Parkinson’s disease as part of my life tiredness is pretty much a constant. But with that said, I have never felt more intense, numbing tiredness than I have on this bicycle trip. Tiredness if dwelt on for long can almost paralyze a person, and can quickly move from our body to our mind. Once that shift has happened we become unmotivated, lethargic, indifferent, sad, complacent, even depressed. Physical and mental tiredness will influence greatly our choices, our relationships, and practically every area of our life. 

So what should a tired person do to fight this? Well here is my plan and strategy, because I want to fight against every negative thing in my life, not just give into it.

(1) remind myself that every one gets tired, that is the way life is. Don’t consider it a strange thing, a bad thing, a curse, or a respecter  of persons.

(2) because of truth #1, I will never allow self-pity to stay in my thoughts. I will exercise self-control over my thinking and take every thought captive.  Self-pity is a killer of everything good in us.

(3) controlling my thoughts is the primary way of dealing with tiredness so I need to continually grow in the skill and discipline of doing that. Memorizing Key Bible verses and choosing to meditate on them when my thinking goes bad is my primary strategy. It becomes a habit if worked on faithfully.

(4) we were created by God for accomplishment. When we work hard at accomplishing significant things with our life we will feel tired, and the harder we work the tireder we will feel. Tiredness is a badge of accomplishment. “It feels so good to be tired!” That is what I say to myself, instead of, “Whooeee I am so tired!”

(5) God gives energy and strength, and He gives it to those who depend on Him, who trust Him, who love Him, who serve Him, and He gives it to those who ask for it, and the more we ask, the more He gives.

Two of my key verses I meditate on when tired is Psalms 18:1, “I love You, O Lord, my strength”. 

Psalms 18:31′ “Who is God, but The Lord? And who is a rock except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes me successful?”

“It feels so good to be tire! O Lord, give me Your strength so I can do more”

(6) Rest is critical for strength. Jesus rested. Today is a rest day and we have one each week. We rest every 5 miles for a couple of minutes just standing over our bikes. We take a longer break several times each day to eat and recover.  While riding I stand up on the pedals and quit pedaling for about 10 seconds just about every mile. It feels so good!  I get to bed so I can get plenty of sleep for the next days accomplishments.

(7) gratitude and joy give lots of strength and energy. I say, “Thank You, Lord!” All day long, over and over again. 

This is my simple plan and it works quite well for me. I am not a bundle of energy, but I am not defeated by hard things, and I look forward to the next big goals in my life that God leads me to set.


Today it rained on us a lot. Water ran off my rain cover on my helmet down my neck and socked all my cloths in spite of my rain coat. There also was a strong head wind. We had to pedal like crazy to go even 8 mph. But it was a great day! Why? Because we had two great stops. Most of the time there is nothing between where we take off from in the morning and where we are headed. But today there were two little towns and they both had restaurants. The first one was 15 miles after we started. I had an “All meat omelette”, which was an all pig meat omelette because the meat was bacon, ham, and sausage. It was big and very good, and the best hash browns I have ever eaten and 4 cups of coffee. Then 30 miles later we stopped and I had coffee and a cinnamon role. Doesn’t get much better than that even if there is wind and rain!

we bicycled 76 miles today, and because of the wind it was a long day. We were scheduled to stay at a campground but because of the rain and the forecast for more tomorrow we decided to stay in a cheap motel so that we would have a nice rest day tomorrow and really get rested. We are in Moorhead, Minnesota tonight and North Dakota is behind us.

We went through quite a bit of road construction today. When we ride by the person holding the “slow” sign one of my favorite things to do is ask them if I am going slow enough. One guy today said, “you can go as fast as you want!”

Love you all. Dee

74 or 65

Well according to the elevation profile for today’s miles it was supposed to be an easy day because of very few hills. The problem is we switched hills for a 4 to 7 mph head wind. So here I sit in our campsite with no energy left to put up my tent. I laid down on the bench on our picnic table and told John to wake me in the morning. I think he thought I was going to die, but I assured him I would wake up in the morning. The bench was to hard to sleep long on, but I do have enough energy to put up my tent, blow up my mattress and spread out my sleeping bag now.

As we were riding I was grumbling in my mind about how a day with very flat roads was being ruined with this stupid wind. We saw a couple bicycle riders coming towards us from the other side. We stopped and they came over to us for a chat. It was a 74 year old man with his grandson and they had started where we are going to finish in Maine and they are going to finish on the northern Washington coast. As we were talking he mentioned how nice it was to have a tail wind for a change. I thought, I am 65 and you are 74, OK I will let you have the tail wind and I will take the head wind. In the book I am reading about training Navy Seals, they have a motto that they repeat often which is, “Enjoy the suck”! The “suck” is when you are gasping for air but still going. So as our friends pedaled away I said softly to myself, “Enjoy the suck”!

I would like to do this again with one of my grandsons before I get to old and to limited by Parkinson’s. Be a great environment to teach character. I will have to see if one of my kids will let me do that with one of their kids one of these days.

We bicycled 58 miles today and the road from beginning to end was straight as a string. There were high places where you could see the road off in the distance going on for what looked like infinity. Very, very foggy in the morning, but by 10 am it was a beautiful, sunshiny day. We rode through big farms all day with lots of corn, soy beans, wheat, alfalfa, and sunflowers, very beautiful.

Tomorrow night we will be in Moorhead, Minnesota at a nice campground and we will have our rest day there on Friday. I am so much looking forward to that day! Yeh!

I have now lost 12 pounds. Started out at 225, was 213 this morning, my goal is 188, what I weighed the day I got married 45 years ago, so I have 25 more to go.

Love you all. Dee


imageWe road by miles and miles of sunflowers like this picture. I eat a lot of sunflower seeds, and now I will know where they probably come from. We have pedaled by lots of beautiful farms in a North Dakota, cattle ranches,  hay, all kinds of different crops, even a few dairies. Lots of fun for an ex farm boy like me. 

More rain

Woke up this morning to 44 degree temperature where we were camped. I did not want to get out of my warm sleeping bag. We did postpone our normal 6:30 am departure to 8 am to give the sun a chance to shine, but didn’t do much good. It went from cold to rainie cold. I wore most of the cloths I brought plus my rain cloths. 

We road 66 miles today. More rolling hills but a little smaller and less steep. I have an app on my phone for bicycle route planning and when I type in the starting point and ending point it gives me the miles, the total vertical feet that will be climbed, the average steepness of the hills, and an elevation profile that gives a miniture look at the route in the sense of up and down. Sometimes when I type it in the evening and look at it my thought is, I think I am going to be sick tomorrow!  The good news is that it looks like tomorrow is flat and slightly downhill most of the day! Hallelujah!!

The place we are staying at tonight is a “Warm Showers” host home, but the owners aren’t home. They have fixed up a little apartment and the door is always open. Instructions on the door and on the answering machine is come right in and make yourself at home. Washer and dryer, shower, 4 beds, nice couch and easy chair and there is no cost. Very nice to be here tonight rather than camping in the rain for sure. 

Our goal is to bicycle about 60 miles tomorrow. We will be camping at a campground called “The Little Yellowstone” and it is right on the banks of the Shoshone River. From the web sight photos it looks like it will be a very beautiful camp sight. Don’t think they have showers, but I have 4 packs of handy wipes, that should do the trick!

We got into the part of North Dakota today that is like Minnosota in that there is a lake about every half mile. Very pretty, and lots of ducks and geese so I shoot them with my imaginary shot gun now instead of pheasant. I killed a bunch of them today! The only problem is there are clouds of mosquitos around them and it is scary when you see this big cloud of bugs hovering over your head as you ride. I pedaled as hard as I could but they didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up. The worst thing is when a bunch get inside my bicycle helmet and start buzzing around in my hair, whooooeeeee, that will drive you crazy! 

Well, I better go get in my comfortable bed and rest up for tomorrow. Love you all. Dee


Who would have thought that 55 would be the high temperature in North Dakota in August, but that is what it was today. With the wind blowing 10 to 14 mph from the NW it was a semi tail wind but it made the low temperature seem even lower. It was only 2 weeks ago that we were cooking with 97 degree temperatures. I got thourghly chilled today. We got our tents set up at the City Park in Hazelton, a town of 200 and then began looking for a Resturant to set in and warm up in.  Only place in town was a tavern and all they served was pizza, so here we set eating pizza and writing our blogs. They have strong WiFi and let us use it. Super!

We rode our bicycles 77.6 miles today with lots of rolling hills. We had planned on no more hills by this time but we climbed at least 50 today. We have come to the conclusion that there are no flat places in all of the USA so we will quit expecting flat.  We did have a nice semi tail wind most of the day which made climbing the hills easier.  By the way, I have decided to call it a back wind because I don’t have a tail 🙂 I was all done in and totally out of gas when we got into camp, but it is amazing the power of pizza and coffee! We crossed the Missouri River today in Bismark and I was amazed at how big a river it is. 

It is supposed to be in the mid 60’s tomorrow, but no wind to help us up the hills.

Well, we have been in this tavern for awhile. Better go get in my nice warm sleeping bag in my tent, and read my Bible and pray for Patty, all my kids, grandkids, and all of you. Love you all. Dee