Monthly Archives: August 2014

Hurray! A tail wind!

Left Dickinson this morning at 6:30 am and pedaled 73 miles to New Salem, North Dakota.  It was a very enjoyable day of biking for several reasons; (1) because of having two rest days in a row because of waiting out the storm that hit North Dakota where we were I was feeling very strong and energetic. Everything felt good, even my butt which made for an enjoyable day. I think also I am getting in better and better shape by this many miles of riding. (2) We had a 15 mph tail wind with gusts that were much stronger than that. It felt like I had a motor on my bicycle pedaling was so easy. (3) It did rain quite a bit the first part of the day and along with the wind I got very cold while riding. About 25 miles into the day when I was really freezing there was a little town with a cafe so we decided to stop for a hot cup of coffee. Once we got in and sat down we both decided to have eggs, hash browns and toast with our coffee. The young girl who was waiting on us had no clue what she was doing and told us numerous times that this was her first day. As a result we were over an hour in there eating and drinking about 4 cups of coffee. I didn’t mind one little bit, it was warm. We had conversations with numerous people who saw our bikes. Very nice time.

We road on the freeway, I-94 quite a bit today and with the rain, wind, and road spray we got pretty wet. We stopped numerous times under overpasses to get out of the rain for a reprieve from the wet and stood behind the concrete pillars to get out of the wind. John made me get behind my own pillar when I tried to stand next to him behind one and use him for a little heat.

Today is August 24th, my and Patty’s 45th anniversary. We will celebrate when I get home!

We are planning on riding 73 miles tomorrow as well. I am hoping we have some more tail wind minus the rain. Love you all. Dee

16 mph head wind

We were supposed to get up this morning and be pedaling towards New Salem, North Dakota at 6:30 am, but here it is 9 am and we are sitting in our free RV drinking coffee, reading, and listening to the wind howl and the rain fall outside. We iooked at the weather report last night on my iPad and it had a big red exclamation mark on it because of a big storm with winds up to 30 mph coming through. The big problem was the wind would be blowing from the East and averaging 16 mph. Tomorrow as the storm passes the wind is predicted to be blowing from the West at 10’to 13 mph. We voted on what to do this morning and it was unanimous, let’s have another rest day in this cozy, comfortable, roomy, warm and free RV. We had built in 5 extra days in our planning for events like this. 

Once we had voted that the wise thing to do was hunker down and wait out the storm I needed to call our new friend and ask if it was OK with him to take advantage of his hospitality. As we were discussing how early to call he knocked on the door, and came in and said, “there is a terrible storm building out there, it will be dangerous on a bicycle with the kind of wind gusts we have around here in a storm like this, and  I think you boys should stay here for another day”. OK, we will do that, thank you very much! 

So, we will have 2 rest days back to back. That will feel so nice. I will get a lot of reading and writing done today. Thank you all for your prayers for us. This couldn’t have worked out better considering the circumstances. Love you all. Dee

Nice people everywhere

John and I tend to attract attention because of being on bicycles that are so loaded down with gear. People ask us questions and interact with us and we get lots of waves and smiles on the road as we ride.  A car stopped by our camping spot yesterday with what appeared to be two older married couples. They started asking John questions about our trip and talked with him for a good 15 minutes, and then one of the guys handed John $40. John politely tried to refuse but the fellow insisted saying he wanted to help us even a little bit to accomplish such a noble goal. Nice guy that John is he split it with me and we went to a restaurant for lunch.

Last evening the lady who was in the office of the RV park and campground when we checked in came by our camp in her little golf cart that she uses to patrol the park with a fellow that she introduced as her husband. She said, I wanted my husband to meet you and to hear what you are doing so we talked for almost 30 minutes. We said good night and they buzzed off.

This morning he came back and said, I know this is your rest day and I also know we are going to get some more rain so I would like to offer you my RV for the rest of today and tonight. Again we politely said that we were doing OK in our tents, but he insisted. We began packing all our stuff up to move to his RV, and as we were about to head over there he came by again and talked with us for over an hour. Come to find out he was a Christian and he was also the owner of the park and was really wanting his RV park to be a place of service and a place where people could experience the love of Jesus. He said most that were there came because they wanted to work in the oil fields or other jobs being created by the oil in the area. They came because things were bad where they had come from and most were desperate and had very little, and surprisingly most were older. He communicated that he really cared for these people and wanted to help them. He prayed for us that God would guide us and protect us on our trip. We gave him our Blog sight info and he said he would keep up with our trip and pray for our successful finish. He also said that if we had any problems on our trip to call him and he would come and help us. John jokingly said, what about if we are in Maine, and he said, you will have to give me a couple of days. Very nice guy.

Maybe I will quit

Faithfulness and endurance are two character traits that God values highly in us, and they are in my opinion the two most important character traits for general success in life in every area as opposed to talent, giftedness, or intelligence.  A lot of people start well but few finish well. I have wanted to quit this stupid bicycle trip often, but I haven’t and I won’t. Most days it is fun, exciting, challenging, and I thank God for the awesome privilege of doing it.  But other days it is hard, tedious, and I would rather be doing anything else.  Before we left I wrote a little sermon to myself to help keep me motivated,  faithful to the goal, and determined to persevere through the “I want to quit times”. 

(1) Know without a doubt that the “I want to quit” days will happen, and probably happen a lot considering what a wimp I am. Our flesh hates “hard”. Don’t be surprised when they happen and plan on it happening.

(2) remind yourself over and over that the desire to quit will pass if you persevere.

(3) remind yourself that when you persevere and don’t quit when you feel like it, you will be a bit stronger as a person and it will be easier to persevere the next time the desire to quit comes.

(4) God loves to give His strength to those who ask. Ask a lot.

(5) Remind yourself often that short lived relief comes from quitting, followed by remorse, but long felt joy and satisfaction comes from finishing strong and completing the goal.

(6) Remind yourself that the desire to quit will be overwhelmingly strong, conquer it or it will conquer you.

(7) Doing this trip with John makes the probability of succeeding go up substantially. We are always stronger with others than by ourselves. God made us that way.

(8) the more people who pray for me for strength, faithfulness, and endurance the better I Will do. 

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. I love you all. Dee

Rain

It has monsooned  on us all night. It is now 7 am and I am laying in my little tent hoping that my recent treatment of the bottom of my tent and the rain fly work and hold the lake my tent is sitting in out. I am glad this our rest day so that we would not be out riding in this stuff. I thought North Dakota was like close to the Sahara desert in the amount of rain they got. Evidently not! Wow, listen to it come down out their! I hope it lets up a little pretty soon. I have to go to the bathroom and it is about 50 yards away. I might have to make a break for it soon regardless. All my rain cloths are out in my dry bag under the picnic table. Looks like I will be sleeping a lot today.

3rd Rest Day

We left Beach, North Dakota this morning and pedaled 65 miles to Dickinson, North Dakota. The forecast was for very heavy rains all day so we were prepared to ride in the rain today, but it was nice all day. Nice ride today. We road on old highway 10 and there was virtually no traffic. As we road through beautiful farm land we must have jumped at least 50 pheasant that were along the side of the road. As they would bust into the air I would point my imaginary shotgun at them and blast them out of the air. My shooting tended to create quite a bit of wobbling on my bicycle, and I am sure John, who was riding behind me  was wondering what was going on.  We are at a campground that was built specifically for all the oil workers flooding into the area. It is probably the largest RV park I have ever seen. They have a very nice area just for tents. Picnic table, lots of shade, close to the shower room, free WiFi, little room with table and chairs that we can set in and read, very nice. Tomorrow is are scheduled “day of rest” so we will be here all day tomorrow. I will sleep in real late, take several naps, read and write a bunch, and take several showers during the day. I will also be biking over to a local Bike Store and buy some new tires. I have worn the ones I started with out. They were advertised to last 4,000 miles but didn’t even make 2000. Probably all the weight I am carrying on the bike.

Many of you enjoyed me making a fool of myself doing a jig when we reached 1,000 miles on our trip. So when we reach the half way point on our journey I am going to do another one for you. I am thinking about how to make it special and I am am thinking of adding a little song as well so don’t miss it 🙂

love you all. Dee

Weired bicycle

imageToday we met this interesting fellow from England. He had a very strong English accent and was a very jolly individual who was super interesting to talk to. He built this bicycle and is riding it all over the world. He started on this particular trip in Toronto and is riding to the West coast and then down to the tip of South America. He had all his camping stuff on the bike as we do and he had solar panels on top of his stuff to charge his iPad, phone, camera, etc. When he rode up to us on the opposite side of the road he hopped off the bike like someone jumping off of a horse and then when he got back on he pushed it from behind building up some speed and then hopped on from the back the way Roy Rogers used to do with Trigger. I don’t know how he is going to peddle that thing up the mountains and hills we have come over, but he said he was looking forward to it.

New rule

John and I make rules as we travel as we have various experiences. One rule is we don’t plan on camping in a spot if we can’t talk to a real live person about it. We made that rule after getting to one of our earlier camping spots to discover we would be camping in a weed patch with no water and no bathroom. Our new rule after last night is no motel rooms in basements. We stayed in Beach, North Dakota, and because of all the workers there working in the oil fields there wasn’t much available so we settled on a room in a Motel that was low class to say the least, and the room was in the basement. Patty my wife suffers with asthma, and has attacks often. My daughter Sherri does as well. Well last night I had my very first ever asthma attack. I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air struggling to breath. I didn’t know what was happening and as I came fully awake I thought I must be having a heart attack. I thought about what I could do, and not knowing what that would be I assumed I was going to die. I thought, here I come Jesus, I hope You are as glad to see me as I will be to see You. I thought also, this sure is going to mess up John’s bicycle trip. I laid there for a few more minutes struggling to breath, and then I began doing what I did sky diving when it was hard to breath as well. I pushed as much air out as I could slowly and then breathed in slow and filled my lungs as full as I could. After a few minutes of this I decided it wasn’t a heart attack after all but was very much like what Patty had often. I got up and got a big drink of water and went back to bed though I didn’t sleep much after that. Once we got to riding every thing cleared up and I feel fine now, but no more dank motel rooms in basements.

North Dakota

imageWe crossed into North Dakota today. This was the easiest ride of the trip. We were on Freeway I-94 all day. The reason it was the easiest was because (1) it was 37 miles, (2) the Freeway builders filled up the low spots and chopped off the high spots so the climbs were much more gradual than in the last several days, (3) there was an 8 foot shoulder so it was a very relaxed ride in the sense of worrying about getting run over, (4) every time a truck went by his draft would pick up my speed by 2 mph for a minute, and they were coming by very often, (5) and it was overcast with a little rain so we were nice and cool, unlike yesterday’s 97 degrees.

Couldn’t find any campgrounds in the area, and Motels were all full, but I cried on the phone as I was checking for places and said we were two old, tired guys riding bicycles from the West Coast to the East coast and we really needed a place to stay for the night, so this lady took pity and gave us a room in the basement with one bed. John gets the bed and I have my very fine blow up air mattress on the floor. No air conditioning, but it does have a working ceiling fan and a shower.

Tomorrow we are headed for Dickinson, North Dakota about 64 miles ride. We will have our rest day there. I found a campground that is advertised as tents only and called and reserved a spot for us. Zoomed in on it with Google Earth and it looks like somebody’s backyard. The lady said that they had showers so it should work. Love you all. Dee