Monthly Archives: June 2019

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip Day #20

We had an easy day riding today, only 42 miles, and fairly flat. It was also another beautiful ride as we followed along the Kootenie River. We usually try to be on the road by 6:00 am every morning to beat the heat and if there is going to be a wind problem it is usually in the afternoon when it gets strong. So we are usually in camp by 2:00 or 3:00 pm, but because it was going to be a short day we slept in until 6:00 am and Tom fixed bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of our usual oatmeal, it was nice. Tonight we are at Jim and Beth McCain’s house in Moyie Springs, Idaho near Bonner’s Ferry. Jim and Beth live in Salem most of the time, attend JBC and are good friends, but recently bought this place in Idaho that they rent out to vacationers most of the year and come and stay periodically. so it worked out beautifully for us to be here with them instead of a campground. We will also be here all day tomorrow for our Sunday rest day, and go to church with them. My wife, Patty took some sockeye salmon to their house before they left to come up here, and they brought it with them, and we are going to eat it tonight😀😀. Last night, just for fun, I searched on the internet for people on bicycle trips that were Blogging about it, and found several. It was fun reading about their travels. Their blogs were much shorter than most of mine.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #20

I had my first flat tire in almost 10,000 miles of bicycle trips today. It didn’t take to long to fix. I carry spare tubes in the bag on my bike along with all the tools that I need. Instead of a pump I use a little Co2 canister about the size of my thumb and an attachment that I screw on the canister that fits the valve stem on my mike. I push the button on the tool and the contents of the little canister fill my bicycle tube up to about 80 lbs, and off down the rode I go. The back tire on my bike is about worn out but I only have a few more days to go so I am reluctant to put the new one on yet, but I I am pretty sure the flat was caused by a little sharp rock that penetrated my tire. It won’t take long, I probably should to be safe.

I saw a big black bear dead along side of the road today, probably hit by a car. He hadn’t swollen up or started to smell yet so it probably last night some time when he was hit. I thought if I had a sharp knife on me, I would have skinned him out. That would have been a load to carry on my bike.

We rode from McGregor Lake to Libby, Montana today, 60 miles. It was a gorgeous trip in regards to scenery, Montana is a beautiful State. Most of the miles were flat and downhill with just a dozen or so miles that were uphill so it was a an easy day, I don’t think I ever broke a sweat in the 60 miles. The sun was out with no rain, no mosquitos, dogs, and just a few miles of rumble strips.

I have one more thing to add to my “Hate List”, those things that I really don’t like much on a bicycle trip. Rain, bugs of any kind but especially mosquitos, bees, and yellow jackets, dogs, rumble strips, chip seal with big gravel, a head wind, rude and grumpy campground hosts, and drivers who think people on bicycles are a menace to society so they get their jollies by seeing how close they can drive to you. Today I would like to add a ninth thing that I hate to the list, that is zippers on tents and sleeping bags. They don’t always hang up while unzipping, but when you are in a hurry to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night they always hang up. And then you are locked in your sleeping bag or tent or both forever or until Jesus comes. What usually happens is that it takes me forever to finally get out of my sleeping bag and then the tent zipper snags up and I am on the same trail with it. The words that I mutter in the middle of the night as I try to get free of my prison is, “you would think that if we can put a man on the moon and invent computers and stuff like that, you would think that someone could invent a zipper for tents and for sleeping bags that actually works.” By the time I am free of my zipper prison I usually have muttered that 3 or 4 times.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #18

This is the kind of sign I like. We are at McGregor Lake, Montana at a campground on the lake. I wish I had brought a fishing rod with me, we have stayed at a number of campsites where I could have done some fishing. There is a hiking trail all around the campsite so I may take a hike around it with my camera to see if I can see anything to take a picture of and add a little excitement to my life. Tom does most of the RV driving, but I volunteered to drive it today if he wanted to ride the whole day, instead of just part, and he jumped at the chance. I was going to get on the bicycle and ride back to meet the crew and then ride back to camp, but I was feeling kind of lazy today and decided to stay here and read and write and eat and sleep and eat and sleep some more, nice. Of the seven long distance bike trips that I have been on, one of them was a self-supported trip, that is, we had no support vehicle with us so we had to pack everything on the bikes with us. That was the trip that John Smith and I did across the northern part of the U.S. to Portland, Maine. When we got there we packed our bicycles in boxes and flew home. I think that was my favorite of the trips because it puts a kind of pressure on you that none of the others has. If you get tired you still have to get on the old bicycle, if you don’t get to your destination by dark, you have to ride in the dark or camp where you are. I have been thinking about doing another self-supported longer trip, but I may be getting past that point in my life. I used to get all excited thinking about it and reading about possible trips, but now I think, whooooeeeeeee, maybe I ought to go on a fishing trip instead.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #17

Today we rode 75 miles and overall it was a fun ride, a beautiful ride, and a relatively easy ride. It was “easier” would probably be a better way of saying it, there are no easy days. We went uphill for 20 miles where we hit the continental divide, and then we went gradually down hill for 50 miles. The mountains, meadows, streams, and forests were all beautiful, and we saw a lot of buffalo, deer, elk, and a moose as well. We are in West Glacier, Montana tonight at a KOA campground. They have a swimming pool and a hot tub, so I spent a lot of time soaking my muscles and putting my knee if front of a blower and it feels so much better than it did this morning. A big German shepherd dog came out and chased Cliff and Kathy. They were a couple hundred yards in front of me so I watched as the dog ran after them for several minutes and finally gave up. When I came by him he looked at me and just laid there being to tired out to even bark. I am feeling much better tonight than I have any night on the trip. I think I am finally getting in shape.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #16

Today was a great day of bicycle riding. The scenery was awesome, the temperature was perfect, sunny but not to hot, and the traffic was light. There was a lot of climbing, in fact the total feet climbed was the most of any day on the trip, but we are all getting in pretty good shape and no one cried to much. My knee was a bit tender but felt good after the ride so I don’t think anything to serious happened to it. We rode 73 miles today, and we will ride the same tomorrow. We are camping at “Sleeping Wolf Campground” in Browning, Montana, and it is a very nice campground and reasonable prices as well. I am so tired that I am having a hard time thinking of anything to write.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #15

This is a picture of my office these days on our bicycle trip. This is the inside of the Motorhome that belongs to Tom Zilverberg who is driving this with us as a support vehicle. He usually drives the Motor Home to where we are going to camp in the morning, and then rides his bicycle back towards us and then back to camp again. I woke up with a very sore and swollen knee this morning so I am driving the motorhome today and he is riding. I am parked along side the road about 20 miles from our camping spot waiting until Cliff, Kathy, and Tom make it here in case they are run out of gas and want to ride the rest of the way to camp. It is 82 miles today with some tough uphill climbing. If they are good to go to camp I will take off and get checked in and set up camp. I have a bunch of snacks to munch on and a coffee maker so I am using my time with my IPad and little key board to get lots of studying and writing done. I am taking Ibupofen every 4 hours and expect that the knee will be ready for a good day of riding tomorrow. I brought an elastic knee brace that I will wear tomorrow to help my knee not get any more strained. Tonight we will be in the town of Browning, Montana, right outside Glacier National Park, and tomorrow we will ride through it. So far I have lost 10 pounds and hope to lose an another 10 before I get home. It would be easy if it weren’t for all these snacks that I eat. One of my goals is to get Philippians and Colossians memorized this next year as I plan on teaching through both books in our Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Sunday morning at 8 am classes this next year. I have started working on them on this trip and so far I have 11 verses memorized well. I should get a couple more done today. Memorizing Bible verses and meditating on them during the day is by far the most powerful thing that I do spiritually, that is, this discipline causes more growth in my character and life, and in my intimacy with the Lord than anything else I do. It is interesting to me that the discipline that is most effective is also the hardest one to practice faithfully.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #14

I took this picture in our camp in Lincoln, Montana. We walked to church this morning down the Main Street in town and saw 6 deer. This is my kind of town. The pastor in his sermon was talking about people in the church being like parts of a physical body, and then he said that the most important part of his own body was his shooting finger, my kind of pastor. The church we attended this morning had about 25 people attending, with great worship and teaching from the Bible, and we were greatly edified as we spent time with God with a church family a long way from home. I spent several hours today planning or replanning our trip. The route I had planned on through Glacier National Park is not open yet because of snow so we are going an alternate route that is open, and once you change one thing you have to change almost everything else. I have 6 different Apps on my IPad for planning routes for bicycles. They pick routes that are bicycle friendly based on input from many different bicyclists who have given feedback on the various routes, plus I go over the route with google earth checking it visually. I especially check out the bicycle trails because many of them are gravel, the Apps don’t tell you that, and my skinny bicycle tires don’t do well on gravel. Tomorrow we are headed North to Chateau, Montana. a ride of 82 miles.

An important character trait in life is flexibility. Flexibility is not being wishy washy, or indecisive, it is acknowledging that at any given time there is a lot of information missing that is needed to make a good decision about most things, but decisions usually have to be made before the information is available. So wise people are flexible, they make decisions, make plans, set goals, and figure out strategies knowing that they may change, and they make those mid-course adjustments with the same decisiveness that they made the original plan as new information comes in. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” In the book of Proverbs these kind of statements aren’t 2 opposite statements, but parallel statements, like railroad tracks running parallel side by side. One statement is man’s part, man’s responsibility and the other is God’s. “The mind of man plans his way, and at the same time God is directing his steps”. God expects that we will be responsible and plan, organize, and make goals, but He also expects that we will trust Him, recognizing that He doesn’t give us everything we need to know up front.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day #13

As I had guessed, today was a gorgeous day of riding as we followed the Blackfoot river for most of the day. When I saw this sign I watched hard for big horn sheep, but all I saw were the ones on the signs. There were at least 100 drift boats and rubber rafts pulled by pickup trucks that passed us today. I guess if you live close to this river that having a boat is part of the deal. Near where we are camped tonight I checked to see what it would be for a guided fishing trip on the river, and they said $500, and I said, “Oh, well, thank you, but I will pass”. I wonder how many fish I would have caught.

We rode 90 miles today, and it was all up hill, which is a lot. I decided that on all future trips that I plan that I am going to limit the longest days to 60 miles. I feel good and have good energy up until 60 miles and then it starts to drop off rapidly, and by the end of 90 miles, I am having a near death experience. The good thing is that we had a strong tail wind all day, it must have been around 10 mph the way the flags looked that we saw along the route. Besides being a beautiful ride, with a great tail wind, it didn’t rain, it was cool and comfortable, not a single dog chased me, not a single mosquito bit me, there were no rude drivers, and the shoulders along our route today were very wide. Now I am sitting in the RV writing my blog, eating mixed nuts and drinking quinine water, doesn’t get much better than that.

Pastor Dee’s Bicycle Trip 2019 Day# 12

Today is Friday, June 21st and we are sitting around camp drinking coffee, eating mixed nuts, gluten free crackers with peanut butter, and canned sardines. Tom bought some nice steaks and is going to barbecue them for dinner tonight, along with some corn on the cob that Kathy bought at a road side stand. We took today off as an unscheduled rest day because the previous 3 days were long with lots of climbing and we were done in, also because we rode in the RV yesterday 40 miles to get to an alternate camping spot so we gained some miles, and also because the weather has been so cold, windy and rainy and we are hoping to wait it out. We are leaving in the morning at 6:00 am for Lincoln, Montana regardless of the weather. It will be a 90 mile day and it is all uphill though fairly gradual, we will gain about 2,000 feet in net elevation in the 90 mile day as we follow the Blackfoot River upstream. I expect it to be another beautiful trip as we ride along this wild river.

Yesterday at the end of the ride I was physically very, very tired, out of gas, weary, exhausted. But another kind of tiredness is mental fatigue. I get physically tired almost every day, it is part of being 70 years old, and I cope with it, but I very rarely get mentally tired because I work so hard on positive, healthy, and Biblical self-talk. But yesterday I was mentally tired as well. For me, a clear indicator of mental weariness is I want to quit, so yesterday I spent most of my riding time trying to figure out how to do that, that is ride in the RV for the rest of the trip with dignity. One of my personal rules is to never quit or make major decisions while mentally fatigued, because they are almost always a choice that I later regret. Today, everything is super, and I am ready for a great ride tomorrow. In thinking about my mental state yesterday, I came to the conclusion that the all day long pain was what drained me mentally. My feet hurt from the cold, my shoulders and neck hurt as the constant vibration from the road went up the front tire, through the forks, the handle bar and then into my arms and upper body, my butt was on fire from sitting on that little, bitty seat for hours and hours, and numerous stops to apply “Butt Butter” didn’t help a bit, and my legs and knees were killing me. I have had a relatively pain free life physically, and I haven’t learned very well how to manage it mentally so this is a very good time for me to develop some new character, and thinking skills. I think the difference between this trip and the previous ones is my age, my body just isn’t as tough as it used to be. So, a new life purpose statement I have written for myself is, ” As my physical body gets older and weaker, my mind, soul, and spirit will get stronger”.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.