Tomorrow at 6 am I am leaving with my brother Cliff, his wife Kathy, and Tom Zilverberg on a 2000 mile bicycle trip. We are going to Glacier National Park and back again in a circular route. We will average about 68 miles each day for 32 biking days with 5 rest days, each one being on Sunday. Tomorrow we are camping in Idanah just past Detroit Lake.
This will be the 6th bicycle trip that I have taken that has been a month or more in length and I still get super nervous, hyped up, excited, and a bit apprehensive thinking about what it will feel like to get hit with a truck on a bicycle.
I enjoy these trips for 5 reasons; (1) I usually lose 20 to 30 lbs, get in really great shape, and come back with so much more energy. I maintain a pulse rate of about 120 beats a minute for about 8 hours minimum each day with about 30 minutes to an hour of over 140 beats a minute so I get a great cardiovascular workout. (2) I get a great time of personal renewal. My job as a pastor requires being around people most of the day and many are sick or have family sick, or they are in some kind of life crisis in their marriage or extended family or finances. Usually they are wanting some counsel from me that will fix it all tomorrow, but most often it is going to be a long, slow, tedious, tiring journey, and they don’t want to hear that particularly. All that to say, I get weary of ministry and run out of gas and these trips are wonderful in their ability to fill my tank to full. (3) All day long I ride along talking to no one but God and I do a lot of reflective thinking about myself, my character and my lack of character and what to do about it. (4) Because of the thinking I do all day long when I get to camp and start writing words come out of me like a water fall. I get lots of sermons written, goals written, and plans and strategies worked out and written down. (5) It isn’t the most dangerous thing in life to do but there is an element of risk involved that gives the trip a bit of an edge to it that is invigorating for me. Pastoring is a noble job, but it can get a bit boring and routine at times and it has been listed as one of the softest jobs there is, safe is not very exciting.