I have made seven bicycle trips with number eight set to start tomorrow at 6:00 am. I have ridden with about ten different people in the various trips, and have enjoyed them all. The longest trip was to the Grand Canyon, then up go Yellowstone, and then home, about 4,000 miles in 60 days. I have made two trips across the U.S. The Northern route which was across the northern part of the United States ending in Portland, Maine, and the Southern route which started in San Diego, California, and ended in St Augustine, Florida. I have also made two trips to Fairbanks, Alaska. Next year I am going to go across the U.S. again starting in Newport, Oregon and ending in Yorktown, Virginia. That trip will be about 4,000 miles and take two months. I am hoping several will join me. That trip will probably be an un-supported trip, meaning I will carry everything I need on my bicycle. On the trips we camp in campgrounds along the way and eat mostly freeze-dried meals with water heated on our little “jet-boils”.
This year’s trip will be 1,200 miles and last 20 days. We will begin at my house, go East to Idaho, go north through Idaho, turn East before we reach Canada and go into Montana, then South until we get to Twin Falls, Idaho, where my son Seth lives with his family. From there we will load the bikes on the Motor Home and head home.
I do these trips each year for several reasons. One is that I spend all day on the bicycle listening to sermons, lectures, and discussions on the Bible and various doctrines. In the evening I write sermons and Leadership class lessons, and usually get an outline done each day. I can get so much more done on these trips because I don’t get interrupted and can really focus. A second reason is that the emotional energy that I lose all year long from pastoring is all restored on these trips. They really do reenergize me, and get me all jazzed up for another year of ministry. A third reason is that bicycling is the best therapy for my Parkinson’s that there is. A fourth reason is that I get to be by myself on my bicycle eight to ten hour each day and I spend the time listening, thinking, praying, and getting close to my Lord.