We are all packed up, in the RV and headed home, having terminated the trip because of the excessive, record-setting heat. I am now in the planning stage for next year’s trip. I have decided that I am going to do the Adventure Cycling’s Trans-America route. It is a coast to coast route going from Oregon to Virginia, and is approximately 4,000 miles long. At this point my brother Cliff will go on the trip with me along with his wife Kathy, and several others are thinking about it.
There are a number of decisions that have to be made about the trip. The first is whether we are going to do it with or without a support vehicle. A vehicle makes it a lot easier because we won’t have to pack 70 lbs of gear, clothes, and food on our bikes. It also adds a lot of security in case of breakdowns or other issues that can come up. Obviously the fact that I will be 73 and Cliff 72 is a major consideration. The main reason not to is because it quadruples the cost of the trip.
A second decision is whether we will start on the West Coast or the East. The prevailing winds generally go from West to East so the probability for tailwinds instead of headwinds, which is a big deal, is higher starting on this side of the U.S. A big problem going from West to East is that the purchased airplane ticket for returning home departure date hangs as a deadline over your head in case of any delays in the trip because of break down, weather, or health.
Another decision if we decide to use a support vehicle is whether we will buy one just for the trip and sell it at the end or whether we use someine’s personal vehicle that is going on the ride. If we use someone’s personal vehicle there is the added time and miles of driving across the country at the beginning or end depending on the starting point.
Another decision is when we we would do the ride. The personal schedules and responsibilities of those going and the best weather are the key factors in deciding.
There are many more decisions that need to be made in the planning of this trip, but the most important has been made, I am going to do it. Actually, the planning and all the research that goes into a journey of this magnitude is my favorite part.
Decision making and planning are a key part of every area of life. God planned all that has happened, and has planned the future in detail. He has given us the power and the freedom to make plans for our own lives and the lives of others and for organizations that we may lead.
Some people make good plans and succeed, and others make poor plans and fail. There are three keys to successful planning. The first is to make God the leader in the planning process, even if it is as non-spiritual as a bicycle trip. The second is to get counsel and advice from others who have experience. And the third is to do lots of research.