Monthly Archives: April 2022

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 3

Last night we camped in Americamps in Ashland, Virginia and tonight we are camped at “Horseshoe Flats Campground,” in Scottsville, Virginia. The ladies rode 72 miles from camp to camp, Cliff had a wreck after 30 miles of riding and Dave came and picked him up and took him to camp and I hated to see him go by himself so I went with him. I wasn’t going to ride today but I felt much better when I got up so I did, but about the time Cliff had his wreck my knee was hurting pretty good so I quit with him. You are wanting to know about the wreck?

Cliff put some sun screen on and a little bit latter it got into his eyes, and while he was trying to get it out he hit a mailbox. He hit it with his right handlebar, and it knocked him to the ground. Kathy was riding behind him and ran over him. He broke his right brake and shifter on the bike, and he got a bunch of bumps and bruises. He has ice on one knee now, and he is trying to get some sympathy from me. The funny thing is that someone drove by and saw him on the ground and called 911 and reported a bicycle accident, and after he got up and bicycled to where I was waiting, two police cars came by with their lights on, and then an EMT rig and an ambulance. The EMT rig slowed down and asked us where the bike accident was, and we responded, “don’t know,” and it wasn’t until they came back by again with their lights and sirens still going that we figured out that it was Cliff they were looking for.

I have always said that as brothers, I was much more intelligent than him, and now there is proof!

Our campground tonight is right on the James River and is very beautiful.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 2

We bicycled 72 miles today and 46 miles of it was on a paved bicycle trail. That means there were no cars and it was very beautiful. I am sorry that I didn’t get any pictures, I was having some cell phone problems today, mostly from poor planning getting it charged. Today was my first day of biking and about mile 50 I ran out of gas. So I decided to use my electric assist motor on my bike to help me out. There is a key that locks the battery on the bike because they are expensive and people steal them. I forgot to take the key off of my keyring with the pickup key which Dave had because he is driving the pickup, so I couldn’t put the charged battery on my bike. I called Dave who was already in camp and he said he would be glad to bring me the key. He came and I took the rings and took my bicycle key off and put the rest of the keys in my pocket and we took off on our bicycles for camp. It wasn’t long before Dave called and said he had no pickup keys. I assured him that I laid them on the passenger seat, so he looked diligently and couldn’t find them, so I reached into my pocket, and was I embarrassed🥵.

I am really feeling the results of the ride tonight and the worst thing is my left knee hurts really bad and is starting to swell noticeably. I am hoping that a good nights sleep will fix it, but if it is still in bad shape in the morning I will probably take the day off and ride in the pickup.

Well, speaking of sleep, I think I will hit the hay.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 1

Well, day one started out different than we expected. We spent until about midnight working on our trailer in the parking lot of the Norfork Airport where Kathy and Terri flew into. We thought we had it fixed but drove one block and it was dragging on the road. We pulled into the parking lot of a “Dollar General,” and found a cheap motel close by. Dave drove us all to the motel and he went back and slept in the pick up so no one would break into the trailer and steal our bikes. We spent some time on the phone this morning, and found a welding shop only a mile away so we worked on the trailer some more and fixed it enough to limp into the shop. It was finally finished at 5:00 pm so we drove the distance we were supposed to bike today to our reserved campground. We are all ready for tomorrow and expect a good day of biking! We will see.

One of my mottos is to work “hard, but don’t get uptight with the unexpected. “ Another is, “life is too short to have even a single boring day, so enjoy the challenges, the unexpected, and the adventures!”

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day Two Driving

We are close to the end of the 3,000 mile driving trip. It is 1:00 pm right now and my google maps says we will be at the airport where Kathy and Terri are landing at 5:00 pm and they land at 4:30 and then have to get off, get luggage, and walk to the place where we will pick them up so looks like perfect timing to me. We will then drive to the campground which is about 30 minutes from the airport, and set up camp and get all organized. We only ride 40 miles tomorrow so we probably won’t leave until about 8:00 am. We are driving through the Appalachians right now and it is beautiful. I can’t wait to get pictures as we ride our bicycles through. I will send another short blog tonight with pictures when we get camp set up.

Bicycle Trip- Day Two Driving

It is 4:30 pm on Tuesday, April 26th and we are on I-80 in Des Moines, Iowa. We have driven approximately 1,700 miles so far and have 1,300 left to drive. Our goal is to get to the campground near Yorktown, Virginia, our starting point for riding the bikes, by noon tomorrow. We are right on schedule despite our two-hour delay this morning.

We noticed last night as we were getting gas that the tongue of my trailer was bending, and that the front edge of the trailer was only six inches from the ground. This morning it was only two inches from the ground😳🥺. We were in Sidney, Nebraska, the home of Cabella’s, and decided that we needed to fix it. There was an Ace’s Hardware in town, but it didn’t open until 8:00 am, two more hours, so we found a restaurant open and decided to eat breakfast. I asked the waitress if there were any medal Fab shops in town or welding shops, and she went over and asked a local farmer who was eating. He came over, and we chatted about what we were doing and our problems. He gave me the name of a guy that he used for welding and repair, and he was only two miles away. I called him and he said come right over, so we did and he fixed my little trailer right up. When he finished I asked how much I owed and he said $150, so I gave him two 100 dollar bills, and told him “thank you, you saved our bacon!” He asked what we had in the trailer that weighed so much, and I said six bicycles! He enjoyed hearing about our upcoming adventures.

Whenever I do something like this bicycle trip something always goes wrong, and it is an adventure solving the problem and seeing how God supplies. This morning is just the first of many to come in the next two months I am sure, and I am looking forward to the adventure.

First Day Driving

My brother Cliff, a friend from our church, Dave Kennedy and myself left my house this morning at 6:00 am. We are driving my pickup and pulling a trailer that I built, that has six bicycles and all our camping stuff for two months in it. The two ladies on the trip are flying out, and we will pick them up at the airport on Wednesday at 4:00 pm. Hopefully, that is the plan. We also have two guys driving out and joining us at the halfway point and bicycle With us the last month of the trip.

The bicycle trip from Yorktown, Virginia to my house is 3,987 miles. The road trip we started this morning is 2,987 miles, exactly 1000 miles shorter. The reason is the bicycle route zig-zags all over the place to stay on back roads that have very little traffic, but our driving route is major Freeways the entire way. We have had the cruise control set on 70 and 80 mph most of the way, and are making good time. We are rotating drivers about every three hours which so far is working good.

We have driven 700 miles in 13 hours which is about 55 mph on average, and we stopped for gas three times and stopped and ate dinner at our son Seth’s place in Twin Falls, Idaho, which was very fun though we only stayed for 30 minutes. So far we are on schedule, hopefully, we don’t run into a tornado😳 Here is a picture of my trailer that I built. It is 7 feet wide, 10 feet long, and 6 foot 1 inch tall. I made it out of 2×2’s and 1/4 in plywood and covered it with fiberglass.

What Am I Forgetting??

Tomorrow is the beginning of a two-month adventure of driving to Yorktown, Virginia and peddling home on bicycles. Everything is packed and ready to go, I think. All day long I have been going over my lists, racking my brain trying to think of anything I may be forgetting. I have my bicycle, and my bicycle cloths, my camp cloths, and clothes for church, my tent and sleeping bag, a stove and enough food for a year😀. I have tools, spare tires for the pickup and trailer, spare everything for my bike, three tubes of Butt Butter👍, all my meds for two months, sunscreen, pepper spray for dogs, tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, razor, lots of liniment, several big bottles of ibuprofen, and my pillow. Oh yeh, my reclining lawn chair, and my Ipad and all charging stuff along with my cell phone. I can’t think of anything else, but if I discover anything I need we can always stop and buy it along the way.

As I ride 8 to 10 hours each day on my bicycle I will be doing a lot of reflective thinking about who I am in character, where I am in my growth, what needs work in me, possible goals for this upcoming year, and the years following. I will also listen to several sermons and lectures on podcasts each day, and my hearing aids blue tooth with my cell phone making it very easy to listen to what I have downloaded. We usually get into camp by 2:00 or 3:00 pm each day so I can easily get 5 or 6 hours of sermon and blog writing in each night along with some reading.

I am very excited and looking forward to the trip, and anticipating some great adventures and experiences.

Managing Pain

I feel a lot more pain in my muscles from my Parkinson’s now than I did a year ago. It has taken me a little bit of time, but I have my rules worked out that I follow as I manage this nuisance in my life. I read them a couple times each week to keep them fresh in my thinking.

1. Don’t ask or think “why,” because it makes no difference in the level of pain I feel, and even if I figure out the answer nothing will change, the pain is still there, so just accept it.

2. Don’t think self-pity thoughts for a second, nothing will turn me into a grouchy old man quicker.

3. Remember the good old days of great health, energy, and coordination, and rejoice and thank the Lord for so many of those good days; they were a gift from God.

4. Think about heaven and my new glorified body in great detail at least a dozen times each day; it won’t be long now😀

5. Stay faithful to reading the Bible every day in significant volume even though I don’t feel like it when I am hurting.

6. The same goes for praying, memorizing scripture, reading good books, writing, and listening to podcasts of good preaching and teaching.

7. Don’t let pain turn you into a wimp or a cry baby.

8. Pain makes me tired mentally and emotionally, but don’t say “no” to opportunities to bear fruit for God; he gives strength to the weary if they get out of their recliner.

9. When the pain becomes unbearable, say, “Thank You, Lord, for building my character! I can do this with Your strength.”

10. Always be pleasant, cheerful, and focused on others in all social settings.

11. Don’t say things intended to elicit sympathy from others.

12. Take your meds on time and exercise as if it is the most important thing you do for your health, because it is!”

Climb Mt Adams

Having grown up in Trout Lake which is near Mt Adams and because our church has hosted a Mt climbing trip up Adams each year for the last 40 years I have climbed Mt Adams a bunch. But I have failed to make it to the summit the last three times I have climbed. Last year I didn’t even try, I basically figured that, that chapter of my life was over. I have been thinking about it a lot for the last year. I would like to make it to the top and then retire from climbing, not go out as a loser. I figured that if I could camp at the 10,000-foot mark and then summit from there that I could make it, which is what I did the last time I climbed two years ago. But carrying the weight of the pack had me all tuckered out and I only made it another 1000 feet the next day before I quit. So I decided I needed to climb a week after I get back from my bicycle trip when I will be in pretty good shape after biking an average of 70 miles each day for 62 days, and I needed to find a tough young guy who would climb with me and carry my camping stuff along with his own. Well, I was telling my plan to my son-in-law at our family Easter dinner, a pastor in Washington who just happens to be a tough young guy, and he said he would carry my pack and climb with me. So I have a new B-HAG, “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” “I will successfully climb Mt Adams with my son-in-law camping at the “lunch counter” summiting the next day, and then camping again on the way down. We will do this on July 7th, 8th, and 9th.”

Many people fall away from the Lord when they get older, and many seniors plateau and stop growing. One of the reasons is that as people get older, they tend to eliminate hard things and activities from their life. I don’t want to backslide or stop bearing fruit as I get older, I want to keep shifting into a higher gear and finish my life with a sprint.

Here is a picture of my tent on Mt Adams two years ago when I tried to summit the mountain but failed.


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Bicycle Trip

We leave for Yorktown, Virginia in five more days. I am taking my pickup and pulling a little covered trailer that I built. Today I finished painting the trailer and did a few minor things to it, and now it is ready to go across the United States twice, there and back. We are driving straight through, stopping only to eat, get gas, go potty, and stretch our legs for a little bit. The two ladies going are going to fly back, and four guys will drive the pickup back, probably rotating drivers every three or four hours for the approximately 60 hours it will take to drive back East. The trailer will hold six bicycles and some gear. I bought a canopy for my pickup on Craig’s list so that we will put most of our gear in it. I also bought a little RV refrigerator that runs on propane and 12 volts to put in the trailer and built a fold-down shelf that we can put a propane camp stove on.

I plan on losing 40 lbs on the trip and coming home weighing 188 lbs, which I weighed at our wedding 53 years ago. I am sure that everything I need on the trip is packed in three plastic tote boxes. We will leave at 6:00 am on Monday, and start bicycling at 6:00 am on April 28th, Thursday. If everything goes as planned we will be home on June 30th, having ridden 4,000 miles on our bicycles.