Monthly Archives: May 2023

Day 5 Bicycle Trip 2023

Today I got the crank for my bicycle, which fits and works perfectly. Because of Memorial Day, it wasn’t possible to get the part shipped to my daughter Hanna’s house before Wednesday. Sam, the fellow I have been talking to on the phone to get the crank ordered, said he would drive it halfway to Hanna’s house, which was in Kelso, Washington if I could meet him halfway. It was a 100-mile round trip for him, and he charged me no extra for a $33 part. I was more than impressed with the service and the desire to help me get back on the road again. The name of his bicycle shop in Portland, Oregon, is Cyber e-bikes, and I am giving them five stars, so if you are interested in an e-bike, I would check out their store. You will get excellent service for sure. When I picked up the part, Sam was super friendly and asked a bunch of questions about our trip and said he would read my blog. I am going to text him the address for the blog as soon as I finish here. In our day, the way the culture has gone, when you run into that kind of “go the second mile” service, it is very encouraging. I hope his business goes well.

The Bible has a lot to say about that kind of service. Jesus didn’t come to earth to be served but to serve and give His life for our salvation. He says that those who make themselves a servant to others that God will exalt them. I don’t know where Sam and the others in his store are in their relationship with Jesus, but I pray that they discover Him and that I see him again in heaven.

I drove the motorhome today, but everyone else road 70 miles with some pretty steep hills to climb. Tomorrow we are riding across the Astoria bridge into Oregon which I hear is a bit scary. It is four miles across with no shoulder and traffic both ways. It sounds like it will be an exciting day for sure.

Day 4 Bicycle Trip 2023

I biked today even with my floppy pedal. We only went 42 miles so pretty easy. Great weather, no bugs, no dogs, no wind, no rumble strips, no grumpy drivers, no close calls, no monster hills, about as good as you can get sitting on a hard bicycle seat pedaling your guts out.

Game seven between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat is going to be on a big screen at a Sports Bar up the road from our camp about a ten minute walk so we are going to walk up there and watch it, that should be fun.

We are at Elma, Washington tonight at Elma RV Resort, a very nice place.

One of the things that I like about bicycle trips like this is that I get in lots of reflective thinking time, thinking about who I am, what I want to improve on and grow in, and how I will do that. I do a lot of talking with the Lord about my life and what He wants me to do, trying to decern what His will is and what He thinks of my life lived for Him to this point. I am probably more critical of my character and accomplishments at this point in my life than He is, at least, I hope that is the case.

Day 3 Bicycle trip 2023

I am sitting in the motorhome at the table typing this blog, and it is 7:54 am. Ray, Paul, Cliff, and Kathy just took off on today’s ride of 62 miles to Lillwaup, Washington, on Hood Canal on Hwy 101. The name of the campsite is Rest-A-While RV Park, and it looks like from the website that it will be a nice one. I am driving the motorhome today instead of Ray because of my broken bike. I will ride my bicycle tomorrow because it is a short day of 42 miles, and I should be able to manage my floppy pedal. The bicycle shop in Portland that I called yesterday to try and find a new crank for my bike was super helpful and spent a lot of time finding the part and working today to get it mailed for me so it comes in time to my daughter Hanna’s place in a couple of days. They have my business from here on out.

I can’t check into the next campsite until noon, so I will sit here in our present site until check-out time which is 11:00 am, and read and write; a lovely day it will be.

This is the tenth long-distance bicycle trip that I have done, and they all have one thing in common, everything that can go wrong does. I plan them out in great detail and think of everything that needs done before we go, but it makes no difference. A fun part of these kinds of trips is dealing with and solving the various problems that come up. We have every bicycle shop on the route identified with phone numbers because malfunctioning bicycles are the number one problem that we face. Because the course we are riding is sanctioned by the “Adventure Cycling Association,” there are a lot of bicycles and, thus, a lot of bike shops along the way.

The book of Proverbs says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Jesus Christ is Lord of my life, and every morning I present myself to Him and commit myself to obeying Him and following His leading as I see it. So whatever happens I know that the Lord is holding my hand and guiding me into His perfect will, broken bicycles and all.

Day 2 Bicycle Trip 2023

The highlight of the day was the six mile ferry ride from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend.

There have been lots of bike trails in two days of riding and this one went across the bay.

Riding across on the ferry.

Today was about 46 miles bicycling and 6 miles on the ferry. There were lots of very steep hills that maxed me out getting to the top of them, and we had a headwind most of the day but no dogs.

Last year I had some major bicycle problems that I thoughr that I got fixed. The crank on the left side needed to have some welding done on it so that the pedal would screw into the crank. Evidently the heat generated from the welding caused the crank to lose it’s temper so it is bending as I push on it. It was bad at the end of yesterday but after today it is bent so much that I can hardly keep my foot on the pedal and my left knee and hip are killing me tonight. I called a bike shop that sells my brand of bicycle and they have the crank in stock and they are going to ship it to my daughter Hanna’s place where we are supposed to stay in three nights. I probably will need to drive the motorhome instead of ride the next three days so I don’t wreck my knee and hip.

Day 1 Bicycle Trip 2023

Today we went about 50 miles mostly along the ocean as we began our 2000-mile trip from Canada to Mexico. The weather was sunny but not too hot, breezy but mostly a tailwind, not too many hills, and not a single dog. it was a very beautiful scenery and a comfortable first day. My legs didn’t hurt and weren’t to tired, my butt was not hurting, and everything on the bike worked great.

Tomorrow we will bicycle most of the day on Whidbey Island and ride a ferry for about 6 miles to Port Townsend, where we will camp after having ridden about 60 miles. This Memorial Day weekend, there has been lots of traffic, and probably will be more on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The ferry is going to be so busy that they recommended that we make a reservation for the motorhome, and the first available spot for it was at 6:00 pm, so we will be at our camp spot several hours before our motorhome gets there. We will probably hang out in an air-conditioned restaurant and drink Diet Pepsi.

We will be in camp each evening around 2:00 pm so I have a lot of time to read, study, and write and inside the Motorhome it is comfortable at the table if the table outside is uncomfortable or in the sun. Also many of the campgrounds have a restaurant close by that has good WiFi and I can sit in there and eat an order of chips and salsa as I read and write.

So, I am trying hard not to eat sugar on this trip, but Paul just came into the Motorhome with a half gallon of ice cream, and I can’t resist. He said that he would deny it if I put him in my blog, that is, Paul Risinger. What are friends for if not to bring a little temptation into your life?

Off We Go

It is 9:00 pm Wednesday night and we have our bicycles in the trailer tied down well, with all our food, cloths, sleeping bags etc packed in the Motorhome. Tomorrow morning at 6:00 am five of us are taking off on a one month adventure, with a sixth person joining us in one week. Tomorrow we will drive to a campground just a few miles from the Canadian border, sleep there overnight and then Friday morning, bright and early, we will hop on our bicycles and pedal South. Our destination is the Mexican border and we will ride most of the trip on Highway 101 and Highway 1 in California. The total trip is approximately 2000 miles and we will average about 70 miles per day and be home on May 23rd just in time for me to preach on the 24th and 25th at JBC.

In the past years of doing these trips we have mostly camped in tents, but this year we are going to stay in the Motorhome every night. We have every day mapped out, with each days map on our cell phones with verbal instructions at all of the turns. The mapping program also shows us a silhouette of each days ride with expected elevation climbs and descents. The campsights are all reserved, and they all have hot showers! We usually average 10 to 14 mph and take a butt break every five miles.

Breakfast for me will be a bowl of granola ceral with oat milk on it with two cups of coffee. We snack along the way on dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, and cookies. Sometimes we will stop for lunch, usually at a “Sub Sandwich” place that happens to be at the right place at the right time. Dinner for me is usually a can of stew, pork and beans, or something similar with a can of vegetables, usually beans, and then for a bedtime snack we will eat some microwave popcorn. I drink a lot of water and some sort of electrolyte sports drink all day long.

This is our tenth long distance bicycle trip. We have done two trips to Fairbanks, Alaska, three coast to coast trips, the northern route, Southern, and one through the middle of the United States, each of those was about 4,000 miles. We did a trip to the Grand Canyon, then up to Yellowston, and then home which was close to 4,000 miles. We did one around the State of Oregon and a number of others that started at home and went out to Montana and around and back home. At the beginning of everyone of the last five trips I have assumed that this is probably the last one of these that I have in my old body. We will see how I feel at the end of one month, usually I feel 20 years younger, that is why I keep doing these darn torture trips.

Blessing Others

How do we bless another person if we want to choose to do that? The best Biblical definition of bless is to give joy to them, make them happy, make their day. How would or could you do that? Most often it is with words that we speak to another person. The book of Proverbs says that our words can “build up” or “tear down,” “give joy,” or “make sad.” Another method of blessing is to do something kind or considered that communicates thoughtfulness or meets a need. One of my favorites is with a gift, I like to give gifts and I like to receive gifts. There is something about gifts that just brings a smile to your face, especially if it is a nice gift.

I appreciate people who bless me, but even more I appreciate people who bless, my wife Patty, or my kids, or grandkids, and obviously some of my least favorite people are those who hurt or make one of my family members sad. Historically some of the worst of feuds have been started not on the basis of what someone did to another person, but what someone did to a family member or friend of another person.

I was tremendously blessed today by a family, the family is a member of our extended family, giving a very special gift to all of our kids, the gift was a fairly large sum of money to each one of them. It was totally unexpected and for most of them was very timely with current needs that they had.

I was filled with joy because my kids were filled with joy, as well as their spouses, and their kids. They say that warmed-up pizza is better than the fresh stuff, and I believe that secondhand joy is actually stronger the the original.

Like most good things in life, gifts was God’s idea, He gave the greatest gift, the most expensive gift, and the gift that will ultimately bring the greatest joy to those who accept His gift, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

All Good Things Come to an End (except heaven)

We head home from Alaska in a couple of days. Patty will be at home cleaning house and playing with grandkids, and I will head off on my 2,000 mile bicycle trip. I am hoping it is going to be fun, exciting, and that my Parkinson’s will get much better from all the exercise that I will be getting. It is funny how I look forward to everything on my calendar for the next year. During the summer I have fishing trips planned, hunting trips, and family events. But of the things on the calendar for the next year the thing I am most excited about is the start of my “Leadership Classes” the first weekend in October. Teaching those classes, men’s, ladies, and leadership II are the most fulfilling activities in my life. I am spending a lot of time now going over my lecture notes and trying to think of information and teaching techniques that will make the classes better. Not everybody grows spiritually while in the class but many do, and it is so rewarding to know that God has used me to make a difference in someone’s life that will last forever. The most rewarding part is when many plug into ministry and start making a major difference with their own life. Several guys who went through leadership class, then moved away and coasted for 20 years, not doing much for the Lord have now jumped into ministry in their churches and are having a huge impact in their respective churches. It doesn’t get any better than that!!

Halibut Fishing in Alaska

I built a drift boat two years ago when I came to Soldotna, Alaska and I left it at “Tim’s Place” to use in subsequent years. Last year I built a trailer for it. What I have wanted to do is take it out in the ocean halibut fishing and today we did just that. It was a bit precarious driving on the sand, but we got the boat in the water and out again and caught 5 halibut, the biggest one was 60 lbs. I considered the maiden voyage for my boat in the ocean a great success. Guys come up to “Tim’s Place” to fish for sockeye salmon, but there are slow days and it would be cool if we could take them Halibut fishing. The charters charge $400 per person and you can only keep one fish. So “Duke’s Halibut Fishing” is free and way more fun, what a deal! Those on the maiden voyage was my grandson Wyatt, his dad, my son-in-law Philip, and me. We only went out 1/4 mile and fished in 20 feet of water but we caught five fish in one hour, amazing.

Moose in Alaska

Lots of moose in Alaska. These were in the yard at the house where we are staying. When I get up in the morning to go to the room where the bathroom is I scare a moose or he scares me most mornings. We see them almost every day as we drive into town and around. You don’t want to hit one while driving! This last two picture is the way I like to see moose.