2022 Bicycle Trip- Day 13

I bought some new pedals for my bicycle last year because I didn’t want the clip in my shoe kind because I kept forgetting to unclip my shoes and then I would fall over when I stopped. That was both painful and embarrassing. I remember the last time I fell over before I got rid of those lock in style of pedals and got the good old fashioned ones. I was right in front of a restaurant with a big window when I fell over very hard, and when I walked into the restaurant with one elbow and one knee bleeding everyone in the restaurant cheered and whooped it up for me, funny but very embarrassing. Well, I never liked the pedals that I put on because they were to small and my feet kept slipping off. So when we were in a bike shop recently I saw some really big platform pedals so I bought a pair. Last night when I took off the old ones I discovered that I had evidently cross-threaded one of them when I put them on and when I took them off last night I took out all the aluminum threads on the one crankshaft, and as a result the new pedals wouldn’t stay in. I needed a new pedal Crankshaft but when I called all the bicycle shops none of them had one my particular size. So I am going to order one on line and have it mailed to a campground we will be in. In the meantime we went to ACE hardware in Dansville, Kentucky and I bought some 3/16 bolts, washers, and nuts, along with several 7/32 drill bits, and some JB Weld. I drilled a hole through the crankshaft end and the threaded end of the pedal, put a bunch of JB weld all over it and ran the bolt through and tightened it real good. If it doesn’t hold I will look for a welder who can weld the pedal onto the shaft. I am waiting for the JB weld to dry now, and then I am going to try and bicycle at least some miles today by bicycling back and meeting Cliff and Kathy, then turning around and riding back with them. 😫😫😤🤪

We are in Springfield, Kentucky tonight at the City Park. It is free but no showers. Cliff and Kathy will have biked 75 miles when they pull into camp. I will have ridden 100 miles in the pick up and made 30 phone calls.

I bought a one week Kentucky fishing licence and have got in a little fishing, but no fish for my efforts.

2022 Bicycle Ride – Day 12

Today is a non-ride day in that we loaded the bike’s in the trailer and drove an hour north to a bicycle shop to see if we can get Terri’s and Cliff’s bikes fixed. Terri’s is an e-bike and it quit working totally and the brake that Cliff demolished hitting the mail box that he got fixed several days ago is not working again. He can use one brake but with the steepness of these hills it isn’t very safe. Kathy said that she saw smoke coming from his rear brake as she followed him down a steep hill yesterday. They are in the Bike shop now and I and Dave are sitting in a McDonald’s a block away drinking coffee and writing this blog. One of the main disadvantages of these new e-bikes is that there is a lot more to go wrong than on the good old-fashioned bikes.

I had been preaching at JBC on Wednesday nights on 26 different character traits taught in the Bible that should be part of who we are in our nature. We can grow stronger and stronger in each one of these 26 character traits as we pursue them diligently. Patience is one of the character traits that is important to grow in, which many are weak in. We learn to exercise patience toward ourselves, others, and God. With God, patience is recognizing that God brings many obstacles and problems into our life to facilitate and cause our character growth. We exercise patience by working to solve and overcome the difficulties and obstacles and not expecting God to remove them until He is ready. We exercise patience with others as they may be part of or all of the problem, and making unity and peace with them more of a goal than solving the problem. We exercise patience with ourselves recognizing that we all make poor choices and decisions as we progress in life, and we learn and change much faster when we don’t condemn ourselves, but press on toward maturity and wisdom.

We are camping in Berea, Kentucky tonight which is back South the way we came, and hopefully We all will be back on the road tomorrow. The key that I lost for my bike that we ordered was mailed to this camp site so hopefully it will be there.

It is here! My key came, and I will be sure not to lose it😀😀

Terri is staying at a motel near the bike shop until the part comes in to fix her bike. If it comes in soon she will catch up to us on her bike or Dave will drive back and pick her and her bike up.

We stopped in at Purdy’s Coffee Shop in Richmond and visited Laverne Purdy. She and her husband Bob we’re long time attendees at JBC and when Bob died in 2017 Laverne moved back to Kentucky with family. It was very fun seeing her again and visiting about the old days.

Well, today was a rest day for all physically, in that we didn’t ride our bike’s, though it was a bit nerve-wracking working with the bicycle shop that was swamped with business and we needed our work done quick as well as all the other customers. I got my key, Cliff got his brake fixed and Terri’s part is in the mail. We got a great lunch/dinner at Laverne’s for free and the best cup of coffee I have had in a long time, so all in all a pretty good day.

Tomorrow we are back in the saddle again!

2022 Bicycle Trip- Day 11

Tonight we are camped in Buckhorn Campsite near the town of Buckhorn, Kentucky. Today was a comfortable 55 miles, but there were still seven peaks to climb. Today I was going 35 mph going down one of those peaks and as I was going around a curve, leaning into it good, I saw a sign that said 25 mph, and I thought, cool!

Virginia was my favorite State to ride a bicycle in, and Kentucky has become my least favorite State. It seems everybody has a dog or two or three or more, and they all hate bicycles and are looking out for them to chase them and bite them. My brother Cliff had a big one bite his pannier on his bike. He had a rain cover that ripped off when the dog pulled on it. Otherwise, the dog probably would have caused Cliff to crash. Then he would have a crash because he ran into a mailbox and one caused by a big dog pulling him down.

I mostly outrun them using turbo mode on my bicycle, and yell and try to sound like a bear to scare them. Kathy my sister-in-law bought some pepper spray made just for bicycle riders to protect themselves from dogs and it has been working good, dogs don’t like that pepper spray, for sure. I was riding behind Kathy and a big dog ran out towards her and she pulled out her can quicker than Matt Dillion on Gun Smoke drew his gun, and she gave the dog a big blast. The problem was that there was a hard head wind that picked up just then and all the pepper spray blew right on me. I thought I was going to crash, I couldn’t see anything. It took awhile, and most of my bottled water that I had, but I finally got it all washed out, but it burned for the next 30 minutes.

Kathy felt really bad and is dreading this blog about it. Tomorrow I will ride in front or waaaay behind her!

This is the second blog for today because I had no internet to send yesterdays until an hour ago.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 10

Wow, ten days of riding already. It seems short, but also seems long in that I can’t remember much about the first several days without going back and reading my blogs. I think that it is a form of information overload. I am thankful for my journal and pictures to relive the adventure.

One of the fun things on the trip is the number of friendly people we have had conversations with about our trip, Oregon, and even hunting and fishing. I stopped today to get out of the rain at a city park/playground area. There was an old firetruck in it, so I climbed up and sat in the cab for a while. A young guy came by in a golf cart who was a groundskeeper and he had never been out of Virginia in his life. We had a great time talking about deer hunting in Virginia and Oregon, and about our bike trip. He fished but had never caught anything bigger than a 10-inch trout or bullhead. I invited him out to Oregon to fish with me, and gave him my cell number. I also suggested that he save up his money and fly up to Alaska and fish with me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he decides to do it.

My bicycle is an e-bike which means it has an electric motor on it that helps me out. It has been a lifesaver for me because one of the problems with my Parkinson’s disease is that my balance is shot. At four miles an hour I can’t balance the bike without wobbling all over the place, which means when a hill gets much over 6 % incline I have to walk pushing my bike. With my new bike I can go up most hills at 5 miles an hour instead of walking. I have four settings on it, “econo” which I keep it at most of the time, “tour” which I switch it up to if the hill gets steeper than 8%, “sport” which I switch it to if the hill gets steeper than 10%, and “turbo” if I am trying to outrace a dog that is chasing me. I never use “turbo” much because it will suck my battery dry in a very short time. The amount of electricity that goes to the motor is determined by how hard I press on the pedal. If I put normal pressure that I would use on flat or mildly hilly ground at 12 mph I will get very little help, but if I start pushing harder because of a steeper hill I get more help, so the more I give in energy the more I get in energy.

I have two batteries that I charge up at night in camp. I usually use all of one batter and half of the second in a normal day, but all of the second if it is hilly like this trip so far. A number of days I have plugged into camp all on my own power because I ran out of juice in both batteries. A couple of days ago I lost the key that unlocks my battery on my bike so I haven’t been able to change batteries. I run it of juice around 40 miles, and the hills are so steep that I have had Dave pick me up, and I ride the last 30 miles in the pick up; how embarrassing! I ordered a new key from the place I bought the bike and they are mailing it to the campground we will be at on Monday night.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 9

Poured rain today!!! And there is a tornado warning for our area! That would be a new adventure. Today was another hill climbing day. We had over 6,000 feet of climbing in 67 miles. My “ride gps” program said that we climbed 8 major peaks and some as steep as 15 % in spots with an average of 11 %. Under 3000 Ft is fairly easy, 4,000 takes more energy, 5,000 is serious, and anything over 6,000 is pure pain. We have three 6,000-foot days on this trip, the one today, tomorrow and a third in the Rockies.

We are camping in “The Breaks” tonight and is called the Grand Canyon of the Appalachians. Gorgeous scenery all day-to-day and especially here in camp.

It was raining so hard when we got to the campground that we decided to rent some rooms in the lodge and sleep on a real bed tonight. We even went to the lodge restaurant and had fried catfish, and baked potatoes with ice cream for dessert.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 8

Today, Thursday, May 5th was a great day of bicycling. Only 60 miles, with half the hill-climbing that we have had so far, no head wind, a Subway sandwich place right at noon, no rain, and amazing beauty as we continued down the Appalachian mountains. We are camping at the Riverside Campground near Abingdon, Virginia tonight.

If you didn’t know we are bicycling a designated bicycle route called the “TransAmerica“. It was established by a bicycle association called, “ Adventure Cycling” in 1976. There are road signs along the entire route with “76” on them, check out the picture. It was planned and routed on mostly country roads often with no white or orange lines painted on them with minimal traffic. Again, check the picture. Because so many people have bicycled this route ever since the exact year I started Pastoring in Jefferson people along the route are very bicycle-friendly. People mowing their yards wave, campgrounds are extra accommodating and friendly, restaurants, and gas stations are all enthusiastic about meeting us and hearing our story.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 7

We did’t have Wi-Fi where we were last night so this is the blog for May 4th, yesterday. Yesterday was a hard day of of bicycling. We road 67 miles with a bunch of rollers and hills and we also had a nasty headwind of 10 mph most of the day. I hate headwinds!

We camped at a Virginia State park last night called Racoon branch and we had a great camp fire for most of night.

When we get done with this ride I will have ridden my bicycle in every State in the Unitrd States, and I have ranked all the States on how bicycle-friendly they are.

Up until this trip I had ranked Florida as the best state to ride a bicycle in, but now Virginia has taken first place. It isn’t necessarily because they are friendly but everybody seems to know how to drive around bicycles. Bicycles are legal residents of the road with laws governing how to inhabit the same roads with them. The easiest way to understand those laws is to imagine a bicycle as a tractor pulling a plow. If you came up behind them you would wait until it was clear to go around them safely. You for sure wouldn’t pass when another car was coming in the other lane from the opposite direction. Every car that has passed me in the last four days in Virginia has slowed down, passed when it was clear, never passing when another car was coming from the opposite direction, and always passed at least three feet away from me. Nobody yelled, stomped on the gas when beside me, or any other rude things. I got lots of waves, honk honks, great conversation at stops, and camp grounds as people asked us about our trip. The worst State is Texas and Oregon is in the top ten of the worst States.

Some major relational principles in the Bible are, “always treat people the same way you want to be treated.” “

“Put others needs, interests, and values ahead of your own.”

“ Be patient, even if you are in a hurry

It seems that most of those in Virginia know those principles.

Everybody is doing good. No more wrecks or break downs yet. Dave who is doing the driving was unfamiliar on how to back a trailer so I have been backing it whenever there was a need, and in cramped campgrounds there is always the need to back the trailer. When we got into camp this afternoon Dave had already backed the trailer in the camping spot perfectly.

2022 Bicycle Ride – Day 6

I and others have done long-distance bicycle ride for ten years now, and on everyone, we have scheduled rest days anywhere from every five days to once per week and one trip we did every ten days. But because I was in such a time crunch, we didn’t schedule any for this trip. My plan at the beginning of the planning for this trip was that we would rotate drivers of our support vehicle so that it would be rest enough with five bikers taking turns to drive. But Dave Kennedy volunteered to go along and be our designated driver. I decided I would take a rest day once a week and ride with Dave anyway. Otherwise, I would start getting too fatigued to enjoy the trip. Yesterday was such an energy-draining day, I decided to take a day off from riding today, and it has been refreshing. It was an excellent day to take off because we Just had a major thunderstorm that dumped a bunch of rain. When it rains here, it gets black quickly, then deafening thunder and lightning and then a deluge for 15 minutes, then it quits, and the sun comes out. And an hour or two later it does it again.

Cliff, Kathy, and Terri are still riding and will have about 70 miles done when they get into camp.

2022 Bicycle Trip – Day 4

Today we road 51 miles so it was shorter than average, but I have never ridden a section of road that had as steep of hills as today did. Almost every hill was 8 to 10 percent incline, it was almost to steep to walk up in places, and believe me, I know because I did a lot of walking today, two miles anyway. The steep hills only lasted a couple hundred feet and then we would go down and then right back up. It was like a big giant roller coaster, up and down, up and down, it seemed like a hundred times we went up and then down. The ups were longer than the downs because we were climbing into the Appalachian mountains. It was extremely difficult biking today but amazingly beautiful. Most of the time we were riding under this big canopy of hardwood trees of every variety imaginable. In spite of the very high difficulty rating for today’s ride, I am feeling pretty good, no neck aches, shoulder aches, feet aches, hand aches, and just a little bit of butt hurt. My left knee is still very sore, but it only bothers me when I walk, it feels great while I am biking. Cliff is feeling good after has wreck Yesterday, but his right brake is still broke. We are going to take it to a bike shop that we will pass tomorrow and see if they can fix it.

We are camping at Montebello, Virginia tonight, way up in the Appalachian mountains and we have no cell service or WiFi so I will have to send this tomorrow.

One of the Scripture passages that came to mind today was Romans 1:19-20, “that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them, For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Today was an amazing display of God’s attributes, His power, and His nature. Only those who choose not to believe in God because they don’t want to be accountable to them could miss the obvious signs of His existence.

Eve

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.