well, i have been back 2 weeks now from the tour, and itskinda been hard to get re-acclimated to normal life…i can only imagine what the cyclists that have been on the full ride will have to deal with in one weeks time… please keep them in their prayers, as it certainly isnt going to be easy for any of them… the tour is like one big family, and you get to really know people, and now the end of this week, they will all have to say goodbye…and return to wherever they call home. On top of that, they will have to reinsert themselves back into their “old” lives, which, isnt going to be easy at all…it wasnt easy for me, the tour changes you…in a good way…but the “new you” may not easily fit the spot that “old you” filled… its hard to describe, but all the cyclists know what i mean, and i am kinda writing this for the cyclists not as much the others who read the blog…but i ask everyone reading this to keep the cyclists in their prayers, as i said… its NOT going to be easy this week, and the coming weeks…
well last night was very hard for me… i had to say goodbye to the new family i had lived with for the past week…it was not easy at all, and i will really miss all the new friends and family that i have made… however, even though this is the end of THIS journey, theres many new journeys to embark on from here, and i am looking to God for guidance in these new and exciting journeys…it may be the end of the road for my sea to sea trip, but not for my life’s journey…not by a long shot…God has great things happening in my life, and i cant wait to see what He has in store for my life!!!!!
well, we came to Grand Rapids today, it was amazing how much welcome we received!!! we got free chocolate milk, a whole host of snacks and stuff from another group, water bottles from another stop, lunch at Calvin CRC, and then, the finale of the day… the parade ride into Calvin College…it was a bit scary riding in a tight pack with so many riders….between actual Sea to Sea cyclists, and all the family members, and one day riders, i think there had to be at least 400 or more bikes out on the road… it was CRAZY!!!! didnt get a chance to get any pictures of that part of the ride, really had to concentrate on just riding, when theres no more than 3-4ft between you and the next cyclist, its hard to even concentrate on missing the pot holes or large cracks in the pavement…we pulled in to the college and there was a massive group waitng for us to welcome us too!!!! that was kinda cool…
the hardest part of this day is the fact that it means i have reached the end ofmy leg of Sea to Sea…and that means i have to say goodbye to all my newly acquired friends, but worse than that, i have to say goodbye to Danita, who is now my girlfriend…that will be VERY hard to do after spending the whole week with her, i will miss the long conversations that we had while riding, and the fun times joking around with each other… but, its all in Gods hands, and i know He will bring us back together soon enough! it wont be easy, but i think shes worth it 😉 its not exactly a 5 minute drive to go see her once shes back home in New York state…LOL anyways heres a few pictures from todays ride…i didnt get too many, but lets start of with one of Danita…she will probably want to kill me for this picture…LOL Sorry Danita!!! this is how we would spend a good bit of time on the ride, unless there wasnt any traffic, we would ride side by side then
well, we made it to Holland… we saw some really cool stuff along the way, went thru South Haven, lots of cool houses there… also saw some more lakeshore today… i only got to ride 20mi but it was a real good 20 mi…..LOL got a flat today on the rear of my bike, as soon as i had it fixed, we started riding again, and got all of 500ft before Danita found her back tire was flat as a pancake! LOL so we stopped AGAIN to change her tire… about a third of my ride was in the rain today, but it wasnt too bad… the good conversations with everyone took my mind off the weather. i have to give a big shout out to Hope CRC, for thier AWESOME support stop with both coffee and really good cookies from a local bakery, as well as the Historic Graafschap church, the first church in the CRC denomination…they have a really cool museum in the basement of the church, that takes you thru the Dutch immigration, and the birth of the CRC. its also a very beautiful building, so i had to take a few pictures…LOL
tonight we are staying at the Hope college dorms…everyone is VERY thankful for real beds!!!!!!!
well, we made it to benton harbor today, the cyclists are riding right around 85-90 mi again today, which is making for some long days… i havent had a chance to update the blog, because tuesday we had no internet, and wednesday we had the ice cream social at Illiana Christian in Lansing IL, after which i had to still work on my bike, installing new pedals, as well as new grip tape…which i did at 10 pm…not fun when you have been up since 5am…one of todays SAG stops ended up RIGHT on lake michigan, which made for some real nice pictures…
being able to ride has been such a blessing, you cant even imagine… seems as though i am on a 20-40-20-40 schedule, monday i rode around 20 miles, tuesday i did 40 (in the rain for most of it…LOL) 20 again wedlesday, and today i rode 40 miles…looks like i will do 20 tomorrow, and ride the full 38 mi into Grand Rapids on saturday.
Today was my first day riding on the tour, rode 20.2 miles, and then rode SAG the rest of the day, and it was GREAT!!!! the tour is out of the hilly parts of iowa (out of iowa all together in fact LOL) and the cyclists had a fairly “easy” 95 mile day, with LOVELY ~75 degree day with not too bad of winds.
Wow…. So much has happened in the past month and a half, between health issues and everything else in my life, i am thankful to be alive, let alone be riding down the highway headed for Iowa City IA to meet up with SEA TO SEA!!!!!!!!!! God has been SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!! He helped me beat the odds with my health struggles, and has brought so much new stuff into my life in the past month its overwhelming how much He is doing in my life!!!
To say that i am excited to become a part of the Sea to Sea family for a week is the understatement of the century, this is all so AWESOME!!!!!
A big thanks to everyone who has prayed for me through all of this, God has answered in a big way! Even though i wont get to ride the full leg, and will only be riding partial days (about 20-30mi a day) He has granted me enough healing to be able to participate, which i cant say enough how thankful i am for that!!!!!!
Please keep me in your prayers this coming week as i am helping on the support stops as well as riding, and please keep my family back home in your prayers as well, they are worried about me (they love me dearly, so its hard to see thier baby going off on a journey like this, especially given the recent health difficulties)
I will try to update as often as i can this coming week, but i may not always have cell service or wifi access, but whenever i do i will try and keep everyone updated! You can follow the turn by turn directions as well at www.seatosea.org just click on tour route on the right hand side, and every day is listed there!