Dear friends, today I woke up early — partly because of the 3 hour time difference (6:30 am was 9:30 am Vero time) and because I was excited abut the beginning of my big 3,300 mile bike trip, which happens tomorrow morning. I had a wonderful breakfast with Joe and Carla Caldwell, members of my Vero congregation, and then a 2 hour ride with a new friend from Minneapolis, Mark, who will be doing the ride with me. Our 3 hour orientation session (safety rules, etc.) is in an hour, and then I will have dinner with Roger and Toni (LaBel) Patterson, dear friends from my DC days. Roger will be riding the first day with me, which will be a lot of fun for both of us. Roger got hooked on cycling after watching me do all this riding, and he is quite an athlete, and a great guy. I hope for a good, fun, and safe day. It is supposed to be 55 degrees when we start out here on the ocean, and 100 degrees by the time we get to Palm springs...YIKES! Check out the video blog tomorrow, I hope to film the moment when I dip my rear wheel in the Pacific ocean — that will be about 10 am Eastern time, just about when services start at UUFVB in the morning! See you on the blog soon!
Well friends, I flew out of Ft Lauderdale first thing this morning, changed planes in Phoenix, and arrived here in Costa Mesa about noon. I got to my hotel, got my bike out of the box and carefully assembled it with the help of Jim, the mechanic of the ride (he hails from Vermont and is a great guy, with whom I have ridden before), and took a short ride up the Santa Ana river, toward the mountains. Tonight I have dinner with dear old family friends (the Vandaments) up in Long Beach. Breakfast tomorrow morning with Joe and Carla Caldwell, members of UUFVB, and then will get in a ride before the ride orientation at 3 pm tomorrow. I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight, to help me cope with the 3 hour time change. I will write another blog tomorrow, blessings to everyone, I feel ready to go on Sunday morning!
Well dear friends, one week from today (Friday, April 20th) I fly to John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa California to begin my bike ride on Sunday, April 22. Out in California, I will have dinner with dear old friends (the Vandaments) in Long Beach on Friday night, will have brakfast with Joe and Carla Caldwell (members of UUFVB) on Saturday morning, and Dinner on Saturday night with Roger Patterson (Roger will be biking the first day with me to Palm Springs) and his wife Toni LaBel, dear old friends from my days in Washington DC. I have been biking about 35 miles a day over recent days, and feel not only ready for the big ride and truly excited bout the big adventure. Don't forget that starting next Saturday, I will be posting a written and video blog every day...you will honor me by regularly following my progress. Best wishes to all, I will write again next Saturday from California....
Well, I fly to California to begin my big ride across America to beat hunger is just 10 days, and I have just kicked my training/preparation into high gear!
Last Friday, Bill Penney (President of Marine Bank and Trust who will ride the last 4 days down from Savannah with me) and I rode the 125 miles to Ft Lauderdale, with a slight tail wind. The trip took us ten hours and was delightful.. After a nice Italian dinner out, and a good night's sleep, we turned around on Saturday morning and biked back home to Vero, this time into a strong headwind which required about 11 hours. We both were tired at times, but did just fine, and had a good time.
On Sunday, after church, I biked another 65 miles, and so my total for the weekend was over 300 miles. I do feel ready. The only issue I had over the weekend is that I learned the bike seat I was planning on using for the big ride did not have quite enough cushion for me. So I bought a new comfortable "gel" seat this morning at Orchid Island bikes, which I will fly to California with me and install on my bike, to insure that I am comfortable "back there"!
It is so good to know -- from this challenging cycling weekend -- that in terms of stamina and muscle, I am ready for the ride.
Check out the new video blog we have posted today, and know that starting April 21, I will post both a written and a video blog every day!
Blessings to all of you for all your support.