touring 101: the setup
Saturday, October 12, 2013
part of a great day for every tourer will always be a successful & efficient "setup". you might be tired, sweaty, hungry or
chilled to the bone, but trust me, this is one area of cross-continental cycling you don't want to slack in.
step 01: bike prop
(required, when available) location, in order of preference: picnic table, park bench, pole, wall, tree or rock. note: not available while stealthing.
step 02: shoes/socks off
(required) tip: switch to flip-flops based on terrain.
step 03: panniers off
(required) your bike needs rest just as much as you do. take care of it.
step 04: tune up & lock up
(required) as mentioned previously, bike care, maintenance and protection is crucial. won't bother you with the details, but there's lots to check
on your bike each night and morning. as to locking up - if someone were to run off with your ride during the night, it's almost always a pretty
long walk to the next bike shop (especially with all those panniers).
step 05: tarp
(optional, dependent on weather) tip: secure well, not only to avoid wet bikes in the morning, but also any tarp rustling from late night winds.
a quiet tarp is a happy tarp.
step 06: tent
(required, rain fly optional based on climate/weather) location, in order of preference: concrete under cover, concrete, grass, gravel or dirt.
step 07: sleep mat
(required) inflate and place in tent
step 08: sleep bag/sheet
(required) unroll and place in tent
step 09: pillow
(required) inflate and place in tent
step 10: panniers in tent
(required) tip: half-filled panniers may be stacked inside each other to conserve space.
step 11: clothesline
(optional, dependent on climate/weather) tip: works great in the West, but be wary of evening/morning dew in the Midwest & East.
step 12: shower
(required, where available) don't be fussy. no matter how dirty the floor & walls are, or how cold the water is, take a shower. not only will you
sleep better that night, but you never know when your next one might be.
step 13: food
(required) menu: rice & ketchup, tuna & tortilla, peanut butter & bananas/apples/carrots/tortillas/anything/nothing or oatmeal & brown sugar.
step 14: blog
(optional, may also happen the next morning) i.e. "don't worry mom & dad, we're still alive."
step 15: devos
(required) currently in the New Testament: Romans, I Corinthians, Philippians.
and then to bed! and then to bed!
until next time, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand
blessings in Chester
Sunday, October 13, 2013
the generosity of God's people has blown me away yet again. check out our stay in Chester.
first & foremost, at Grace Church this morning. unbeknownst to us, Pastor Ron had got our message (trying to connect to visit the church) late last
night and, in a step of great faith, allowed us to share our vision with the church during the service, and what an incredible time of worship
that morning! digging into God's word (check out the sermon online at dotheword.com, should be up there in a few days. a GREAT message), singing
our hearts out to Him, being surrounded by His Spirit through the love of everyone we talked to and who prayed over us. how great and how powerful
and how awesome is our God, and humbling it is that He chooses to use His people to fulfill His plans.
I want you to catch this, so pay attention. Pastor Ron and the entire congregation did not know mark or myself before this morning. yet they gave
OVER $2500 to our wells in guatemala. please understand. this is not about mark and myself and it never has been. we are not the ones giving, and
we are not the ones raising money. this is a God thing. when He wants something done, there's no stopping Him. Grace Church, you have blessed us in
a way we can never repay you - both spiritually and financially. thank you and God's blessing go before you and your ministry in Chester.
as to the rest of our stay? free lodging last night, in a cabin. hot showers. free dinner (thank you Rick!) as we enjoyed the Tigers win over the
Red Sox (sorry Sharon). free breakfast buffet (thanks Sheila & Dave!). free lunch buffet (thanks Mike & Jo!). free groceries (thanks Jenny!). and
to everyone who blessed us with such an amazing time of fellowship with believers, filling us up spiritually and strengthening our faith - thank you.
yeah. Chester didn't cost us a dime, and in fact, we left richer & more blessed than we could have ever imagined. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt
that so many are praying over mark and myself. your prayers are heard, and we can't thank you enough for lifting our journey up to the Lord. with Him,
all things are possible.
humbled, thankful and overwhelmed by what it means to be shown grace. we were given a perfect example today by His people. thank you.
until next time, may the road rise up to meet you
the town at night
Monday, October 14, 2013
there's something magical to rolling into a town at night: the warm lights of houses, street lamps bathing the pavement in
a pumpkin orange glow, the local church and it's high steeple alight as a beacon on a hill, a waxing moon high overhead. all the clutter and rough
edges of the buildings melt away into the shadows, and the road invites you down into the heart of the town. it's the end of a long day of riding,
and a shower and hot food are just 'round the corner.
nestled right on the banks of the ohio river, cave-in-rock was our "night town" destination. blessed by the easy terrain between here and murphysboro,
we were able to arrive just an hour or so after dark, having got on the road a bit later than usual. show me a town such as cave-in-rock by twilight,
however, and we'll bike past dusk any day.
our afternoon start can be attributed to the generosity of a great man, Bob Everidge, who we met at Grace Church the day before and who generously
footed the bill at a local bike shop in carbondale (the bike surgeon), 'bout seven miles east of murphysboro. Bob sent us there with explicit
instructions to get whatever we needed for the remainder of our trip, and he would make sure it was paid for. once again folks, this is God mightily
at work in His people, blessing us in ways we can never repay. once again, we're seeing and learning firsthand what it means to be shown grace.
will cross the ohio via ferry early tomorrow morning, cycling into our 8th state on the ride. not sure what to expect from kentucky, but if there's
one thing we can count on, God will go before us.
until next time, may the wind be always at your back