Monday, August 30, 2010

Texas Stopover

Lloyd and I made it to Jason and Valley Brooks in Krum, Tx. Today about 4:30. Lloyd drives like a grandmother and he talks to every driver that passes him or that he passes. "come around why don't ya." "Speedup why don't ya." "hey buddy where did you learn to drive?" But he picked up all the gas, and I slept, so I guess I can't complain.
We head for Lubbock in the morning. I think I'll drive so that we get there before Labor Day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Journey Begins

I leave in the morning for Lubbock, Tx. I now have a taxi service through Lloyd Brooks. If Kerry McDowell were here he would say Laloyd.(2LL's) I'm all packed and hoping I have everything.Amy took pictures earlier and we can't figure out how to load them on the blog sight, so we're trying to eamil them to Amy so that she can load them. I'm looking forward to a lot of sleep tomorrow if Laloyd's constant droning doesn't keep me awake all day.
Brad,Darren, and Steve (rookie) Crigger had some big surprises for me at worship this morning.I was able to incorporate exactly zero of the items that I was presented. Except for the chain which I snuck under Brad's truck and hooked to his garage door.
Today's props go to Carrie Kimbel who has been at the house about five times this week to troubleshoot something on the Ipad. (she swears a net book would be better). geek. I truly am grateful for her help.
I will be in Lubbock Tx. all week with my brother and his family. I should be in San Diego by next saturday.
I hope to write again tomorrow while Laloyd drones on.
The anticipation heightens.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Preparations

I picked up my bike today for the final time, hopefully. The guys at Bicycles Etc. have been fabulous. John, Victor, and Brooke have answered about a hundred questions, special ordered parts, given free bicycle repair lessons and sold me a lot of stuff. Alex and Jimmy provide comic relief in the repair shop and Gabe is the friendly face in the front. More commercials to follow. Support your local bike shop.

As long as we're on bikes all the blogs i've read give a rundown of their equipment. Here goes.

56 Surly Long Haul Trucker Complete Bike - Check out cool company. (Roger Insisted) ref. blog 1

Brooks B17 Saddle (Uppity) (Roger Insisted) ref. blog 1

700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Plus Supreme Tires

Axiom LaSalle Panniers

Arkel Handlebar bag small

Trek Computer

Trek Seat Bag

Planet Bike Fenders - Black, (had yellow very offensive)

Cat Eye rear and front strobe

Rear Rack ?

Crank Brothers pedal cages (very controversial)

Trek Helmet

Adventure Cycling seven map Southern Tier mapset

Killing Yourself for 3000 miles, .....priceless.

The plan is still to leave early Monday morning and head for Lubbock, but there could be surprising changes on that front.

More to come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Day Approaches

I started planning this trip about eight months ago when the Shepherds suggested, well more like insisted, that after 18 years of ministry at Twickenham I take a sabbatical. The only condition was that I couldn't leave until our then underway renovation of our facility was completed. The majority of the renovation is now complete and it's hard to believe that this sabbatical is about to start. People ask me "so what do you do on sabbatical?" The common replies to that question include; "nothing," "anything I want to," or "ride a bicycle across the country."

Ok, I confess that last one might not be that common. I started cycling quite earnestly about 2.5 years ago, due largely to my good friend Roger Harwell, of whom we will speak often in coming days and not always fondly. It was he and I who came up with this idea of cross country biking. I was bragging one day that if I had unlimited time I would just ride across America. He said "really?' and I said "oh yeah, piece of cake." The next day the Shepherds called me in and suggested that I take a sabbatical. Did I mention that Roger is one of the Shepherds? Do you think there was a connection? You see, ever since that time Roger has pretty much made every decision regarding my trip. What kind of bike I ride, what kind of saddle, what kind of panniers etc.. Actually I think it was Bill Bass who really got this thing rolling. Bill had heard me gripe and cry and complain so much about church that I think he just wanted a break from me. Let's move on. What's the plan?

I plan to rent a car and drive to Lubbock, Tx. with my bike on August 30th. Every year for the last 18 years I have been to Texas for the opening of dove season to hunt with my brother. I will hunt for a couple of days until continuing on to San Diego Ca. where I will begin my ride back to St. Augustine FL. I purchased a set of bicycle touring maps from Adventure Cycling (actually Roger purchased them but that's another story). This route (known as the Southern Tier) is the shortest cross country biking route, just over 3000 miles. I have always wanted to do something epic, and this is my attempt.

In all seriousness I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity that Amy, the boys, the Shepherds and the entire body at Twickenham have afforded me. The gift of time is a rare commodity. It is my prayer that God will be honored in some way by this adventure.