Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ready to Go Go... 

Friday, March 2, 2018

GTD ‘18 Practice Ride

With GTD '18 a month and a half away I decided to try out my new camping gear and test out my bike after a recent overhaul.  I found a 5K race at O’Leno State Park north of High Springs which was a 36 mile ride.

The day was beautiful and the ride was good.  The Campground was nice and all my new gear was perfect.

I woke up early for the 5K so I could get ready and ride to the start.  The race was an out and back, the course was mostly flat.  After finishing I returned to camp to pack up.

I rode a different way home, everything went well.

All and all it was a successful practice ride.

I hope to have one more practice ride before setting out on Saturday, April 21st.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GTD 2018

The UF CCH Go the Distance 2018 Fundraising Bike Ride will begin in Gainesville, FL on April, 21 and return to Gainesville on May 3.

My route will take me along Florida's Gulf Coast into Alabama.  After an overnight stay in Daphne, AL, I will take 90 east to Jacksonville, FL.  After Jacksonville I will go to Daytona and Orlando before returning home.

I will be recruiting financial and prayer support over the coming months.  All the money raised will support my mission efforts and provide Mission Scholarships for UF CCH students.

Excited about the upcoming journey!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Thursday, May 8, 2014

GTD 2014 Day 5

I woke up to a beautiful day, I was excited to return to Minneapolis and hopefully visit the Mall of America as well as my friend.

The ride was going great and then after lunch the heavens opened up.  The rest of my ride became very interesting.

About 10 miles north of Minneapolis I was direct on to a Trail.  It was awesome, even in the cold rain.  As I set my eyes toward the City I shifted up to easier gear to climb the Trail hills.  Unfortunately as I shifted up my chain overshot the top ring.  In the cold rain I had to stop, unload everything and try to get the chain back on to the cluster.  It was really stuck!  I had to tug really hard to get it unstuck.  Because of that I knew I had stretched my chain really bad.

I got the chain back on so I loaded everything up and started again.  I had to find a dry place to find and contact a bike shop on my maps program.  I finally did so I was good to go.  As I was being directed to downtown my phone died.  As the Trail came to an end I rode into a neighborhood.  The first house I found with an open garage door I stopped at and asked if I could use an outlet to charge my phone.  A sweet Asian family agreed to do so.  They even fed me!

After a bit I noticed my phone wasn't charging.  Fortunately it had enough of charge for me to contact Joel and see if he could come get me and take me to the bike shop.  He said he could as soon as his wife returned with the car.

Meanwhile the mom the family had talked with some local extended family who thought it was very strange that I was hanging out at in the garage.  They came over, stirred everyone up and had me move everything down to the curb.  The 2 daughters were very upset and crying.  I assured them it was not a problem.

It wasn't long before Joel arrived and loaded me up.  He took me to an awesome bike shop that stayed open late and was able to make all the repairs.  Before going to the hotel I treated Joel to dinner.  It was great to catch up on life, family and ministry.

He dropped me off at my hotel and I settled in for what would be a short night of sleep.  All in all it was a great day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GTD 2014 day 4

After a great night's sleep and breakfast I said goodbye to my gracious hosts and set out to get back on the Trail.  I was feeling pretty good due to the good food, rest and ibuprofen.  It was cold but not rainy PTL!  I found the Trail quickly and set out toward the end of the Trail in Brainerd, MN.

The Trail ended but the transition on to the road that would begin my journey to St. Cloud was easy.  I set out through the MN farmlands in bright sunshine.  The roads went from flat to rolling, from good to bad, from paved to hard packed dirt.  I began the journey with some Gatorskin slicks so I was a bit anxious on the dirt surfaces even though I was carrying 2 Schwalbe Marathons on my BOB.

This anxiety led me to reroute quite a bit thus my day grew longer and longer.  I had been in touch with Jacque Breman throughout the day; he and his wife were going to meet me at the Campground and take me to dinner.  They were jetlagged due to just returning from China so I felt bad for them as the day started to move toward evening and the longer I rode the farther away I seemed to get.

My last reroute took me from the country roads I had ridden all day to busy Highway 52.  I could now see the light at the end of the tunnel but would have to endure lots of traffic and a rough shoulder.  I finally got to St. Cloud and to the Campground.  I checked in, got my campsite and then found Jacque and hiswife asleep in their car.

I woke them up and we set out to my campsite.  I was blessed to be setting up camp under a pole barn shelter because the weather was turning bad.  No sooner did I pull under the shelter did it start pouring.  I locked up my bike and trailer, showered then set out to dinner with Jacque and his wife.  They treated me to an awesome all you can eat Pasta Dinner; it was fantastic!

After dinner we returned to my campsite.  Jacque directed his headlights inside the shelter so I could set up my tent.  The land was a bit low so I was strategic in where I set up so I would not be flooded in the night.  After I was finished setting up I thanked them for the dinner and said goodbye; it was great to spend time with friends after a tough second day of riding.

It rained all through the night but my set up strategy worked and I remained dry.  How awesome it was to check in to a Campground that happened to have a pole barn shelter on a rainy rainy night.  Once again God had my back.

Day 3 of riding would return me to Minneapolis and allow me to get some work done on my bike and hopefully visit with Joel Bidderman.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GTD 2014 Day 3

I woke up early and excited to get going on Day 1 of a 24 Day Adventure.  The call was for rain but when I looked outside it was a bit overcast but no rain.  I ate some breakfast, dressed warm, took a pre-ride photo and set out for Pequot Lakes.

The ride out of Itasca State Park was nice.  Ten minutes into the ride a slight rain started.  I turned on to Hwy 71 and the rain picked up and the cold seemed colder.  After about an hour I noticed that my phone was about dead; this was strange since it charged all night was at 100% when I started.  I was able to take a couple of photos before plugging into my I.Sound Portable Battery.  It began to charge right away; whew!

It was a rainy ride to LaPorte, MN.  Half way I received a call from one of the Campgrounds I booked in Wisconsin; they were letting me know that their Campground was under water and they were canceling my Reservation; surprise number 2.  No worries; God will provide.

I arrived in LaPorte and found the Paul Bunyan Trail.  Before starting down the Trail I took a break from the cold rain to get some hot chocolate and hot soup.  The Convenience Store Clerk was very nive and had a great Minnesota accent.  I set out down the Trail after warming up a bit and finishing my hot food and drink.

I was excited to ride the Trail and I was excited that the rain had stopped.  I passecd several ice covered lakes; the ride down the Trail was beautiful.  When I arrived in Walker, MN I got off the Trail to see the town and get a snack.  I was really excited to see the Northern Exposure store.  I snapped a photo and sent it on to Chris; he knew how much I liked NE.  Ironically the NE store was located in a town that sharedhis wife's Maiden name.

After leaving Walker the Trail took me through many small towns with interesting history like Hackensack and Backus. After Backus I was getting tired so when I found a bench overlooking Pine Mountain Lake I took a rest.  I also took time to call Pastor Olsen at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes, MN; I would be camping at the church.  I could not reach her so I left a message letting her know my location and approximate ETA.  After consuming some nutritious snacks I set off to Pequot Lakes.

After a few more small towns I arrived in Pequot Lakes and followed Google Maps to an abandoned lot.  I turned around and then asked a local if they knew where the church was; they weren't positive but they thought it might be down on the corner.  Since it was a small town I took a chance and that chance paid off; I had arrived!  Pastor Olsen and I had chatted a few towns back so I knew she would be arriving shortly for a meeting.  When she did arrive she suggested that I stay with her and her husband; they lived 8 miles south of the church just off the Trail; it sounded good to me.  Since I was spent physically she called him and had him bring his truck to the church.  We loaded up and went to the house; it was awesome!  After cleaning up he and I went to pick up some Chinese food; amazing!  After dinner and visiting I was ready for sleep.  It had been a good first day but a bit more taxing than I had anticipated: thank God for the prayers of his people and ibuprofen!

Monday, May 5, 2014

GTD 2014 Day 2

I woke up early; excited for the day to come.  My first stop was Freewheel Bike Midtown; I needed help securing my seat post.  Joe got that taken care of and fitted my Jamis VR with a cool fender.  FBM has a cafe so I enjoyed some coffee, a scone and conversation with "All the Way" Ray and Lou.

After FBM I set off for Itasca SP.  It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive to the park; very scenic with a few small towns along the way.  I checked in at thew Park Office and then went to the MR Headwaters to take a photo since it would be impossible to do so the next morning.  There is a certain feel standing at/in the MR Headwaters.  Just knowing that that little stream will grow into a mighty, mighty river that flows all the way to the Gulf of Mexico is incredible.

After the photo I settled in at my Itasca Suite; very cool place to stay.  I couldn't settle for long because I needed to return the truck to Park Rapids and then cycle back.  I dropped the truck off, grabbed something to eat then cycled the 23.5 miles back to the Suite.  It was a scenic cycle with a little bit of climbing.  Good warm up ride.

I cleaned up and then fitted my BOB Trailer with a rack.  After that I spent the rest of the evening organizing and packing so I could leave early the next morning.

It's been almost 2 years since GTD 2012; it's hard to believe how fast the time has passed.  I am now ready to Go The Distance again with the Lord's help and the prayers of His people.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GTD 2014 Day 1

My flight wasn't leaving till 10:40 but I was wide awake and ready to go at 5:30.  I got to the airport early so after turning in the rental car I had plenty of time to check-in, go through security and relax at my terminal.  I did some reading and reviewed what needed to be done when I got to Minneapolis.

Both flights (to Dallas then Minneapolis) were on time and without incident.  I met several nice folks who clued me more into Minnesota and what I would experience riding down the River.

I picked up my BOB Bag then went to Hertz.  They had a truck for me, perfect!  I found the hotel in no time and was relieved to see all my boxes were in good shape (thanks FedEx!).  The remainder of the night was devoted to reassembling my bike and trailer and organizing my gear.  I was happy to get it done and get to sleep.

All in all, a good day one.  Tomorrow I will journey to Itasca SP and Park Rapids.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

GTD 2014 Practice Ride #1

With the Semester winding down and GTD 2014 only a couple of weeks away it was time to load up my BOB Trailer and Camelbak and set out on a Practice Ride.  My destination would be Palatka.  I got all my gear together, put it in ziploc bags and loaded it in my trailer.

After having Celeste take a pre ride picture I rode out of the neighborhood and headed north on 15th. About a half mile up the road I hit something that slashed my rear tire and brought my ride to a halt.

I walked my bike and trailer back to the house and changed out my rear wheel.  This eliminated a wobble that I noticed while walking back and it saved some time.

Due to lost time I decided to change my route.  Instead of going north to Hampton to catch the Lake Butler-Palatka Trail I would now go east through Melrose to Putnam Hall to catch the trail.  I set out and the ride was good.  There were a few issues with the gearing due to the new wheel but it worked well enough.

I arrived at the store on the corner of 100 and 26.  This is where I met Jeff and Nike from CA; they were on a 12,000 mile ride around the US and Canada.  This time I met 3 sweet American Born Chinese kids; their dad worked at the store.  They had all kinds of questions about my upcoming ride down the Mississippi River.  After chatting I crossed over 100 and started down the Trail.

I talked to Celeste; she was passing through Melrose.  The ride down the Trail was really nice but came to an end about 7 miles out of Palatka.

As I transitioned from the Trail to 100 I met Christian; a local. He provided me with more info re: the Trail and the paved sections.  As I was about to cross over 100 to the east bound bike lane Celeste passed by; waving as she passed.  I would meet her in Palatka.

The final 7 miles was quick; my average speed was between 16-18 mph.  I met up with Celeste and loaded my Gear in the car and the bike on the back.  It was a good Practice Ride.  My next one is to Ormond Beach and back.

This Ride allowed me to deal with equipment problems and problems with the weather.  I will be ordering new tires and a small rack for my BOB Trailer; this will allow me to carry more and access more things easier than if they were in my BOB Bag.