Archive for June, 2012

Day 29

Posted: June 30, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

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The word for the day: Surprise! I rode the Central Lakes and Lake Wobegon Trails from Fergus Falls to Sauk Centre, MN. I met Jen and the kids for lunch in Alexandria, and right as we were finishing, I looked up to see Bryan, Becky, Kate & Colin Ross – friends from Campus Lutheran in Columbia – walking toward our picnic table. Bryan brought his bike and the rest of the family held up signs of encouragement and support. Not only did Bryan ride with me today, but my daughter Emma and son Brennen also rode this afternoon. At the end of the day we were greeted by my friend George, who led us to his mother Bev’s house, to a home-cooked meal and a peaceful Minnesota lake.

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Day 28

Posted: June 29, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

We’re in Minnesota! After enjoying a nice morning with the Fellbaums we headed east to Fergus Falls, MN. This was a shorter ride than yesterday, which allowed for some time to evaluate our schedule for the next couple of days. Tomorrow’s plan is to ride to Sauk Centre, MN and reconnect with our college friend George Heideman.

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Day 27

Posted: June 29, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

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An amazing day in North Dakota! I got an early start this morning and enjoyed pedaling through the nearly traffic-free, rolling terrain outside of Napoleon. The many ponds and wetlands were teeming with all sorts of water fowl and other wildlife. The initially calm air eventually turned into a gentle west wind, which provided me the opportunity to rack up some miles. By the time I reached Wyndmere, ND I had ridden 163 miles, the most ever in a single day!
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Tonight we are blessed to be staying with Sherman and Renata Fellbaum, brother and sister-in-law of our Campus Lutheran friend, Sharon Kinden.  Sherman gave us a tour of his farm and the surrounding countryside. Renata provided a tasty meal. And our kids enjoyed catching toads in the front yard.

We give thanks for all of the special people God has placed in our lives!

Day 26

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

I made it to Napoleon, ND today – but tonight’s post comes from Jen…

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My self-assigned position on our summer adventure is “Transportation, meals, lodging, children’s programming, all non-pedaling events, and Support Coordinator”.  That title explains a lot of what my days have been like since June 2nd.  The obvious is I transport our truck with camper and bikes from one town to the next along Kent’s bike route.  I plan and make the meals that our family enjoys long the way, expect for the delicious and very much appreciated meals we have been blessed with by family, old friends, and new friends too.  I oversee the camper transformation from stowed away for traveling to dinner preparation to bed.

I have taken several opportunities to give bicycling support to Kent.  This support varies from waiting at the bottom of a cold rainy mountain pass with a warm truck to give him a place to warm up, trading bikes and hauling the Gunnar for a quick repair, marking ten mile intervals on windy days to make sure Kent takes a break and gets the support to make it the next ten, as well as picking up and dropping off when ending points and starting points are not our campsites.  I also have been able to support many of the other cross country riders we have met along the way.  In Washington, I helped John transport his bike trailer over a couple of passes in the cold rain and share words of encouragement to a group of women bicycling over the same mountain passes.  I helped Rod out along the roadside when he got a flat bike tire on a windy day in Montana and made sure he and his riding buddy had enough water to make it into town.  In Circle, MT, we met up with Adam and three of his friends from Chicago heading west to Glacier.  While sharing some lemonade, we swapped stories of what lay ahead in each direction.  In North Dakota, we exchanged smiles and travel tails with a young man from Columbus, OH biking to Washington State to see his parents.  Sometimes, the support is just to let those riding by themselves that there are people out there rooting from them.

The part of my position that I take the greatest joy in is children’s programming.  Emma, Norah, Brennen and I have been able to see so many neat places are not on a usual travel agenda.  Whether it is going back to the 1890’s in Winthrop, WA, finding the Grouch of Kettle Falls (WA), visiting the Wolf People in Cocallala, ID, chasing dinosaurs in Montana, trying to milk Salem Sue in New Salem, ND, or today’s event of a trolley ride from Mandan (ND) to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park where we saw Custer’s house and in On-the-Slant Indian Village.

Day 25

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

A very “friendly” ride to New Salem, ND!

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While the wind and the heat were not very welcoming today, the people along my route were some of the friendliest I’ve encountered.  More people smiled and waved to me today than on any other segment of this trip. One couple even drove up alongside me and handed me an ice-cold Aquifina through the window as I pedaled. It sure did hit the spot! Thank you!! That simple act of kindness reminded me of how easy it is to be generous and show care to others. Perhaps the reminder to recognize those opportunities that God gives us to demonstrate His love is an even greater gift than the cold drink of water.

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Day 24

Posted: June 25, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

East/Southeast 30 mph winds = significant workout for Atlantic bound cyclist!

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Even though the wind isn’t blowing the direction I’d like, I returned to my bicycle route today and rode from Beach, ND to Dickinson, ND.  I had some stretches of traffic-free backroads, saw some deer, and had a nice view of Painted Canyon for a while.

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Thanks to everyone who is following my trip. I appreciate all the encouragement you are providing me on this grand adventure!

Day 23

Posted: June 24, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

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This morning my family and I were blessed with the opportunity to worship at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot, ND where my college friend Dan Voth serves as a pastor.  I was given the opportunity to speak about campus ministry at all three of their morning worship services.

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Our visit to Minot happens to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Souris River flooding that destroyed 4,815 homes, churches, schools, and businesses.  While there is still a long process of rebuilding ahead, Our Savior Lutheran Church has organized Hope Village, which has already assisted countless families in the Minot area.

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Day 22

Posted: June 23, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

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Goodbye Montana. Hello North Dakota! I’ve now officially completed another state on my route, having arrived in Beach, ND just before noon today.  I will take a break from riding tomorrow and visit my friend Dan in Minot. On Monday I’ll be back in Beach to continue my ride.

Day 21

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

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My route headed south today from Wolf Point, MT to Lindsay, MT.  My original plan was to continue east on Hwy 2 toward Williston, ND. However, recent oil and gas development in the Bakken Oil Shale Field of western ND and eastern MT have made the roads in that area unsafe for cyclists, as there are minimal shoulders and high levels of truck traffic.  Tomorrow I plan to head toward Glendive, MT and begin a southern route through ND.

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Here is a picture of our windy lunch stop today in Circle, MT.  Excessive headwinds made cycling slower than usual.

Day 20

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Bike Ride Across America 2012

Today was a distance again – riding 108 miles to Wolf Point, MT. So instead of a bicycling report, I’ve asked Emma, Norah and Brennen to share their adventures…

We’ve been traveling on the Dinosaur Trail collecting stamps in Brennen’s Dinosaur Trail Passport. Today we visited two museums in Malta, MT. One had Leonardo the mummified dinosaur, and the other had Elvis whose protruding pelvic bone led to his discovery. Our final stop was the Fort Peck Dam, where there was another dinosaur display, as well as a really neat aquarium.