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…


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.

  1. Lisa says:

    Jen, you are a saint! What an amazing trip. Stay strong. I’m going to send you some eating out gift cards….any particular spots you enjoy? I can send them to Rev. David in Michigan.

  2. Sharon Kinden says:

    Jen, what an amazing trooper you are!!!! What unique stories the kids will have for Show and Tell! Prayers again this evening. Hope you make it to my brother and sister-in-law’s.

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