Friday, August 27, 2010

Trial Run

So, I figure it would be good to get some practice at this whole bike touring thing. I mean, first, it would help me get in shape, especially if I plan to do an average of 80 miles a day on the bike. Which is doable, mind you. I did my research. That's about a typical amount for a cross-country touring cyclist. So, before doing the real thing, I decided to take a small one. So, after I became unemployed, and left my job as delivery guy at Papa John's, and had a lot of time on my hands, I planned a little trip out. I loaded up my little BOB trailer, took my tent, sleeping bag and pad, some food, a change of clothest. The basics, you know. And off we went.

The first day, the 25th, I went with a friend of mine, Jesse Dare, to Morrilton, and found a campsite just south of town. We got in about 50 miles that day, ish, starting at about 3 in the afternoon, going till 8 PM ish, and riding against a headwind. By the way, I have come to despise headwinds with a fair amount of passion. I've sworn at the wind on occasion. Just saying. Anyway, that day didn't end well, as my partner ended up sick that night, and his ankle, which has been broken for months, was still bothering him. For some reason biking 50 miles with weight didn't help. Go figure. So, we got a lift back that night.

Next day, though, I set out solo to get some more riding in. I loaded up again, and set out for Conway, AR, by way of Ola and Perryville. I started out at 10:30 AM and rode till 7:30 PM with several stops for food. I ended up riding 87.5 miles that day, which, looking back on, I feel kinda of proud of, especially since I had a trailer with me. I stayed that night with a friend of my mom's - Jim and Joyce King - and camped out right next to their pool. Definitely roughing it, I know. Check out the photos below.

8-26-10; Camping out on the porch!

8-27-10; My gracious hosts, the Kings
 I rode back the next day, on a more direct route, getting 62.5 miles, just so I could say I rode 200 miles on those 3 days. And I collapsed on the couch with a very sore butt and slept most of the afternoon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Well, the whole question of why is a rather long and drawn out one, but I'll try to make the explanation short. You see, I'm a planner, and I really like to have a structure to my life, and to know what's coming next. So, back when the whole college graduation thing happened, last May, I felt a little uneasy about what I was doing next, but felt like I had a decent plan. I thought I had concocted a pretty sound image of what my life would look like for the next couple years.
But, in a strange string of events, that I'm still sorting through in my mind, and at the point of deciding to accept one of two job offers, God stepped in, and reminded me that I'm not the one in control. And, I say that with confidence, that God is orchestrating all of this, but in all honesty, it's a daily struggle to trust that He's in control, and it's not my own stupidity and indecision that has brought me to this bike trip. All that said, I was overwhelmed with confusion and frustration, and I threw all of my previous plans aside.
For what, you ask? (Maybe you're not asking, but let's pretend.) For what? I didn't know, at the time, and I still can't really say that I KNOW what I'm doing. But, I think a bike trip might help me figure that out. I like biking, and I've always loved doing adventurous things, and I hope that I can spend time on this trip, thinking and praying. I hope to work through that confusion and frustration, work on my relationship with God, and hopefully figure out a little more of who I am and what my passions are.  So, here I am, about to go on this trip, and we'll see where God leads.