Thoughts

This is the wrap up.    The Scotts Kid is officially retired.   The whole experience has been surreal.   I remember the morning of April 30th when I left Candlewood Lake.   It was a cold 33 degrees (I don’t like riding anytime it is lower than 55).   Jill and I were talking and I said I didn’t want to leave because of the cold and Jill said she didn’t want me to leave.  I proposed hiding out and blogging from the basement which we both agreed would be the better choice but I got my gloves on and left.

The first days were difficult since I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into and had many decisions to make regarding food, shelter and path.   Can’t tell you how many times I thought the best course of action would be just to turn around and go home.   Not sure “one” particular thing kept me on the road but a big factor was my commitment too many people that I would make the West Coast – these were mostly family and friends that I had known for many years.

Somewhere along the way I started to experience the generosity and wisdom of “strangers” that quickly became “friends”.   While this group includes people from many walks of life the one stand-out group are the professional fire fighters that are willing to risk their lives daily to protect people and property.   These men and women are truly top notch and deserve our support any time we are positioned to do so.   When you think about it one of the truest forms of “love” is when someone who is a stranger and has no skin in the game stops to help someone in need.

The second group of people that I think are exceptional are you the donors to the Pelotonia.   There are so many different ways to spend your money and so many charities that are requesting your donations that I am humbled by your generosity.    We ended up collecting (to date) $20,046 which is spectacular!   While this is well short of my goal I realize that my efforts to make this a national movement were not up to par.   Regardless the money we collected will go a long way “to end cancer in our lifetime” and for this I am eternally grateful to each of you.

This will be my last post as The Scotts Kid as my mission is over and I don’t have anything else to post about.   I do plan on turning these blogs into a book of sorts.   Haven’t done this before but figure it will be easier than taking a bike across the company.   The intent is not to make money but to give you a collection of stories (given more thinking times I can add stories and facts to make it more interesting) that can be shared with those you know.   I tried to collect the emails of everyone that gave a donation and once the book is together it will be shard with each of you.

Thought you might like some fun facts.   These haven’t be substantiated in some cases but will be validated when I have more time.   During the trip:

  1. The pedals were rotated around the axle about 1,187,190 times
  2. Took 50 days
  3. Consisted of 1 hard rain storm around Springfield MO.  There were 2 or 3 other times when there was a light drizzle and many days when I was surrounded by storms.
  4. The West had a colder than average April (when I didn’t ride) and a warmer than normal May (when I did ride).   This worked out to my considerable advantage.
  5. Two times when my bike wasn’t ride-able and I had to hitch hike for support (truth be told this embarrassed both MG and I but what are you gonna’ do?
  6. One time when I had to walk my bike to Walmart to get tube and tire.
  7. Picked up one time by a fellow bike rider who saw me struggling with the wind and felt like I could use a boost
  8. Picked up another time by a fellow bike rider who didn’t know where I was going but did know a major storm (with an associated tornado watch) was rapidly catching me from behind
  9. One major malfunction which was a defective back rim which kept putting pinholes in the back tube (sometimes it leaked and sometimes it didn’t) which was confusing and greatly delayed the final repair.
  10. Rode on the Amtrack train from Fullerton, CA to Albuquerque, NM.  It was fun watching the world go by when previously I could only watch the trains go by
  11. Rode the High Speed Ferry which was a blast.   Allowed me to see son #1!
  12. Ate breakfast at McDonald’s and dinner at Subway more times than I can count
  13. Most memorable experience (and embarrassing now that I think about it) was having to walk up a hill with a 3000 foot elevation that took about 4 hours.   During the climb I had no energy to ride up the hill and not walking very fast.   When I finally got to the top I was so tired I could only lay tarp, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag down.   While setting up the “camp site” I started shivering and couldn’t stop.   I climbed into the sleeping bag and as the shivering stopped and the wind kept finding a way into the sleeping bag I felt such a “oneness with the universe” and sense of peace that I will never forget that night.
  14. The day after I returned to Mt. Gilead it rained, hard!   Very much an example of the luck I experienced throughout the trip.   Mother Nature was very kind to me.

Again thanks to all of YOU donors and trip supporters!!!!    You made the trip doable and kept me going.  My one final wish is that the kindness you have shown me in a time of need is returned to you many times over.   Trust that it made me a better person that will try to do the same in the future.

Signing off . . .

Grove City, OH to HOME!

Please forgive my tardiness in getting this post out.   I got home yesterday and just enjoyed the company of my wife, my pesky dog, my middle son Joe, my son to be daughter in law Mandie, and their much bigger pesky dog.   I will also deviate from past practice to show and explain one picture at a time to give you a better chronology of my return.

New House

This is the night before my final journey home.   Joe and Mandie posed in front of their soon to be “new” house.   They were so afraid that they might “creep” the current owner (apparently they’ve been by many times to look at the house again and to get pictures that they wanted to do a “picture and run” mission.   The funny thing is that a neighbor (left hand side) came home and thought we were casing the joint.   Had to explain and he allowed us to proceed.

MG Surrounded by Bike Friends

SHOUT OUT to Performance Auto Group in general and Greg, Jeff, Kyle and Joe.   Greg, Jeff, and Joe all work at Performance Group and Kyle is Greg’s son.   Joe has promoted the Pelotonia at work a number of times and these gentlemen and many of their co-workers have generously contributed.   These gentlemen all got up at 5:00 a.m. or so and met Joe and I at their corporate office in Dublin to ensure I made it home.   Not shown is Brenda who drove the SAG Wagon (chase car to help if needed) to provide backup.

Riding in Sunrise

Joe and I enjoying the early sunrise on the return home.   Admittedly I was the slowest one in the pack.   I could blame in on “tired” legs and a “heavy” MG but the reality is that most of these guys are practiced Pelotonia riders (riding again this year) and drove forward like a clock.   The benefit was I was able to draft on them much of the way and got home just after 10:00 in the morning with a 15.8 MPH.  Nothing stops this bunch!

Returning during Sunrise

MG and I are on the roadside 2nd position in this picture.   I think Kyle took the picture.  Kyle works in a bike shop and not only took pictures but also selected a bike route that I had never been on to get us home.   We did run into a sign that said “Road Closed, 6 Miles Ahead” and without really too much decision making kept going (with my eternal gratitude).   Our timing was a bit off however.   As the last rider went through the construction site (me of course) the workers drove up in a truck.   Their looks didn’t give me the impression that they were cheering us on.

MG and I at the Mt. Gilead traffic circle and slightly earlier when we were approaching it.   The untold story here is that construction crews were also repaving the road just North of this position.   At this point our group got split into two.   Each group thought they were ahead of the other.   Joe and Jeff can claim anything they want but the “truth” is that Greg, Kyle, and I took the more hilly (arduous) route and beat ’em to my house by 5 minutes.   No matter what they say this is the TRUTH!

Can’t say enough about these riders.   They showed up at 6:00 a.m., rode till 10:00, spent 15 minutes at my house and then went BACK to work.   During the morning’s ride there was always at least one of these guys that stayed back with me.  It was a fun morning, a quick ride, and a great bunch of riders.   Hope to see them again at the upcoming Pelotonia!

Rob at Home

In the spirit of full disclosure this is a staged picture taken at my request.   It is not supposed to reflect reality but my true feelings about being home.   The reality was we were charging the battery on our very dirty boat which when completed allowed us to take Joe and Mandie tubing.   Their dog Dwight kept trying to jump in the water to get to them and the tube.    You should have seen Jill try to restrain the 85 or so pound dog.

Lastly, when I woke up at Joe’s house I looked around the room and found this sign.   Do you think any additional explanation is needed?

Let's Stay Home Sign

Thanks for sharing this adventure with “The Scotts Kid”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troy, OH to Grove City, OH

Pictures:

  1. Meet Dwight the wonder dog.   He belongs to Joe and Mandie.    Don’t let the calm, tranquil expression in this picture mislead you.   Inside is a boiling cauldron of puppy trouble-making.   You should see this 85 pound kid play with our 15 pound Cavapoo.   It is a lot like a train playing with a trike.
  2. Some of the best lessons and sources of wisdom are what people put on a wall or on a couch.   The two sayings are “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It” and “Life is {The Art} of drawing without an Erase”.   The first saying gets back to our discussions where people need to be proactive and an active participant in life.  Waiting for life to come to you is a recipe for a very unhappy life.   Loved the second saying as well.   Life can’t be planned out.   You can set objectives and work toward them but life has a funny way of throwing up unexpected objectives which will cause you to adjust you path many times.   The key is to make good decisions so you don’t need to request a “do over”.
  3. The card that starts with “Laugh Like You’re 10” is a post card that came to my attention today.   I think this falls nicely within the “I have a gear for that philosophy” and shows that you need to use all of them.  I think this is a beautiful plan for achieving a very full and rewarding life.
  4. My son that’s getting married in September is also buying a house with Mandie in the coming weeks.   The good news is it has a pool.   Why is this news good?   Because I am retired and when Joe and Mandie are at work it will be my pool!

This was a fairly short bike leg where the 77 miles was completed in about 5 and a half hours.   The humidity was kicking up today so “welcome back to the Ohio summer weather”.

A number of times I alluded to or discussed life and circumstance come together in funny ways.   When Bill Slagle and I were leaving Bellefontaine yesterday, Mandie’s (Joe’s fiance) mom (Bonnie) was leaving her house in Sidney for Grove City.  She saw Bill and I riding out of Bellefontaine and thought it was “The Scotts Kid”.   However she “knew” that The Scotts Kid rode alone and thought she was mistaken. What are the odds?

Speaking of seredipity, I was up early again today.   As I get closer to ending this ride the excitement grows.   In any case I got up at 4:30 a.m. and didn’t have anything to do until 5:30.   I looked around and found a book entitled, “101 Things to do before you Get to Heaven”.   I found the title intriguing and decided to flip through it.   It had lots of interesting ideas.   I decided to look at the first two items figuring I could get started.   Ironically enough here are the first two:

  1. “Risk doing something stupid”.   If you have been following my posts you easily realize that on any number of occasions I did “stupid” things.    I believe this was accomplished.
  2. “Take a Retro Road Trip in the Car”.   My contention is that any substitute that is transportation (like a bike) would complete this item.   With all the small, cool towns I passed through I am giving myself credit for this item as well.   Perhaps I should have looked at idea #3.

That’s if for tonight.   Joe and Mandie are making hamburgers for dinner and my mouth is watering.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the fathers out there!

 

Findlay, Oh to Troy, Oh

Pictures:

  1. Coming down US 68S I saw a tree stump with an eagle carving at the top and a flag.  Made me think of the upcoming July 4th celebrations that are just around the corner – can’t wait to enjoy!
  2. The Findlay Fire Station has one of the few remaining sliding poles still in operation.  This pole is particularly cool in that when you put weight on the pole it opens up a hatch in the floor so you can slide to the first floor unobstructed.t
  3. As we were going through Piqua and trying to avoid Troy, Bill took me on the Great Miami Recreational Trail that he runs on in preparation for a mini-marathon he prepares for each year.
  4. Rob, me, crossing a bridge over the Great Miami River.   At the far end there were stairs that had a metal channel down the steps so MG could make it down the stairs without bumping on the stairs.   Never seen such a set up!
  5. While on the bridge I asked Bill to take a picture with the dam in the background.   The only thing I like more than water is water coursing down a dam.
  6. Made it to Bill’s house and was getting settled in when I saw this pillow with the cross stitch saying, “today is a perfect day to be happy”.   This is exactly the point that I am trying to make.
  7. Bill and I meeting in Bellafontaine for the first time in 30+ years.   Again I strongly encourage you to remember a close friend that has drifted away and give them a call.   The renewed contact is worth more than anything else I can think of!

What a wonderful day!   A Navy friend I hadn’t seen in more than 30 years met me in Bellafontaine to ride me back to his house in Troy.    We rode the 50 miles talking about old times, new times and things in between – what a great time.   It was also fun not having to navigate for a change.   He took me the back roads that had us landing after 101 miles of pedaling.

At the end of the run he took me to a monster hill by his house.   He started a tradition that anyone that could ride up the hill without touching the ground would get their name on a plaque that he maintains.   I am happy to report that MG earned the right to have her name placed on this prestigious plaque for time eternal.

Another story of a wonderful couple goes to Doris and Wayne that own a house on US 68S.   While I was riding down the road I saw a sign that said, “Wishing you a great day and a good night”.   I find it amazing that someone would try to send a message to every motorist that comes down US 68 such a special wish.

Now I turn my attention to Grove City which is where my middle son lives.   Should be there tomorrow before 1:00 p.m.

Today my wish for you is that all your dreams be righteous and become a part of your life that gets more fulfilling each day!

 

 

 

 

Ferndale, MI to Findlay, OHIO!

Pictures:

  1. This is my oldest son John that got up with me at 5:00 a.m. this morning and walked me to a bagel store a block away that served up the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had to date.   He is posing with with MG in front of his house.
  2. The Fire Station at Findlay, Oh is hosting me today.   This is so fitting since so many fire stations have supported me over the last 2 months and I have missed meeting with them at the end of the day.
  3. Picture of MG and I in front of John’s house.
  4. This is the Perrysburg Water Tower.   I have passed this water tower lots of times as I traveled on I-75.   This is the first time I have gone through the town of Perrysburg.   Perrysburg is a happening little town especially when then are having a town celebration.   Next time you are on I-75 think about taking a side trip for shopping, lunch or dinner.   I believe you will be happy you did.    Little towns are the “heart” of America!
  5. The sign that touched my heart.   I have enjoyed every state, city and town that I touched but Ohio is home and therefore special as you might imagine.

Day’s Summary: Planned on doing 117 miles but after 3 detours and a navigation miss (on Google’s part) in Toledo I ended up doing 126 miles.   I believe this is my last 100+ ride.   Seemed to be going well all morning (60 miles by 10:00) but the afternoon seemed to drag.   The truth is probably anything over 100 miles catches me when I am tired.

I showed up at John’s house yesterday and he made me feel special.   He asked if I wanted anything to eat or drink and I said no.   He brought me water and a pasta salad.   When he finished working we sat on his back deck and drank a beer or two.    We talked politics and while our positions are usually different we are “able” to hear one another so points are made and thoughts engaged.   Advice, never try to argue with a lawyer.

For dinner John bought me so Thai food (chicken and noodle dish) and a German Chocolate cake.    I was full and fueled for today’s ride.   He also bought me some quality protein bars which taste much better than the cheaper brand that I buy.

In the morning we went for breakfast as stated in the pictures.   It was a really nice time!

Short Stories:

  1. Passed a garden that had a large log cross section placed in a prominent position.   If had a couple of spotlights that will shine on it at night and was beautifully finished in a stain and lacquer.  It has these simple words written on it, “Be humble and kind”.   Such simple words but it dawned on me that all the people I admire exhibit these characteristics in spades.   I have a ways to go.
  2. For those of you that are parents you will understand (if you have older children) how neat it is to visit them as adults.   They are no longer my children, they are now active adults blazing their story through life.   I am so proud of all my kids.   The fact that I was with John, my oldest, allowed me some time to remember when he was born, growing up, in the band, trying for music scholarships, going to Law School, etc., etc.    Nothing compares to the joy my sons bring me (except of course the grand kids).
  3. I was initially “surprised and fighting” against the detours and bad map directions.   Then is dawned on me that life is just like that.  You can plan everything down to the last dot and we all know that won’t stop the surprises from coming.   When this occurred to me I changed my perspective and thought:
    1. Saw two towns I wouldn’t have otherwise seen
    2. Actually went through Perrysburg which was  a nice scenic surprise.
    3. Found a place to get afternoon chocolate milk
    4. Was able to practice my ad hoc navigational skills
    5. Got to enjoy a “long ride” one more day and the trip is winding down
    6. So my conclusion?   Life is a state of mind.   Employ the state that will bring you the most enjoyment – why not?
  4. I was riding through town and there was a man that looked like he was saying “mean” things.   I immediately thought his comments were directed at me and started to get excited.   He then noticed me and waved even while he continued to talk.   He was on the phone.   How often do we assume something that causes us to be less than “nice” only to realize we are part of the problem.   Another lesson for me.
  5. As I went through Toledo I was stopped by many red lights which gave me the occasion to look into some of the cars.   It seemed like many of the people were not happy and had scowls pasted on their faces – why?   I think this is a perspective thing.     My belief is we need to do a better job of looking at the good things that are happening in our lives and ensure we have a smile in place more often than not.
  6. Much of this trip found me on roads where I might not see anyone for 30 minutes or more.   Today, and yesterday, were vastly different with cars everywhere going in many different directions and me having to be especially careful to ensure they had plenty of room to operate.   This is a great example of switching to the “right” gear.   We all are able to operate in multiple environments and we do this by choosing the gear appropriate to the situation.   If you feel yourself getting excited my recommendation would be to check to ensure you are in the right gear!

That about wraps it up for today.   The Findlay Fire Department gave me my own room with shower!   Again this raises my appreciation to all the Fire Stations that have provided assistance, guidance and advice over the last 40+ days.   You guys (and gals) rock and the success I now enjoy would not have been possible without your support earlier in my trip.   You have my undying GRATITUDE!

Tomorrow I will meet up with a Navy buddy that went through flight school with me.   Haven’t seen he for years and years.    This will be a red letter day.

Think of someone that you love and that has made a difference in your life but for whatever reason you haven’t made contact for awhile and CALL THEM!   You will be glad you did!

Chesaning, MI to Ferndale, MI

Pictures:

  1. I love some of the advertisement gimmacks that are used to draw customers.   No matter how many times I see a car coming out of a building, it still catches my attention.
  2. Bad picture of the water tower in the background that has animals painted on it with the words “Detroit Zoo”.   Jill and I have been to this zoo a couple of times with our son John.   No matter how big or small the zoo, they all seem to be laid out in a way that makes walking through them fun and exciting.   Strongly recommend visiting any zoo for a nice afternoon but the Detroit zoo I can recommend from personal experience.
  3. Came around a corner and was met by three big flags announcing an apartment complex.   Blue sky, beautiful day, short route (87 miles to sons house), and then these 3 flags made me proud to be an American.    For some reason when they surprised me they signified all that is good in America.

Summary:

Finished my ride of 87 miles at 12:15 today with a 14.8 mile an hour average.   While this certainly isn’t a top speed, it does have me moving fast enough to feel good about the run.    I have a noticeable omission I want to correct first.  Yesterday I arrived in my 14th and last “new” state for my ride which is the mighty state of Michigan.    While Michigan doesn’t seem as “eye catching” as Wisconsin, it does have some of the same scenario and certainly is a state worth visiting.   My only complaint is the roads.   Michigan seems to have some of the worst roads I’ve rolled over in the East with little to no shoulder.   To make matters worse the drivers seem less understanding.   While I ride in a consistent manner, today 3 Michigan honked their horns at me in frustration.   It was obvious I had no other place to ride and I was over as far as I could be but still they felt the need to tell me to get off the road.

Another notable is that I have broken the 4000 mile barrier with today’s ride have a grand total of 4055 miles (2590 miles going out and as of today 1465 miles on the return.   The shortened return is due largely to my Amtrak train ride out of California and to a lesser extent the High Speed Ferry ride into Michigan.    While neither event was “riding a bike” so I can’t count the miles, I loved the experience of both and wouldn’t have traded the experience.

Thoughts on Today’s Ride:

  1. First a simple thought, in life you will be met with situations where you will have to make a decision quickly.   Unfortunately when you make the decision quickly you may have to rely on instinct which is built largely on past experiences.    This is what happened to me.   I had been riding my bike for awhile and was on my 70+ mile.   When you ride for awhile you get into a grove and aren’t necessarily giving the road your full attention.   The road I was on was fairly narrow and traffic was light.   All of a sudden a deep and wide hole appeared in front of me.   Instantly, by instinct, I jerked the bike to the left to miss the hole (this was toward traffic) and then jerked it back to get out of traffic’s way.   Obviously my decision worked since I am able to discuss it but what if I had jerked the bike to the left into the path of a car that couldn’t get out of my way?   I thought about this long and hard.   My belief is that I am always listening for traffic and knew there was no one close enough to hit me and that is why I made the decision I did.   My point is there will be times in your life where you have to make decisions by instinct and once done you will have to live with the consequences.   My recommendation would be to ensure whatever you are doing you build your experience level up as you increase the level of difficulty.
  2. The next thought is much more complicated and am curious what your thoughts are on the topic – old age.   I am discovering that I am getting older (not sure I would say I am “getting old” yet) and that my body doesn’t act like it used to.   When I get cut I don’t heal as fast as I used to, I can no longer stay up late easily, and when I drink red wine I get stopped up (now this is a real disaster).   So “getting older” is a reality not only for me but also for others.   Since people are living longer diseases that weren’t seen before are now appearing more and more.    It is my belief that this reality for me and others will require new ways of thinking as my physical abilities diminish.

One of my heroes is Stephen Hawkins    He had a progressive physical ailment    commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.   Rather than succumbing to the downside of the disease he shifted his goal away from the physical and to the mental side.   Was he successful?   Well his “dumbed down theories” for normal people is still over my head.   I would say he was a genius that was able to deal with his reality to the point that he became the foremost thinker of all things dealing with the stars.

What does this mean to me?   First there is a prayer that I believe is the foremost philosophical guide for all of us called the “Serenity Prayer” (this is not a religious discussion.   Feel free to change the word “prayer” with “philosophy” and replace “God” with any other word that guides your life should the words not fit into your beliefs).   Here goes:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

Where am I going with this mish-mash of “stuff”?   Goals are wonderfully fine and highly recommended.   However what do you do with a goal if something happens that precludes you from reaching that goal (i.e. I wanted to do an Iron Man Triathlon but had my knees replaced which made this goal unreasonable).   My contention is that the “Serenity Prayer” would cause me to believe that running a marathon in no longer in my best interest which would cause me to rethink my goal.   To continue the example as I rethink my goal I might decide to ride my bike across America which is still a big challenge but won’t hurt my knees.

3. Last thought has to do with what makes me “Rob”.   As I get older and can no longer do the things I like to do (like ride a bike) how does this impact my life.   Does the fact that I can no longer ride the bike make “Rob” less than he was before.   This took me a while to sort through because I do associate myself strongly with a bike and if I couldn’t ride it for exercise what would I do and would I suddenly be less than I was before?   After much thinking my conclusion was that Rob is not the physical being.   Rob is the mind, the spirit, and the desire to do something.   Should my body no longer be able to ride the bike the mind could, should, and would find some other outlet for the Rob persona.   Ultimately as long as I have my mind (this is what Stephen Hawkin taught me) then I exist and therefore I can perform some real activity in the world.

I would caution you however that this is a tough concept to accept and believe in.   If you look at our advertising today it is all about young, beautiful, and lots of material things.   I disagree that these things are important.   People are beautiful through their thoughts and actions not their physical make up and material things.

As you can see short rides don’t necessarily mean lack of thinking.   Sorry for the heavy thoughts but lately I have been trying to sort out what getting old means to me as I start down this path.

If you agree or disagree or would like to throw you thoughts into the mix I would love to get your opinions on these subjects.    We are all getting older and if we want to remain productive and relevant these are the topics we will need to wrestle to the ground.

Wishing you my very best today, tomorrow and always!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mequon, WI to Fast Ferry (Milwaukee) to Muskegon, MI to Chesaning, MI

Pictures:

  1. There is a Submarine Museum in Muskegon, MI.    This is a picture with a Coast Guard Cutter and the USS Silversides outside the museum tied up at the pier.
  2. The twin wake marks the Lake Express’s twin turbines kicking out the water that propels the ferry at about 32 knots.   The ferry crosses 75 miles of Lake Michigan in 2.5 hours as opposed to driving around the southern tip of Lake Michigan which is 298 miles long.
  3. MG is excited about the upcoming ferry ride and is first in line to board.
  4. Another picture of the fast ferry approaching the Muskegon port.
  5. This is “me” setting MG up along the wall where cars and motorcycles are also lined up.   What I didn’t know was that once the ferry left port (on the Milwaukee side) passengers were no longer allowed access to this deck.   Wanted to get my computer and “inaccessible”.   So I finished reading my book.   MG felt discriminated against.   She is much more than a mere car or motorcycle.   Since she had a ticket she felt she should be able to grab a seat in the heated area.
  6. This picture was taken as we are leaving the Milwaukee port.   You can see it is foggy but if you look real close you can see the Milwaukee skyline.
  7. Another picture of MG waiting in line with a more complete picture of the Lake Express ship.

Summary: So, once we completed the crossing to Muskegon we officially entered the Eastern Time Zone.   Home can’t hide from us much longer!   We made the 114 miles to Chesaning in just under 7 hours starting when we got off the Lake Express.   The “pretty good time” is a direct result of the expected wind AT OUR BACKS, the good roads, MG’s complete recovery from multiple surgeries and a back wheel that is steady and true.   In addition, Dave and Camille ensured our nutrition levels were maxed out and we were fully rested.   Once again the part of this trip I’ve enjoyed the most are the people which have been so kind and supportive.

I had a Eureka moment last night that isn’t fully fleshed out yet.  I think life has two main paths that make up each of our lives.   One path is the one that throws challenges up that we must meet head on by ourselves.   These challenges cause us to better understand ourselves and allow us to grow into the person we are meant to be.   The other path is the one that is far more interesting to me.   This path is the one where you have a problem that you can’t solve by yourself.   An example would be me standing on the side of the road with a tire/tube busted and no way to fix it without a bicycle shop that is a 100 miles away.   Somehow this path brings people together that “are meant to be”.    Again in my example many people that passed me by couldn’t have helped.   The 1 person that did stop (Jeff) ended up taking me to that bike store that was unreachable by me alone.   What brought us together?   What caused me to be on that road (I could have taken many other roads)?   What caused Jeff to be on that road?   Why did Jeff decide to change course from Minnesota to Fort Dodge?    So many questions and I don’t even know how to begin answering them.

Bottom line is we are tied together in this organization called humanity.   As long as we are part of humanity fate moves us in ways that are truly miraculous.

Please make tomorrow, a great day, even better.