Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Cindy & I have made the full circle and are back home in Turlock. We had a good visit with our son Josh and his family. Our two grandsons continue to grow and are doing well. Josh & Shannon are great parents. Josh got to show us the construction project that he has been working on the past couple of years for Turner Construction Company. It is an addition to the Eisenhower Hospital in Palm Springs. It is a big project that is approaching completion and we had a chance to meet a lot of the people Josh works with. It was neat to have Josh give Cindy & me a tour of the project. We felt pretty important wearing the hard hats as we toured the construction site. It was obvious that Josh had kept his coworkers informed about the coast to coast trip as they asked a lot of questions and congratulated us on the completion. We had a good time at dinner with Josh's family and were blessed by songs and bible verses by our grandson Teagan. We were graciously hosted by Shannon's mom, Glynda, who has recently moved to the Indio area. We had a good trip home and are trying to get back to regular life in Turlock.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quickly Moving West

Today was a big travel day. No side trips. 700 miles, 3 states(Texas, New Mexico, Arizona), and 2 hours time change. We are in West Phoenix and should make Indio, CA for a visit with our son Josh and his family tomorrow. It will be good to see them all. I think we are ready to get back home to Turlock.

Monday, August 10, 2009


We spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday with my son Micah and his family in Houston, Texas. We had a very good visit and stayed for the first time in their recently purchased home in Southeast Houston. They have a very nice home that gives them a lot more room. Micah is doing a good job with the yard work. Today we made it through San Antonio and are staying in Ft. Stockton. We stopped at a small town North of San Antonio, Junction. This is the town that Bear Bryant took his first Texas A&M team to camp in 1958. This experience was the subject of a movie (The Junction Boys) made a few years ago that told the story of a grueling training camp that set the stage for a national championship team a few years later by Bryant and the Aggies. They took 50 players from College Station to Junction and returned with only 23. Two of those returning players were coaches of mine during my football career. Elwood Kettler was the defensive coordinator for Mississippi State my sophomore year in 1972. He was the quarterback of that team. Jack Pardee was the defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers in 1981. He was a fullback/linebacker for the Aggies. These were obviously 2 very tough men. It was nostalgic to be at the same place they worked so hard. The rest of Texas tomorrow.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mississippi & Louisiana

As we begin to work our way back toward home in California, it is good to stop and visit with friends and family along the way. Thursday we drove from Niceville,
Florida to Florence, Mississippi to visit my mother and update her on the trip. She is doing well and we had a good visit. We also had a visit at the nursing home from some of my family from the Florence area. My Aunt Bea, and 2 of her children their families and several grandchildren and a great granddaughter joined us for a brief "family reunion". It was a good time. Friday afternoon we headed down to Hammond Louisiana and had a nice evening the Tillery's, our son Micah's inlaws. They were wonderful hosts. We head to Houston Saturday to see Micah and Blair and Amelie. We are having fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Return Trip

After a canceled flight in San Francisco, and as a result missed connection, then a lost cell phone, we made it back to Jacksonville, FL. to get our pickup and come back home (we have problems too, especially when we are tired and a little stressed). We visited my brother Dan and his wife Judy Tuesday night in
Gainesville and are staying tonight, Wednesday, with another brother, Phil and his wife Libby. It is good to have family and I have the best. We had a nice drive today checking out a coastal area of Florida we had not seen. We'll see more family the next few days as we crisscross across the south.

I would like to remind everyone that a part of this effort is fundraising for Teen Challenge. Thanks so much for those of you who have already contributed to the ministry in response to the ride. I believe we have received over $13,000 with another $14,000 or more pledged that would be about $27,000 total. This is amazing and beyond anything I imagined. There have been over 100 people or groups to donate or pledge. For those of you who have pledged, but not yet donated, you will received an envelope and note reminding you of your pledge. It is not too late for you to make a donation. We'll leave the blog on, but you can just make your check out to Teen Challenge and note in the memo: "Coast to Coast Ride" and mail to Teen Challenge, PO Box 611, Turlock, CA 95381. Thank you all so much. I am again overwhelmed at how much people care. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Best, Worst, Hardest

Best Food:
Cindy-Mexican Food in Superior, Arizona
Jimmy-Bar-B-Cued Brisket, light bread, potato salad and sweet tea in Blanco, Texas

Best Day:
Cindy- St. Augustine-July 29: the finish
Jimmy- Louisiana in the rain-July 22

Worst Day:
Cindy-Silver City, NM-lost keys
Jimmy-Quartzite, AZ-Phoenix-5 flats

Hardest Day:
Cindy-Texas traffic-July 17
Jimmy-Tie: Texas Mountains-July 10
El Paso/ The endless expressway in the heat July 8

Best motel:
Cindy: Days Inn-Chipley, Florida
Jimmy: Comfort Inn-Del Rio, Texas

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thanks to All

Wednesday night at 10:30 Randy and Lori Fiorini picked us up at the airport in San Francisco and brought us home. It was so good to see our best friends and be able to share with them, even if we were a little weary, as they took us home. After a day Thursday to rest, read the mail, pay bills, and catch up with things in Turlock; Cindy & I had a chance to go by and share a little about the trip with the the men and staff of Teen Challenge. It was a special time again filled with joy, thankfulness, and prayer by many. We are so thankful. Thanks to the men, staff, and board of Teen Challenge. I also offer thanks to my best friend, Randy, who did so much to support me throughout the preparation of and rhe ride itself, by his encouragement, his provision of supplies, his timely calls throughout the journey, and his friendship. Another group that I am grateful for is my church family of New Life Christian Center in Turlock. They are an amazing group that never fail to inspire and challenge me with their generous hearts. Thanks to our sons, Josh and Micah and their wives , Shannon and Blair and our 3 precious grandchildren, Teagan, Trey, and Amelie. Thanks to my mother and 3 bothers with their families who were so enthusiastic and supportive of me. Thanks to my other family, especially those from my Uncle Horace's family who joined us in this journey. Thanks to so many personal friends who we heard from through comments and emails. Thanks for those who followed us but weren't able to figure out how to respond. Thanks to PowerBar for sponsoring us. Thanks most of all to God for His protection, provision, blessings, lessons taught, and strength to carry on day after day. We'll have more highlights of the trip to come.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

St. Augustine: Mission Accomplished!

The final 38.7 miles put the finishing touches on the coast to coast bike ride across the USA for Teen Challenge. After I reported to Dennis Whitman at 8:50 AM eastern time (5:50 AM pacific time) I received a video phone call from the Teen Challenge men and staff of resounding cheers like I never heard at Candlestick Park in my days with the 49ers. I don't think the finality has hit yet, but we are just overwhelmed with thankfulness. Cindy & I will never be the same after this adventure together. We probably need a little time to process it all. I look forward to sharing with the Teen Challenge family. Thanks so much to all my family, friends, and all of you who took part in this journey. More to come.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Finishing Strong

Quote for the day: "A glad acceptance of hard things opens the way for glory." Elizabeth Elliot

We got a not so easy 97.3 miles through a variety of trails in east central Florida today to put us within 40 or so miles of striking distance of our goal of St. Augustine. We saw heavy traffic coming into Gainesville around 7:30 AM on the 2 lane county road, but then we got on the scenic Millhopper Road with the live oaks and Spanish moss making a cathedral type entrance way into Gainesville with beautiful homes and preserved habitat. As we entered the urban area, the route took us through a very biker friendly cross town street to the east side to get me to the 17 mile Gainesville-Hawthorne bike trail. This was a high point of the day as the trail was shady, quiet, and very scenic. A fawn hopped beside me no more than 20 feet away and bounded down the trail for several hundred feet with me. It was a great experience. Then I got on some rural roads that were OK for a while, but deteriorated as we got back into logging country. Rough shoulders yielded a flat at a bad time. The humidity was merciless. I have to say I experienced some of the best biker friendliness in Gainesville, but also the worst in a town that will remain nameless as I was able to dodge a can thrown at me from a jeep. I'm glad the guy had poor aim.

Cindy put some songs on the play list and says they are "heavy into grace". I told her that was just fine with me.

Tomorrow we go for the finish line. Stay with us through the very end.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Teagan!

Quote for the day: "This motel is almost a no!" Cindy Webb

July 28 is Teagan Webb's birthday. This is his 3rd birthday. He is our oldest grandson and lives in Indio, CA. He had a big party Saturday and we got to speak to him, but we wanted to recognize him on the blog with his picture and a birthday song. Teagan, Happy Birthday again from Mimi and Pops. We love you!

We got the full treatment of Florida heat today, but managed 123.6 miles by pushing hard early. We had a good, flat track most of the day. Beautiful Spanish moss was again everywhere. The crop of the day was Bermuda grass hay. I could smell it as the trucks went by. When we went to dinner at 6 pm the heat was unbearable. We are down to about 140 miles to St. Augustine, our goal. We are on target to make it if things continue as planned. We will try to get through Gainesville and over toward the coast for a finish Wednesday morning, Lord willing. Thanks for your prayers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

North Florida Express

Quote for the day: "A mother is only as happy as her saddest child." Unknown author

I can begin the see the end of the ride. 127.2 miles, again in the North Florida muggy heat. It only got to 93-94 while we were out, but that's enough to wear on you. I felt good through the finish, I had a little to spare. Tallahassee, the capitol of Florida, was a little challenging as they had me finishing the city on a bike path headed out in the country. I made it on the trail, but couldn't find where to get off, so I rode a few extra miles. We had our last time change as I crossed over the Chattahoochee River at about 11 central, Noon eastern. We are still in the panhandle and hopefully will get above Gainesville tomorrow. I can smell the finish and will be happy to see that Atlantic Ocean. Our hope is to dip the tires of the bike in the Atlantic on Wednesday late morning and try to make a flight from Jacksonville to SFO. We have some work to do and need to check on things, then we'll fly back several days later and get the truck and drive back visiting relatives and friends on the way back. We'll keep the blog going for a while. We'll have some more fun and adventure. Keep praying as we are not quite there yet. Let's all finish strong!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pensacola, Apalachicola: I'll have Coca Cola

Quote for the day: "Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die." Douglas MacArthur

We made 118.5 miles through northwest Florida today. We probably could have pushed it a little more, but as we get close to the end, I'm not going to overdo it. We had good conditions, but the humidity down here can play tricks with your body. I was a little anxious as we started today, but we got to see some beautiful farmland. Cotton and peanuts were the crops of the day.

I was thinking this morning at 4 AM as we were getting up, having some coffee, and reading our daily devotions. We are reading devotions by Dietrech Bonhoffer the German theologian of the 1930's and 40"s. Cindy is reading his contrast between humanity and spirituality. I'm looking over in the corner of the motel room wondering if the bike tires went flat overnight. Bonhoffer likely had a Nazi guard with a gun pointed at him as he was writing. What do we have in common? Not much you say. Well I beg to differ. We serve the same God: holy, sovereign, and totally in control.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

Quote for the day: "A man may die, nations may rise but an idea lives on." John F. Kennedy

109.5 miles through coastal Alabama and Florida finishing north of Pensacola was what we did today. We lost about an hour taking the ferry across Mobile Bay at 9 AM, the heart of when we need to be on the road, but that's the way it worked out. The coastal islands of Alabama were a sight of beauty with Spanish moss and a large variety of water fowl all around the area. Marshland was almost as far as you could see. The bridge to Dauphin Island was a challenge to ride over, but the view from the top was spectacular. After the ferry ride the road was new and good so it helped make up time. There are a lot of condominiums for sale in Alabama and Florida. That's for sure. Pensacola was tougher to get through, but we made it. The highlight for the day was a visit from my brother Phil and his wife Libby who were able to visit us and treated us to a wonderful dinner at Texas Road House. I got an email the other day from Jim Pyatt a staff member at Teen Challenge. Jim wanted to remind me to make sure I get all the fluids I can to finish strong. This is especially meaningful since Jim did this trip himself some 18 years ago in less time than I am trying. Thanks, Jim. That means so much coming from you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quote for the day: "Do what you can with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

122.5 miles was the total for today through Mississippi. We were pleased and somewhat surprised at the good roads we had for the most part. Most of what I biked I had not seen previously in my home state. The lush pastures around Poplarville with the cattle lazily grazing was a pleasing sight. The pine trees were abundant, so tall and thin. Again the heat did not kick in until later in the afternoon. I did not get too tired today.

You will note we have changed up the music. We're bringing back "The Small Town Southern Man" by Alan Jackson. This time I would like to dedicate it to the memory of my Uncle Horace Webb. Several of his family have been on this journey with us. Uncle Horace was the consummate "Small Town Southern Man". A hard working, but gentle man who lived out honor and dignity. He fought in World War II in the European Theater. My grandmother let me wear his old army jacket sometimes and I was so proud. He was a deacon in his church and loved Aunt Bea and his children so much. Also, we have Alabama with "Song on the South". We thought it appropriate being in Alabama as well as lead singer Randy Travis being an owner of Polled Hereford cattle that we include it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quote for the day: "A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone." Billy Graham

Goodbye Louisiana, hello Mississippi. After 123.8 miles of mostly rain biking we are finished with Louisiana as we passed through Bogalusa and went over the "Mighty" Pearl River. The day got off to a slow start as we waited for over an hour in the rain in St. Francisville. We finally got going and had a bridge out detour. After all that we cruised on wet but mostly lightly traveled surfaces in rain until just outside Bogalusa about 3:30. The bike did well. My angels were watching over me as there was only 1 slip at the end as I was waiting for Cindy at the finish (I was so embarrassed but not injured). I have had only a little rain biking experience, but alot of today was fun for me. At 75-80 degrees, it was comfortable and I felt like a kid again. I would also like to thank Ray Williams, Beth Ann's cousin, who was so kind to us while we were in the St. Francisville area. He and Beth Ann saw that a lot of our supplies were restocked and gave us area weather reports and accommodation suggestions. If you are ever in Ethel, Louisiana stop in at the F. S. Williams Country Store. Thanks Ray. Thanks to all of you supporters of Teen Challenge and this ride. We feel your prayers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quote for the day:"...all things work together for good to those who love God..." The Apostle Paul

Another good day in bayou country of 132.4 miles. We got an early start and even with a flat after 7 miles, still got in good early miles. With a fast level track for the entire morning we wove through the marshland close to the Mississippi River from mid morning to afternoon as we finished on the ferry to St. Francisville. We saw soybeans chest high and lots of sugar cane. The weather remains good and relatively cool. We know it can change quickly though. It rained after we finished again today. We spent some time adjacent the famous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. From what we saw if anyone escaped he'd better be prepared to wrestle alligators (I saw a dead one 6-7 feet long along side of the road in that area). There was a good headwind as we headed back south, but I could manage it well with the level levee roads we had most of the afternoon. We had a good dinner and visit from our good friend Beth Ann Luter who drove all the way from Jackson, Mississippi just to have dinner and visit with us. Thanks for the encouragement Beth Ann! You are a great friend to Cindy and me. Tomorrow we set our eyes toward Bogalusa.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quote for the day: "Life deals you a lot of lessons. Some people learn from it, some people don't." Brett Farve

We had a good day of rest in Eunice, LA. I got new chains on both bikes, so I am back to 2 completely functioning bikes. The bike shop in Lafayette was a bout 40 miles away, but they were very accommodating, friendly, and professional. Lafayette is a college town west of Baton Rouge and was bustling with energy. I got my favorite "power lunch": 5 double cheese Krystals and a chocolate shake. Cindy got all the clothes washed and our maps charted. It rained about 3:00 pm, but is clearing up we hope for tomorrow. We hope for continued not so hot and humid weather. We are ready to head out at first light tomorrow. Hoping for another good day in the swamps. Thanks for so many neat comments on the blog. We are encouraged, especially from the guys of Teen Challenge.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote for the day: "Courage is the fear that is said in prayers." Shepherd (Texas) Methodist Church

Out of Texas and into Louisiana gaining 130.0 miles for a great day. Conditions were good to start with early morning fog lasting into late morning allowing us to move faster earlier which has been the best for us. We were able to go a little later because it never got hot until around 3 pm. We got in to real Cajun country. We went through Oberlin, LA the home of Mississippi State great fullback Hoyle Granger one of my very favorite Bulldogs. Hoyle played at MSU in the early 1960s and was one of the top pure fullbacks to play ever in the SEC. They said he got his strong legs from working as a boy in the rice fields in Oberlin. We saw plenty of rice fields (but no kids working in them today).

We will take another day of rest tomorrow, Monday. My body is tired, we need to rotate some tires and maybe get a chain fixed. We have been over 2000 miles and are getting set for the final push. We are in a nice motel in Eunice, LA about 15 miles from where we left the route in Mamou, LA.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quote for the day: "Every man should have a wife like Cindy who allows her husband to chase his dreams and then joins him in the capture." Jimmy Webb

Can you say HUMIDITY! We got it today along the 113.5 miles of East Texas we rode. We finished around 2:30 pm as I was fading fast on a rough expressway we got on after being in the beautiful piney woods that reminded me of my home in Mississippi all morning long. At about 4 pm it came one of the biggest down pours I have experienced in a while. Cindy was washing clothes in the laundry area of the motel and we got separated for a half hour as she could not get back to the room through the rain and hail. Our lights were out for 3 hours, but we are dry and cool now. Our little granddaughter, Amelie has these enclosed water bottles called "sippie cups". Last night as Cindy was preparing the 4 or so gallons of PowerBar electrolyte mix. Amelie was interested in what her "Mimi" was doing. Cindy just turned and said," I'm just fixing Pops' "sippie cups" for tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quote for the day: "I don't feel right unless I have a sport to play or at least a way to work up a sweat." Hank Aaron

A really good day of 125.5 miles through some of Texas most beautiful country. We were blessed with a cooler day that allowed us to go a little longer. Clouds around Navasota kept the temperature bearable. We came through areas where it had rained and experienced storm threats, but were blessed by not getting rained on. I faced some stiff winds for a while, but I was able to fight them because it wasn't so hot. We hope to be out of Texas by Sunday. Our son Micah, his wife Blair and our precious granddaughter Amelie from Houston drove up and provided us dinner in our motel and encouraged us with a good visit. I hope we continue to make good progress. We have been so blessed by safety, health, and no major problems to this point. Just a tough track, mountains, winds, wires, and some heat. I received a call a couple of nights ago from Guy McIntyre the former All-Pro Guard with the 49ers who is still with the club in the front office. Guy is aware of this effort and sent his encouragement from the team in support of a fellow 49er alumnus. I didn't have the honor of playing with Guy, but I have much respect for him and appreciated his words of encouragement. Tomorrow on toward Louisiana.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quote for the day: "A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar." Mark Twain

114.5 miles today. We made some more adjustments on getting around the cities. However the route map threw us another curve by guiding us through 2 Texas State Parks which was nice, but cost us some time. Winds were more favorable today than they have been. Thanks for all the prayers. To be honest, the heat is oppressive in the afternoons, so we just have to stop. There is no use killing oneself over 10 more miles. I had hoped to maybe ride some in early evenings, but it just is not practical logistically. We have to go with the 9 hours we can operate in. Today I felt the humidity for the first time. Cindy is not real happy with the way truckers in Texas drive around bikers (at least some truckers). She is staying closer providing more frequent fluid, and I am thankful of that. I am about convinced that with these conditions, we may not get that "big" day I'm looking for, but we'll take what we can get. We hope to get to and maybe past Navasota tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quote for the day: "What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." Will Rogers

A mediocre day of 109.5 miles. Again we got off to a good start, but faded with poor descisions interpreting maps and directions around cities. The map people have given us a wonderful route that tries to keep us safe, but we have trouble trying to follow it sometimes. We are thankful for the miles. The winds were more favorable, but again picked up later. Tomorrow we head between San Antonio and Austin. We are slowly getting through Texas. We saw a bunch of wildlife today. Several kinds of deer and 4 or 5 groups of wild pigs. Also for most of the morning we traveled down the Guadalupe River which was a very beautiful and peaceful experience. We put in the song "Shall We Gather At the River" to recognize this. It is so good to continue to hear from so many of you. We hope for the "break through big mile day", but we are doing just fine. Thanks for the prayers. Cindy & I are so blessed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quote for the day: "One hundred per cent of the shots you do not take do not go in." Wayne Gretzky

115.0 miles through some of the last mountains I'll face. I will start tomorrow with the last big hill of over 2000 ft. I hope to start to get some days with some bigger numbers, but we are finding that fighting the heat and wind after 3 pm is futile. We continue to face the southeast winds of Texas. The route helped us some today as we turned north for a while. We saw several deer today. We have not seen alot of wildlife on the trip. Mostly we've seen "road kill": a dead bear in Arizona,a 3ft. rattlesnake, and a dead tarantula spider in the desert, bigger than my hand. We'll keep looking. For those of you who are wondering if that red jersey is all I have to wear, the answer is I have 2 of them. Cindy likes to be able to see me and says I am a big familiar target to see in the red.

I spoke with Mom tonight for the first time since her hospital trip. She sounded strong and asked if I still was riding the bike. I am so happy she is better. Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quote for the day: "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln

The new pictures show Cindy in the "War Room" in Del Rio plotting strategy and Jimmy patching tubes. Also, a new picture of the picnic near the top of the mountain a few days ago. We are revived and ready to launch out into the next phase of our trip across central Texas. Truck has been serviced. The bikes are good to go. We have some new tires and tubes. Mainly we have the support of many family and friends along with our Lord. Please pray for Teen Challenge Board Member Roger Preston who was injured in a fall and is having shoulder surgery among other things.
9:30 AM Del Rio. Resting going well. Reorganizing, waiting for bike shop to return call. Will take pick up across street to Toyota dealer for service and to check out. It has been doing fine. It is hot and we are beginning to get the humidity. Last night we got detailed Texas maps and we will use them along with our route maps.

Thanks again for you concerns, prayers, posts, etc. This is a great way for Cindy & me to experience family and friends as you support us. We are hearing from many who we have not heard from recently. We imagine there are many more as well. It is overwhelming.

This is for Ed Genasci. Ed, Cindy has been giving a quart of cold chocolate milk just as I finish my ride each day as you told me the Fresno State Football team had experienced improved recovery after hard workouts drinking chocolate milk. I think it is working. It sure is good. Thanks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quote for the day: "Nothing that you have not given away wili ever really be yours." C. S. Lewis

We are in Del Rio, Texas. 102.5 tough up and down miles against 15-20 mph winds for the most part. This ride would have been a dream with the gently rolling downhill terrain, but I had to peddle pretty hard to go down and really hard to come up. I hope we are about through with the wind. I'm glad the winds were not 30+ mph as they could have been. We are going to take off tomorrow as Del Rio is a pretty nice place and we need the rest. There is a bike shop I hope can look at one of my bikes as I have pretty much thrashed the chains on those big mountains over the last week or so. Thanks to everyone who is participating in this blog by reading it and many of you are commenting and I am encouraged by this. I hope you get excited about Teen Challenge! Thanks for the support. Hopefully I'll get some more pictures and I have some stories to share; so stay tuned!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quote for the day: "For many are called but few are chosen" Jesus Christ

103.5 miles today. Got off to a good early start, then the south winds began to blow again. We are in an area with little(and poor) service. We hope to get to Del Rio and finish out this section of the trip and move on. These are the tough days and I have to say Cindy is doing better than me. Pray for us both. Your prayers do help! The internet is shakey so I'll sign off.

Happy Anniversary Josh and Shannon

We honor the marraige of Josh and Shannon Webb today, celebrate their life together and remember their wedding day:

When you stand before the Lord, He will not ask you:

Did you have great success in the eyes of the world?

Did you have lots of kids who all went to UCLA or Libery?

Were you able to give expression to all your fantasies and desires, pursue your individual careers, and make payments, too?

He will ask you:

Did you show in your marriage the mystery of Christ's love to the Church?

As you maintain your different complementary roles: As you stay committed exclusively to each other your entire lives (even in the tough times) in obedience to Scripture: As you model the self-giving love of Christ as a husband and the submissive service of the Church as a wife,

you both preach the Gospel.

On that day when you, Josh, present Shannon radiant to the Lord, without spot or blemish, after you have both been totally committed to each other, having practiced Biblical teamwork in the context of marriage's transcendant meaning, may your faithfulness have as it's reward that there would be many at that great heavenly wedding feast of the Lamb - including your own children - who are there because they have seen lived out in your marriage, in some humble but tangible way the mystery of the transcendant, amazing love story of Christ and His Bride.

To God be the glory forever and ever!

author unknown

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quote for the day: "Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them." Maximus

100.5 miles today. A tough mountain and some difficult winds along with some equipment issues slowed us a little, but we still arrived at our destination of Alpine, Texas with daylight. We had barbecue brisket for dinner at a local restaurant that was very good. I know many of you are hoping and praying for more favorable winds and I want you to continue. We know God controls the wind and also that He hears us and is in control of it all. Let's just trust Him with what comes out of our requests. Thank you so much for these prayers and concerns. Tomorrow we continue on in the Texas wilderness.

Today we had a special treat around noon we came up to a wonderful secluded picnic area. Cindy was only a few miles behind me so I stopped and flagged her down and we had our first real picnic of the trip. I even got in a short nap and had my feet rubbed. It was very special.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quote for the day: "Winning isn't everything, but losing isn't anything." Rockey Felker QB MSU Bulldogs SEC Player of the Year 1974

A good long ride of 129.4 miles out of El Paso and back into some of the most rugged parts of Texas. We faced significant headwinds in the afternoon or we could have done more. I got a little lost again and somehow found myself in the Trucker's lane of the Border Patrol Check on I-10. That's not a good place for a biker to be. A nice truck driver talked to me while we were in line and asked where I was going. He thought it was great and said for me to go ahead of him, he would give me all the time & space I needed. It was a very nice gesture. I told the agent that I had somehow got crossed up. He asked me if I was a US citizen and told me to go. I got out of there and stayed on I-10(which I don't think I was supposed to do) but I hustled the remaining 8 miles on the shoulder to the next exit. Cindy was looking for me and concerned, but because she was cool headed and did not panic, we didn't lose much time. We are in Van Horn, Texas and I already have gone 14 miles beyond so we can get a good start on the 6809 ft high Mt. Locke tomorrow. I think we are around 4000 ft now, so it will be a tough climb. Pray for me. We have been through 3 time changes in the last 4 days, so it gets a little crazy. We just try to get ready to shove off at first light whenever that is.

It is so good to read the comments from friends and family. My mom is back at her nursing home and seems to be doing well. Thanks for your prayers.

We passed the 1000 mile mark today. We feel fortunate and blessed. Again, thanks family and friends for your support. Cindy said there have been over 1300 hits on the map. Thanks for caring. Please realize it is our goal for God to receive all the glory!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quote for the day:" The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin." Anonymous

Back in the century column with a ride of 131.7 miles. We made it through El Paso by the Grace of God and the wisdom of my wife. Got off to a wonderful start along the Rio Grande following some of the most productive farmland in the world for 70 or so miles. Mostly level and gently downhill, an early start, the makings of a great day. Everything was fine until we got to El Paso. Crazy traffic, misreading maps, and 110 degrees at rush hour put a damper on the good day, but we are very thankful for the good numbers and our health and safety. Tomorrow should not have these problems, but there is a 1500 foot climb and some rough roads. We'll hope and pray for favorable winds again. God is good!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quote for the day: "Let's win something today" Bob Tyler, Head Football Coach Mississippi State 1974

I rode 86 miles today. 51 were by far the toughest I have ever experienced. Difficulty level was similar to Del Puerto Canyon in California, but 5000 to 8300 ft of altitude make for extreme hardship. My reward was to fly down the backside and go a little more to close out the day. I'll take it. Now we head down toward El Paso. We hope (and pray) for favorable winds as we move ahead. 754.3 miles so far. A little over 25%.

My mom is better. Hopefully she can go back to her nursing home tomorrow. We have not found the keys. My back was good today, but I can tell it could flare up. One more blowout today as I had to hit the shoulder to avoid traffic.

Thanks for you comments and interest. We understand the guys and staff at Teen Challenge are engaged, praying and supporting. Cindy and I love you all!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quote for the day: "No news is no news" Jimmy Webb

91.1 miles today. Not quite the century, but I'll take it. I climbed 2 tall peaks in western Arizona and finished 5 miles before the Continental Divide close to Silver Springs , New Mexico where we are staying tonight. The Big Lue Pass was 6295 feet (I started at 3000 feet). Monster switchbacks were the theme of the road. It was very difficult. I stopped a few times and Cindy was close by with the fluids. We went up and down around Mule Creek in New Mexico. A lush area around so much desert. In the mid afternoon I did have the longest "roller coaster ride" you could imagine going up and down the hills of grassland in western NM. Favorable winds for most of the way. The only flat was a blowout when I hit a cattle gap in the seam.

Tomorrow might be the toughest day. Emory Pass is scheduled at 8228 feet with alot of climbing before and after. Please pray that we can locate a set of car keys we have misplaced. Cindy is pretty upset, but we'll be fine. We have other keys. Also, please pray for my mother in Jackson, Mississippi who was taken to the hospital for observation. She is 96.

See a few new pix. My son Josh surprised me on the road in Indio when we came through. Also, I am holding a piece of the dreaded "tire wire" on I-10. A shot of some of the desert beauty we have seen. Finally, 2 quarts of PowerBar electrolyte goes mighty well after a long climb. So long!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quote for the day: "You have to have confidence in your ability and then be tough enough to follow through." Rosalynn Carter

I had a good days ride of 112.5 miles through the eastern Arizonia desert mountains. It began with an early morning climb to 4000 feet and continued up and down all day. I had good tail winds much of the day. Thanks for your prayers. No flats on the road. I have one tire down with a slow leak to fix tonight. Bike did well otherwise. My back got a little sore as the day went on, but I am fine. Cindy kept me hydrated again with temperatures as high as 114 through the Apache Nation. I start the big mountains tommorrow. We may not get as many miles, but we'll do our best. The country is beautiful. Whether viewing at 8 miles per hour going up a majestic mountain or flying down the backside at 35+, the scenery is breathtaking. Not sure where we'll stay or be tomorrow night. Thanks for your support!
From our devotion this morning:
Because God has already laid down the only basis for our community, because God - long before we entered into life together with other Christians - has joined us together with them into the body in Jesus Christ, therefore, we come into life together with other Christians not as demanders but as grateful receivers. We thank God for what He has done with us and for us. We don't complain about what God has not given us. Rather, we thank God for what He gives us daily.
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer--

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Quote for the day: "It is not enough to help the feeble up, but to support him after." William Shakespeare

I hope you all had a good 4th of July. They are firing off rockets in the mountain town of Superior, Arizona as I am doing this. We had great Mexican food at the only restaurant in town. Only 80.3 miles today. I worked my way through Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, and Apache Junction. Then I finished with a 3 mile climb to Superior around the copper mines in this area. I will start off tomorrow with my biggest climb yet. 4 or 5 miles at 7 percent grade. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Only one flat today a blow out, probably due to the "rumble strips" we have to cross sometimes. As I was finishing up some of yesterdays tire repairs, I found 4 pieces of wire in 1 tire. I replaced that one in the rotation.

My back was better today, the winds were favorable. It was 108 around us a lot of the mid day. The next 3 days could be the hardest of the ride with the climbs, so keep the prayers coming. Thank you Teen Challenge for your faithfulness!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Quote for the day: "and what does God require from us; but to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with God." The Prophet Micah

111.3 miles of I-10 starting in Quartzite, 5 flat tires, up to 109 degrees; mission accomplished. We got to the west side of Phoenix in spite of the dreaded "tire wire". We are actually in Goodyear. I remember when I was a kid the high temperature for the nation was often Buckeye, Arizona. I got to experience it today. I had a flat in Buckeye at 3 pm. I had it changed in 5 minutes. Over 11 liters of PowerBar Endurance drink (almost 3 gallons). The pavement was sizzling, but there was some shade from clouds and favorable breezes. Keep praying! Tomorrow we get across Phoenix and begin more mountains. My back is a little stiff, but otherwise I'm fine. Cindy saved my life by preventing me from going into some traffic that was not for any biker. She is wonderful to me. We're just trying to keep pushing. No time for much but ride, eat, sleep. Up at 4 and it's already 10. See ya.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A long day and weak Internet make for poor posts. Sorry. 126.5 miles to Quartzite, AZ. Had 2 flats, and a rainstorm in Blythe that cost us some time, but we made it. I had shade at the right time, and the wind at my back sometimes. A lot more mountains than I thought. I'll face more tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers! I'll continue on I-10 even in the face of flats. We head for Phoenix tomorrow and hope for better internet.
Update from Cindy:
-105.6 miles yesterday to Indio
-Jimmy will post later today (God willing)
-Many thanks for comments and prayers (We both NEED them)
_ Agenda for today Quartzsite, AZ (through the wilderness)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quote for the day: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

Only 41.3 miles, but it's a start. We dipped the tire at Huntington Beach after driving from Turlock and I was on my way up the Santa Anna River Trail to Corona. I had a tailwind and the ride was enjoyable after some hectic final preparation. Tomorrow we head for the desert. I want to especially thank the men and staff of Teen Challenge who held a very special prayer service on Monday afternoon for Cindy and me. Also my best friend, Randy Fiorini, was able to participate through a speaker phone. It was so special and Cindy and I were very moved by it all. Randy read some verses from Isaiah 41 that especially blessed me. He has supported me in every way possible way in this project. Thanks Randy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quote for the day: "A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." Benjamin Franklin

Today (Sunday) Cindy & I are traveling back from Louisiana as we were visiting family. We drove a 25 mile section of the route from Woodland to Tangipahoa in eastern Louisiana. It was getting dark and kind of hard to find the route, but I think I'll be OK on the bike. The heat is severe with 95+ degrees and high humidity. It gets light a little later (5:30 am) and it warms up quick. Monday I have work and Tuesday we are on our way. Time to "saddle up".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quote for the day: "Sacrifice. Work. Self-discipline. I teach these things and my boys don't forget them when they leave." Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

I had a nice ride today totalling 151 miles at an average of 17.0 mph while riding. That's probably my best overall performance in the preparation. Temperatures got to 100 in our area according to weather reports, but it didn't feel that hot to me. I did cramp at a couple of rest stops, but was able to continue without problems. That will be the last long ride before the trip begins next Tuesday. Both my brothers in North Florida report 100 degree Florida heat which is a whole different ball game.

Playing Southeastern Conference college football in the South in the early fall could be a challenge in the heat. My senior year at Mississippi State we were able to beat powerhouses Georgia and LSU. We were also able to have a big win over our arch rival, Ole Miss and we gave Florida all they wanted for 3 quarters before wilting in the "Swamp" in Gainesville. But we could do nothing with the team 75 miles to the east in Tuscaloosa, Alabama coached by a man named "Bear" Bryant. His presence on the field had to be worth a 2 touchdown advantage. They had some of their best years in the early 70's and we never got close the 3 years I played them. My sophomore year I faced consensus All-American Guard John "Hog" Hannah. He was very gracious after the easy win for Alabama having been quoted saying I beat him a couple of times out there. He went on to be an outstanding pro with the New England Patriots. I believe he is in the NFL Pro-Football Hall of Fame. He was one of the first 300 pound linemen that could really move.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quote for the day: "I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free." Michelangelo

Today I got official word that this event would be sponsored by PowerBar. That's great news! Special thanks to my friend, Steve for putting me in contact with the area representative, Michelle, and for Michelle's quick and effective work in making this happen. We are very fortunate to be accepted this late in the process and I'm looking forward to benefiting and telling others about the great products from PowerBar. I am told that the electrolyte mix they have is second to none and we all know how good those PowerBars are!

We are over the $10,000 mark in pledges and contributions for the Coast to Coast ride. There is still time to pledge or contribute to helping San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge. As a board member it is so gratifying and encouraging to see people contribute to working with people who recognize their struggle and are willing to work with the staff and take the steps to have victory over addiction. Teen Challenge receives no government funding and most of the students have no means to pay tuition. No student who qualifies for our program is ever turned away for lack of funds. It costs us over $2000 per student each month to keep the program going. We currently have about 45 students. This non-denominational faith based program is effective and we need your help.

I put in a more recent picture of me in my new uniform.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quote for the day: "It is the cause and not the death that makes the martyr." Napoleon Bonaparte

Did a 3 hour early ride at sunup today and made over 50 miles. I had work and errands later on. We got the PowerBar logo on the blog. I'm hoping they will be able to get me some supplies, etc. Teen Challenge had their annual golf tournament today, but I wasn't able to go. I hope they had a good turnout. I showed up at Faith Home Ranch at Teen Challenge tonight and got some of the students to help me as I performed artificial insemination on one of our cows, Anna Belle. It was quite an education for some of those men from inner city areas that have not been exposed to agriculture.

If any body out there has a set of carbon aero bars they could loan me for the trip (about a month), let me know. I pulled out an old metal set I forgot I had and they really helped this morning when I hit some headwinds. They are pretty heavy though. I will be leaving on June 30 (that's next Tuesday). Tomorrow I'll meet with Roger Williams at TC Ranch and we'll update each other on the pledges and contributions.

We're going with some "Theme" music this time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Quote for the day: "Better to fight for something than to live for nothing." General George S. Patton

One last Fathers Day story. There were 4 boys in my family raised together in the late 50's and early 60's. No hi-tech toys back then. But we had a hi-tech Dad who was a skilled engineer and craftsman. He designed and made for his boys a self propelled cart with a small engine: "The Pee Wee Tractor". We had the best Dad in town.

Special thanks to my daughter-in-law Shannon and my son Micah for their assistance in helping Cindy and me get the map on the blog. It is at the bottom. I will explain it later. I am also working with a representative from PowerBar who may be a sponsor.

I was able to make 142 miles on Saturday and be finished by 3 pm. That would be a great day on the trip. I would like to string several days in a row like that across the country. I took today(Sunday) off. Cindy took me for an early dinner at "Cool Hand Lukes". Good stuff; baby back ribs!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quote for the day: "Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character" Robert E. Lee

We're going to have some Fathers Day music. I'm bringing back the "Small Town Southern Man" in honor and memory of my late Dad, Hurst Webb. He demonstrated many of the traits and more in the song (he had 4 boys instead of girls). Another Alan Jackson song that might bring back good memories is "Daddy Let Me Drive". What a picture in a song. Last we have Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon". I put this one in for the younger dads. Pay attention to this song because time just flies by!

I was able to cycle 141 miles on Thursday. It was a full day up to Oakdale then on up in the foothills toward Copperopolis and back through Farmington, Ripon on down through Grayson, Patterson and back to Turlock. It's getting warmer.

Have a great Fathers Day all you dads out there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quote for the day: "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword" Jesus Christ

Well, I changed the picture again. I am about to run out of football pictures. This one is for 2 good friends of mine who happen to be Raider fans. David Wright, President of the Teen Challenge and Faith Home Boards and Frank Silva of New Life Christian Center who along with his wife, Chris, head up the 2nd Saturday ministry at New Life. Guys, I did get Carl Garrett down on this play. Don't I look mean!?

Well, less than 2 weeks and I'll be on the road across the USA. I've been working my veterinary job and have not been on the bike for a few days. I look forward to a good, long ride on Thursday. I am so looking forward to getting the ride started.

Today I met with the Modesto East Rotary. They were a smaller Rotary, but very interested and supportive of the ride. We have some great service clubs in our area. I get to speak at the Early Morning Friday Kiwanis this week also.

We hope to get the map up soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quote for the day: "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, New York Yankees.

I wanted to change the music some so I asked Cindy to pick some music that she would like to put on the blog. So these are the songs that reflect her heart right now as we get ready for this journey. She has a big part in helping make this trip happen. I am so blessed to have someone who always thinks of me first.

I went to the very top of Del Puerto Canyon Road at the Santa Clara County line today. That last 4-5 miles was a 'killer" (straight up). I definitely hit the anaerobic stage that I try to avoid as my heart rate got up into the high 170's for a long period as I got toward the top. The ride back down was "marvelous". I need to do that climb another time or 2 before I leave.

Friday night at Northside Assembly of God Church in Turlock was the Teen Challenge Graduation for 2009. 16 men were recognized for completing the program. 3 others were recognized for advanced training completed in the Teen Challenge programs. Each one of these graduates was asked to share the length of their addiction and the most important thing they learned in the program to help them. It was amazing to hear these men share! We got to witness the fruit and it is something special. The 30 or so other men in the program that were in attendance received much encouragement from the graduates as they look forward to completing the program, graduating, and having a changed life. The years of addiction overcome by this class were more than 200 with one student having victory after 40 years of addiction! The graduation was well attended by friends and family of the students; board members and staff; and friends and supporters of Teen Challenge.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote for the day: "The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones." John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach

Today I did 123 miles. It was a good variety of riding and would represent a good, hard, day that I might face. I left home about 5:45 AM and went to Oakdale, Jamestown, LaGrange, and back by Turlock Lake to Hickman then out Montpelier Road to Delhi and back home. I faced some hills and some wind. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. I have a full days work to do.

Teen Challenge got its start from Rev. David Wilkerson a minister from Pennsylvania, coming to New York City ministering to the gangs in the late 1950's. A movie was made about the development of Teen Challenge: "The Cross and the Switchblade" that starred Pat Boone and Eric Estrada. The ministry took off from there with involvement from the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York and then to other metropolitan areas. Teen Challenge International headquarters are located in Springfield, MO.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All" Vince Lombardi

I hope that I am as prepared as I can be to make this ride. I know I need to do the basics, fluids, heart rate monitoring, etc. I need to be alert, but stay lose and enjoy the ride. I met a man at Turlock Rotary today who had done 2 cross country rides at a more leisurely pace than I am attempting and he suggested that I make sure to talk to the people I meet along the way. I'll try to do that. There was a great group at Rotary that really encouraged me as I shared some about my football career and then about the trip. It is always a joy for me to share about Teen Challenge.

A couple of things to share about the music. I added "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross. This was suggested by a friend, thanks ( I do take requests). Also, an error that I have regarding the William Tell Overture is that we have the incorrect composer listed. My brother, Lee, informs me that Rossini is the correct composer, not Mozart. I guess the "Playlist people" let this slip as did I. Thanks Lee, let's give credit where it is due.

I'm getting anxious. I'd better go "Ride like the wind"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quote for the day: "Excuses are for losers; Commitment is for winners." Monte Clark, Head Coach SF 49ers, Training camp 1976

I get tired of having to do all the "stuff" we have to do to live. It sure must have been nice for Adam in the Garden. He and Eve didn't know they had it so good. At times I feel like I am in the garden, but at other times it seems more like hell. I would like to take my Bible and Cindy and just go up in the mountains for a few days. Maybe we'll do that after this trip. The training for the "ride" is going ok. I only cycled only 56 miles between work that we did today. I feel pretty good physically. We had a great response at church Sunday with people filling pledge cards out and asking questions and mostly encouraging me. We have several "big time" bikers that race and compete. They were mostly the quiet type, but you could tell their passion for cycling very soon in the conversation. What a good way to connect.

I have a new football picture up. This one is from a game in the mid-70's against the Vikings on a Monday night in San Francisco. The guy I am chasing is Fran Tarkenton. He was one of the most elusive quarterbacks that I played against. Some said he had "eyes in the back of his head". He did not, however, have eyes in the side of his head as I was able to get my hands on him and bring him down.

Tuesday I speak at Turlock Rotary on behalf of Teen Challenge. I have several friends that are members and that Rotary has been very supportive of Teen Challenge. It should be a good time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've Been Busy

Quote of the day: "Excellence that feels it has to be has proclaimed, by the mere fact of its proclamation admits the doubt of its existence." CleoMae Dungy (Tony Dungy's mom)

Sorry it's been several days since I've posted. It has been a busy week for our work plus I've gotten in some good rides. Also, this week I got an appointment with a local chiropractor that goes to my church and we have become friends, but I needed his professional help and it is already benefiting me. Up until his help, I could ride hard for about 25 miles and be fine, but after that I would get a sharp pain in my left lower back and have to fight through it. Dr. Dave Atkinson was able to find the source and treat it and today I did a century ride with no pain at all. Thanks Dr. Dave. Thanks God for using Dr. Dave! Today's ride took me back up to Diablo Grande golf course. I encountered my first rattlesnake on the road this season, probably a 4 year old by looking at his rattles. He was about 3 feet long. He probably was on the road for warmth as the day was cool. I gave him all the road he wanted (and some more). The century (100) mile ride was the fastest I have done to date. Conditions were excellent after the rain showers early in the morning.

Roger Williams informed me we have 49 pledges or contributions so far with $7125.00 pledged and $1895.00 of that already received. I am overwhelmed and encouraged. I thought of those often during my ride today and I'm sure it gave me extra energy. Cindy and I will be at a table after each service this coming Sunday and next Sunday at New Life Christian Center (our home church) in Turlock to give information about the ride to those interested. Pastor Dave Larson, who is a biker himself, has been very supportive in this effort. We are thankful.

I added a "quote for the day". We'll see how long I can keep that going. Today's quote is from the mother of the great football coach (and my former teammate) Tony Dungy. Think about the quote from the mother of a man who demonstrates "Quiet Strength"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Month Away

Sometimes a month seems like a long time, but not to me this month. I have a lot to do in June. My conditioning and physical preparation are on schedule. A real key I have found is to get "on the road" early in the day. I think any miles you can get before 7 AM are like bonus miles. I had a nice ride up Del Puerto Canyon on Saturday. This took me up the coastal hills west of Patterson in a remote area. It gave me some moderate climbing exercise and offered beautiful scenery. The winds were favorable. I figure for the month of May I logged close to 1400 miles which seems like a lot but is less than half of what I plan to do in July across the country.

Things are happening at Teen Challenge at Faith Home Ranch. I was by there Friday to check up on Anna Belle, one of our registered Holsteins, who is doing well. Lawrence Rawls does an excellent job of managing the agricultural programs on the Ranch. He is a joy to be around and has a wonderful testimony.

I added a tune, Ashokan Farewell, to the music. This is an instrumental that I hear occasionally that was used in the Ken Burns PBS Series "The Civil War" a few years back. I hear a combination of sadness, but also of hope, so I'll share it with you for a while.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some Changes

Made a few changes in the blog. Most notably is the music. I thought we would change it up. I got several positive comments on the first set of songs. We'll bring back the "Small Town County Man" again and maybe some of the others. "Grandpa Tell Me About the Good Old Days" is one that relates some good principles we want to develop in the men of Teen Challenge. As I am now a Grandpa it has special meaning to me as well. I want the men of Teen Challenge to have some good stories to tell their grandchildren or nieces and nephews about. I threw in a classical number, "War of 1812 Overture" by Tchaikovsky one of my favorite composers. I like the brass and strings competing back and forth. If you have some songs you think might fit, let me know. Also, I changed the football picture to a action shot of a game in 1976 against the Jets in Candlestick. This was one of my best games as I sacked Joe Namath 3 times that day. That is a defensive tackle's dream.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Planning the trip

Cindy is working on a map with possible overnight stops for the trip. This thing is going to happen! I have recovered from the 200 mile ride. I did not suffer a single muscle cramp from that experience. Lots of bananas help me, I think.

A person who is doing a lot for me from Teen Challenge is Roger Williams our Director of Development. Roger is always working to find new ideas to get the Teen Challenge name exposure to the community. He makes usage of the newsletter to get information to our supporters. He is doing this with the bike ride as well. He has a section on the Teen Challenge website: that gives individuals several ways to donate and/or pledge toward this bike ride. He has contacted service clubs (I will speak to at least 3 Rotary Clubs in the area). If you know of a civic club, church group, or any other group that would be interested in me coming to speak; have them contact Roger at (209) 238-0216. All funds received are going into a special account and are being held until all pledges are in after the ride is completed in late July. All donations will go directly to our local Teen Challenge to assist in restoring men's lives here in Stanislaus County. Cindy & I are taking care of the expenses for the trip itself. We are so fortunate to have someone like Roger to work behind the scenes in so many ways. Roger is a quiet, but fun loving guy. His integrity and high standards serve as great examples to us all. Thank you, Roger.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

200 continued

Armed with bullet proof (Kevlar lined) tires, 3 liters of gatorade, a map, and determined spirit, I headed out at daybreak on Saturday with the goal of riding 200 miles that day on my bicycle. After a similar start as on Friday with the tires still holding, I headed toward the windmills and the edge of the Altamont Hills. I could hear the power buzzing through the 500 kilo volt lines as I went under them. As I came around a hill I passed through rows of the turning windmills. Sights and sounds you don't always get to experience. There was a lot of wind, but the day was young. I made it through the windmills and on a little north toward Byron before turning back south. I felt pretty good about the 65 miles I had logged by then. However as I headed back, I faced a headwind from the south that I was not expecting. It slowed me down considerably and took until noon to get 100 miles. I headed west again toward I-5 and got on the California Aqua Duct at the Westley/I-5 exit. I made my way down to Patterson and then got back on the rural roads. I meandered down and through the south west side around Crows Landing, Newman, Gustine, and Santa Nella. I headed toward home for a little break. By this time it was 6:30 and I had 164 miles. With 36 miles to go, the straightest shot without headwinds was east, so I headed toward Snelling. With the race for daylight on, I still recognized the sound of the wind as it rustled through the row of cottonwood trees on Turlock Road. I got to Snelling and needed 4 more miles so I headed back. By this time it was almost dark. I could barely see the speedometer as it turned to 200. I kept going a few more minutes as Cindy showed up to rescue me. Mission accomplished. This was the most challenging physical experience of my life to date. Stay tuned!

200: Done

After a failed attempt on Friday, Saturday was a success. 200.43 miles up and down the westside of the San Joaquin Valley with a final "sprint" from Turlock to Snelling as darkness approached made for a long, but successful ride. Thanks for all of your prayers and concerns. I'll get back with another post about the ride later today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Disaster: 2 Flats in Tracy

I got off to a great start this morning. I was all the way to Tracy with almost 50 miles behind me before 8 AM when I looked down and my front tire was flat. No problem; I have a spare tube and pump. I'll be back on the road in 15-20 minutes tops. I had some problems with the tire and tube. This was actually the first time I had done this on the road. It's not the same on the side of the road with cars going by with the wind blowing, etc. My quiet garage with a nice table works much better. Nevertheless, I finally got things in proper order and inflated the tire and put it in the fork and set it. Finally, ready to go. Before I picked up the bike, I grabbed the rear tire and discovered it was flat also. This was discouraging. I did not have another tube, but I did have some patching material. I got the back tire off and begin to work with it. By this time, I was out 45 minutes to an hour and not certain I could get back on the road soon with a bike that could make another 150 miles. I remembered the writer saying, things need to go "pretty good" to do a "double century" in a day. Things were not going good. I decided right then that I would not do the double today. I called Cindy to come get me. This gave her some experience in her role of providing support in these situations. She got there much faster than I thought she would. However, in the meantime, I did continue on with the tube repair. I found the leak, put a patch on it and managed to get it back on the bike. I had the bike on the road riding toward her and she met me after I had been a few miles. We came home. I replaced the tires and tubes and have the bike ready for another run at 200 miles in one day (just a day late). In our study of Acts this year Cindy & I were reminded of the difficulties that the Apostle Paul had on some of his journeys even as he was totally focused on spreading the gospel. I learned a lot today on this short journey marked with failure that will be of much more value to me than my going 200 miles today. I'll try again for the 200 tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

200 in a day

Friday I will be trying to complete 200 miles on a bike in a day. I'm hoping for a very early start and I imagine it will be a late finish. I hope I am up to it. I'll let you know how I come out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today I'll try to answer some of the obvious questions? Why do a solo bike ride across the country in the heat of the summer with your wife driving from city to city ahead of you in a pickup? I like bicycling a lot. It is great exercise for an old man like me. I love the outdoors with all the elements (except headwinds). I like a significant challenge at times. I don't mind being by myself while riding. I like doing things with just my wife. As a board member of Teen Challenge, I am always looking for opportunities to support the ministry. Our business is a lot slower in the summer. I think this could help me lose 10-15 pounds. I have been considering this for 2-3 years. Many people have done this. Now is the time to "saddle up". I plan to go for 200 miles in a day later this week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Home from the desert

We made it back late Sunday from a visit with my son's family to the desert where part of the ride will take place. Great to hear from you, Derek. Sorry I won't be coming near Reno. Perhaps I can get by for a visit in the future. Thanks for your ministry with Teen Challenge in Reno. The route is from Huntington Beach, CA along the southern tier through southern Arizona and New Mexico. I'll travel the entire state of Texas from El Paso to just above Beaumont on the Louisiana border. I'll ride through Louisiana around highway 190 and then veer a little north to Bogalusa and cross over into my home state of Mississippi. I'll follow rural roads close to the Mississippi Gulf where Hurricane Katrina did a lot of her damage a few years ago, then head over into Alabama along its coast and on in to Florida where I'll cross the entire panhandle over to the Atlantic Coast and finish by dipping my tire in the Atlantic at St. Augustine. I will try to put a map on the blog with the route highlighted as we get closer to the trip. My daughter-in-law, Shannon, has helped me make some additions to the blog. I'll try to get some more pictures. You may notice if you have audio that we added some music. We'll try to have a variety and change it up. Some of it has special significance perhaps I can share about latter. I think I'll close for now. May God be with you all!

Friday, May 15, 2009

150: Done

Today I was able to ride 151.2 miles to complete a goal in my training to ride 150 miles in a day. I was glad to make it and even more encouraged that I completed the ride in the face of winds in the 15-20 mph range at times. Headwinds and and cross headwinds are my biggest frustration. I can take heat, cold, rain, snow, even with mountains I know what to expect. But the winds just gnaw at you. My heart rate soars even if I slow down. I was glad to finish. It was calm early. Maybe that is my take home lesson (get started early).

Elton Nelson is the Chaplin at Teen Challenge. Elton does many things behind the scenes at Teen Challenge, but he does a lot of 1 on 1 counseling with the individual students at TC. This is a very important responsibility because each student is so unique and has different struggles to work on. Elton's experience in working many years with the Faith Home boys I'm sure helps him in dealing with each man at Teen Challenge. Elton and Margo were valuable in the joining of Teen Challenge with Faith Home. They both continue to be assets in God's work at Teen Challenge.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yesterday I measured my maximum sustained heart rate by going as hard as I could at the highest level on my stair master for 15 minutes. I was able to maintain a heart rate of 176 beats per minute. This is 13 beats per minute higher than the typical maximum sustained heart rate of someone my age. Then I did some speed work on a 20 mile ride in the windy conditions we had. Today, I worked and did not ride. Tomorrow, I go for a long ride.

On this post I would like to introduce you to Margo Ely, Community Coordinator for San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge. Margo has had several titles over her many years at Faith Home and Teen Challenge, and has a wealth of experience and knowledge about both organizations. Integrity and hard work along with a servant's heart for ministry are just a few of her outstanding traits. We are very fortunate to have Margo on this team.

I have spoken with several of you who may want to respond to the blog, but prefer not to go through the process of joining the blog. My email is: Feel free to respond directly to me if you like.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Long Weekend

I'm back. Let me try to type in the link for the May 5 Modesto Bee Article: . We'll give it a try. I got to see my Mother, my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, my brother, and Cindy's step-father over the weekend. We celebrated my son's graduation from business school at Rice University in Houston. I need to get back to training tomorrow.

Today I spoke about my NFL career, our veterinary practice and about Teen Challenge and the bike trip to the Modesto Rotary. It was an honor to speak to such an influential group. It may not gather many pledges for the bike trip, but it could sow seed for future support for Teen Challenge. It just so happened that the man who gave the invocation shared with the group that his son had been rehabilitated through the San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge program. Just a coincidence? I don't think so.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Modesto Bee did an article on the "Ride" and Teen Challenge in yesterday's sports section. I will try to get the link posted so those who want to see it on line can. I'm learning about the blog as we go. Cindy & I are leaving to visit one of our sons and his family in Texas and then we will fly on to Mississippi to visit my Mom on Mother's Day.

David Wright is the President of the Teen Challenge Board of Directors. David is a successful businessman from Modesto with a GIANT heart for Teen Challenge. I have known him for about 4 years. David leads by example, but is not afraid to challenge any of the rest of us board members to do more. Along with that he is a very good encourager to us all. Being from a family of ministers he is a very spiritual person. Generosity and unselfishness are the 2 traits that come to mind when I think of David. He is the right man for this job.

Cindy just brought a $100 check for Teen Challenge that my neighbor put under the windshield wiper of my pickup. Somebody reads the paper!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back to work

Sorry there was no post yesterday. We had 2 busy days with our veterinary practice here in central California. Modesto and Dos Palos on Monday, then we went to Live Oak Monday night and worked there today. We got back to Turlock late afternoon today and I just got back from a Teen Challenge board meeting at Faith Home. No bike riding.

The Director of San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge is Dennis Whitman. We are so fortunate to have a man leading this ministry who has been where every man who comes to Teen Challenge has been and then has developed a leadership style over the last 25+ years that helps and trains men to find victory over the struggles of life. Dennis did time in San Quentin Prison in the 1970's. There is a mug shot picture of him in a book that is scary to say the least. How can a man so mean become so gentle and humble? Take a trip to Teen Challenge at Faith Home. You are likely to find Dennis in the 25 acre almond orchard on one of his prayer walks.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today I finished the last in a consecutive series of 4 century rides. My friend, Randy, accompanied me through an early morning ride before church and I completed the 101 mile ride in the late afternoon while fighting some wind. I feel pretty good. I have 3 days of veterinary work to do this coming week and we are leaving Thursday for the weekend, so I will be limited in the biking I will be able to do this week. My next major goal will be to get in 150 miles in one day.

San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge is an amazing ministry working with adult men with life controlling issues dealing in many cases with drugs and alcohol. It is rewarding to see men become clean through this faith based ministry based on following biblical principals and having a relationship with Christ. All funds raised as a result of this bike ride will go to Teen Challenge located at Faith Home Ranch in Ceres. Cindy & I will cover our own expenses for the ride. We look forward to this experience.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

3rd Straight Century Ride

Today, I completed the third consecutive century (100 mile) day ride with a goal to finish tomorrow with the fourth. This serves as a way to evaluate where I am and to help condition me as I plan to average over 100 miles per day on the 30 day cross country bike ride. So far, so good.

I would also like to share with you about my wife, Cindy, who will be very important in this effort. She is helping me so much already by encouraging me, feeding me properly, and giving me twice daily foot massages while I am doing this four day century training. I am truly a blessed man to have her.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Starting the blog 5-1-09

Today we begin the blog for the "Coast to Coast" bike trip to bring awareness to and raise funds for San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge. This is the initial post to "kick off" the blog. I will try to update the blog in a timely manner. Stay tuned!