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)