Friday, December 30, 2011

Year End Look Back

It's been a while since I last posted, almost 4 months. Now I'm writing on the next to the last day of 2011 and this year has been one for the books. This has been a spectacular year with so many things to be thankful for. Without boring you with all the details here are some that stand out:

  • God's faithfulness to our family as we enjoyed safety, good health, great relationships, progress in our goals, and an abiding commitment to the God who has saved us and supplies all our needs.
  • Two month sabbatical that allowed me to cross America on a bike for the second time (1974) in my life. This was a life changer. I survived a health scare on the last day of the trip and have had absolutely no hints of a problem since. Nan drove down to meet me and we enjoyed a memorable trip back from Georgia to visit some Civil War memorials in Charleston, SC, Andersonville, GA, Atlanta, and Look Out Point and Chickamauga in Chattanooga, TN
  • Including the coast to coast trip, I rode over 6750 miles this year and rode 11 centuries (100 miles).
  • I was able to enjoy many good books this year - 18 of them and almost 4600 pages worth. A few of the best were Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem, Bonhoeffer by Metaxas, Decision Points by George Bush and Evangelical Convictions by the EFCA.
  • In July we were treated to the beautiful splendor of Alaska during a two week cruise and land tour arranged and paid for by Nan's mother, to celebrate her 80th birthday. I also added Alaska as another state I have ridden a bike in. That makes 39 states total so far.
  • In October we started a month long kitchen remodeling project that turned our tiny little galley kitchen into an open room with more cabinets, an island and walk in pantry than we ever imagined we could have.
  • Also in October, I played a key role in preparing our church to host our district's annual conference involving more than 250 pastors and delegates. We won rave reviews by our district leadership and attendees for our organization and hospitality. Our church did a great job of serving our many visitors.
  • Over Christmas break, we managed to get all five of us in the family together to fly down to Florida to spend a week with Nan's mom. We figured this might be the last time for a while to be able to do this because of increasingly busy lives and schedules. God treated us to the best weather we have ever had in Florida and Nan's mom did a  great job hosting us.
As good as 2011 was, 2012 is shaping up to be a memorable year as well. Here's what's cooking:
  • Surely the biggest event will be the graduation from Purdue in nursing and the wedding of second daughter Rebecca in May to David Peck. I get to co-officiate the wedding so I am really looking forward to the twin duties of walking her down the aisle and "preaching" to her one last time:). We are very happy for her and David. Of course they will also have to find a place to live and places to work, so they have a lot on their plate.
  • In March Nan and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary. I will officially have been married as long as I was single. However, I can truly say the last 30 years were more enjoyable than the first 30, thanks to my mate!
  • In June I hope to take the next step in acquiring the classwork that I need to gain certification in the field of Church Administration. I will be in Atlanta for two weeks for classes and then will have to come up with a project to write about in order to complete the certification in the next year or two. This is very timely since I hope some of my schooling will help walk our church through the transition of losing our present senior pastor and search for a new pastor. That is coming in late August but the wheels are already rolling.
  • And, of course, I hope to keep putting the pedal to the road in 2012. I'd like to ride somewhere between 3500 and 4000 miles and ride at least one century per month from May to October. All this is again dependent upon God's gracious, supplying hand and granting good health and freedom from injury.
Well, that's a rather short summary view of the last 365 days. I am thankful that through it all we were indebted to a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever! With the assurance that our eternity is with Him, it makes every day a lot less intimidating, stressful and enjoyable. Here's to wishing that you might also experience the wonderful grace of God as we all tick off another year. BLESSINGS!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blueberry Bicycle Cruise

Nan and I rode in the Blueberry Bicycle Cruise today. I rode 66 miles in the morning and then at 11:00 am Nan came down with the tandem and we rode the 41 mile route. We were done in plenty of time to get home and cleaned up to watch the ND game - they are in big trouble! The total elapsed time for the 107 miles was 7 1/2 hours and the actual riding time was just under 6 hours and 30 minutes. Even  though the heat came out in the late morning we were able to avoid the nasty weather that is occurring as I write this. My goal of getting 6000 miles in for the year is still alive - I passed the 5360 mile mark with today's ride with almost 4 months left. I bought a new trainer a couple weeks ago to be able to keep riding once winter comes. I'm hoping the next ride will be from Rochester to Peru on the Nickel Plate bike path. That's a 20 mile one way ride on the old railroad bed between Rochester and Peru.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bloom and Zoom

I rode in Elkhart's inaugural Habitat for Humanity Bloom and Zoom ride today. There were about 140 riders for their first ever ride. That's a pretty good first time turnout. It was a nice ride and the weather cooperated for 94 of the 105 miles I rode. Then it started raining which actually felt good. The ride took us past many of the "Garden Quilt" flower gardens in that area and along the St. Joe river. It was hard to maintain a good pace because there was a lot of neighborhood riding and even about 3 miles of unpaved bike path (compliments of the Pumpkinvine bike path in Goshen). Nonetheless, it was a great ride and I rode the 105 miles in exactly 7 hours total elapsed time. My actual time on the bike was 6:21:36 and my average was 16.5. I'll take that!

Next up is the Blueberry Bicycle Cruise in Plymouth on Sept. 3. Nan and I will ride part of it on the tandem and then I will tack on more miles on my bike and try to get another century in. I just passed the 5000 mile mark for the year with the Bloom and Zoom and have 6000 as a goal for 2011. I think I can reasonably get that before year end.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Amish Land and Lakes Ride

Was over at the old Howe Military Academy for an organized bike ride today called the Amish Land and Lakes Ride. Took both the tandem and my bike where Nan and I rode the 50 mile loop, then I switched bikes and rode the 62 mile loop. It was a nice day, although quite humid all day with a little more wind, sun and heat showing up in the afternoon. We were able to dodge rain most of the day but did get damp a couple times. It actually felt good at the point of the ride where I was.

Highlights of the ride: 1. Nan doing very well at the longest distance she's ridden since the mid-eighties, 2. A lot of Amish kids out providing their own SAG support. I used it once on the 62 miler because the regular SAG stop had already closed. 3. There was a nice little climb on the 62 miler with a big steep downhill for Indiana. I hit 41.25 mph on the way down. 4. I rode strong considering we spent two weeks on an Alaskan cruise just over a week ago where I didn't get my usual miles on a bike in and ate way too much food. 5. When the ride was finished we were treated to a huge bowl of homemade raspberry ice cream. There are not many better ways to end a long ride than that!

The next ride is the Bloom and Zoom in Elkhart August 20th  to help benefit the Elkhart chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Total riding miles so far for 2011 stand at 4745, easily the most since I started logging miles in 2000.

Friday, August 5, 2011


 I told you I would keep in touch via blog while we were enjoying an Alaskan cruise. My intentions were sincere, the cost of internet connection on the ship was not! I was also disappointed with the connectivity even on land in Alaska which for the most part was non-existent. So, even though I was disappointed with the technology, that was the only thing that I was disappointed with while being dazzled by Holland America and the unsurpassed beauty of Alaska. Rather than bore you with words I will try to capture some of the highlights with pictures.

Following is a random sampling of our Alaska trip. Even though there are quite a few pictures here, they are about 1/20th of what we took. Hope this helps you visualize a little bit of the wonderful experience we had while in this amazingly beautiful 50th state of the union.

Humpback whales

The Ptarmagin: The Alaska state bird
Dall mountain sheep
Wild moose

Red fox
The Hoary Marmot

A grizzly from a safe distance

Future Iditarod sled dogs
To many current Iditarod winners

To Salem, retired 4 time Iditarod lead dog
We visited... 

Vancouver, B.C.



and Anchorage and Fairbanks.