By: Tom Weber
The adventure has started…….again. My fourth year, 7th ride, I have already slept on church floors over 170 times. Well worth the simple living, and sacrifices to comfort, because we are helping families in need, meeting great people along the way, and making friends and bonding with fellow riders.
Orientation last Saturday, meeting 38 fellow participants, learning names, then learning names again with helmets, sunglasses, and bundled up in riding gear. Another great group of people to get to know. The practice ride went fine, weather cooperating, short 11 miles just to get to know how people ride together, making for a safer group.
Sunday, church at Holy Lutheran Trinity Church, a nice introduction and fellowship with the congragation, packing, dressing, and we are off down the Naches Trace Parkway, on the way to Jackson, MS arriving next Saturday. This was a short ride day of about 37 miles, but we had rain all the way, with temperatures around 43 or 44 the whole way. So we arrived at the church thoroughly wet and cold. This was our third stay with the best small church, Shady Grove Methodist, I have experienced in my three years of riding. No disrespect to any of the other great churches we have stayed at, but they have Sunday attendance of about 30 people, and more than half of them show up to great, meet, welcome and feed us dinner and breakfast. Their mission starts at the exterior doors of there church.
Today we rode about 55 miles to Collinwood United Methodist Church. Another church that is hosting for the third year in a row. No rain today, but two of us had a temperature of 28F for the first leg of the ride. Finally got over freezing after the second stop, and it warmed up all the way to 39F when I rode up to the church. In my opinion the cold can be dealt with if the proper gear is worn, and the rain can be dealt with again if the proper gear is worn. Temperatures like today, with rain, make for very difficult riding. So we were lucky, and not home being couch potatoes. I just love it.
Tom Weber, geezerman, (although hard to tell in this group of oldsters)