TRIP 2007

Update #05 - March 13th
Sarasota, Florida
1412 miles (2259 KM) since Jan 01st
512 miles ( 914 KM) since March 03

Today is a well-deserved rest day (my first for this mission trip) thanks to a new friend that I met through the Warm Showers (Cyclist Hospitality Program). Nancy is the fifth Warm Showers member that I've stayed with here in Florida and my eighth member for the year.

Nancy and a friend of hers will be heading out April 23rd for a cross-country bike trip from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA. What is so unique about this trip is that Nancy is in her 60's and her friend is in her 70's. This will be Nancy's first trip across country and her friend's fourth trip (but her first not being with a group). Both ladies will be pulling trailers. Their average distance for the trip will be around 60 miles per day.

This morning, I got surprised with a special gift. Nancy was the president of the Sarasota-Manetee Bicycling Club. She gave me one of the club's jerseys. It is a wonderful addition to my cycling attire since my jerseys are getting a bit worn out.

There isn't really much to write about since my last update was just a few days ago. I met some really nice pastors in Groveland and Ruskin, Florida. The pastor in Groveland was at the United Methodist church and the minister at Ruskin was with the Church of the Nazarene. Both of them had no qualms about me staying at the church for the night. This wasn't the case with the first minister that I had talked with in Ruskin. I had stopped at the Northside Baptist Church. I got there towards the end of the Bible Study. The study was on how people want to see how we act as Christians instead of just hearing about our faith.

When I talked with the pastor after the service to see if I could maybe stay overnight in the church, he told me that he couldn't allow it since they never done that before and there were no trustees at the service to get their approval. I guess the Messiah isn't really the head of their church after all. I caught the Nazarene minister after the service in the fellowship hall where they were having a birthday party for one of the members who had turned seventy. The pastor had no problems with me staying in the new Sunday school building and he even invited me to take part in the birthday celebration.

I had a great visit with some warm showers members in the Hudson area north of Tampa. They even went out to find me after dark since I had gotten lost getting to their house. We went out to eat at a Sports Bar.

Tomorrow, I'll be heading down to Punta Gordo where I have another invitation with a Warm Showers member. Punta Gordo is pretty well where Hurricane Charley came on shore back in 2005. From Punta Gordo, I'll have a short ride to Arcadia and then on to Wauchuala. For about a week, I was in Wauchula helping the American Red Cross, who were based out of the First Baptist Church, about two weeks after Hurricane Charley hit. I was actually in Arcadia during Hurricane Francis. I was one of the volunteers who stayed at the United Methodist Church who helped out the 100 plus people that stayed at the church for four days.

After my stop in Wauchula, I'll be heading east through Sebring and Okeechobee towards either Ft. Pierce or Stuart, Florida on the Atlantic Coast. I'll then be starting my trek up the East Coast. I plan to ride up to Maine and then head west. I'm not sure how far west I'll be getting this year. I have the first 4,000 miles of the trip tentatively mapped out. I'm looking at possibly be out between 8 and 10 thousand miles this year.

I'll try and post an update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between March 20th and March 27th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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