TRIP 2011

Update #15 - July 02nd
Bethany, Missouri
2,049.42 miles (3,559.07 KM)

Plans do change and you have to be flexible when you are on the road. My intention after Joplin, Missouri was to turn a little NW and ride along the Missouri River to check out the flooding and lend a hand. I have some friends who have churches in the Western section of Iowa not too far away from the Missouri River and the Nebraska State Line.

When I got into the Kansas City area, I started to hear about more reports about road closings along the Missouri River. Some cities and towns like St Joseph, Missouri were making plans for evacuation of their residents if the Missouri River got too high too fast. The flooding comes from the melting of higher than normal snowfall in the Rockies and also from a lot of rain in the Dakotas and Montana. The flooding is supposed to last till mid August.

I didn't want to take the risk so for the past couple of days I've been riding along U.S. 69, which parallels I-35. I'll be crossing into Iowa today and I'll be taking a round-a-bout path around Des Moines to the west and then head to Hampton, Iowa in North Central Iowa. I've got to take my time and plan my arrival to be after July 10th. My friend who is the pastor at the
St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hampton will be gone for a few days with his family. I might be helping out with one of the food booths at the Franklin County Fair . From Hampton, I will be traveling NE to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

Timing my arrival shouldn't be much of a problem because I've been just doing short days because of the heat. For the past couple of weeks, I have been getting on the road around 6:30 AM and getting off the road sometime between noon and 2 PM. Afternoon temperatures have been between 87 degrees Fahrenheit (30.6 degrees Celcius) and 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 degrees Celcius) with heat indexes up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees Celcius). I have been trying to get almost all of my miles in before noon. I've been doing pretty good and I've been getting between 32 miles (51.2 Kilometers) and 41 miles (65.6 Kilometers).

This week has been a little interesting. Tuesday, June 28th, I ended the day in Liberty, Missouri. This is after riding over the Missouri River between Independence and Liberty, Missouri. I stopped at the 2nd Baptist Church to see if they could help me find a place to stay for the night. The assistant pastor connected me with a local cycling legend
Ed Chasteen . Ed is a retired professor from William Jewell College. Back in 1981, Ed was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Ed turned to bicycling to keep himself mobile. In 1989, he rode 5,126 miles (8,202 Kilometers) in 105 days from Orlando to Seattle to Los Angeles starting at Disney World and ending at Disneyland. In 1988, Ed founded Hate Busters . Ed connected me with a member of the local bicycle club who hosted me for two nights. I needed pretty well a full day off the road since my last one was June 12th in Whitesboro, Texas.

Ed also connected me with a member of the cycling club in Cameron, Missouri who connected me with a member of the cycling club in Bethany, Missouri. In the past three days, I've also been interviewed in three newspapers. These newspapers are weekly and when the articles are posted I will be adding a hyperlink to them in a future update.

I have decided that this year's mission trip will be a ride more of service than riding. I'm not going for high number of miles. If I ride just 4,000 or 5,000 miles (6,000 Kilometers to 8,000 Kilometers). this year that will be okay. My plans will be returning to Shreveport, Louisiana and volunteering with the
Fuller Center For Housing of NW Louisiana in Shreveport again. I will possibly be there from possibly October or November of this year to possibly March or April of next year. Shreveport will become my new homebase.

I will keep everybody abreast through upcoming updates. Usually, I try and add a new update every two weeks along the way so the next one will be around July 16th, 2011.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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