TRIP 2012

Update #06 - March 28th
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
00.00 miles (00.00 KM)

It's been 25 days since I wrote the last update. There hasn't much that happened during these days between updates. I've had two more dental appointments. From what I understand, I might have three or five more appointments before the procedures are over (this includes one or two follow-up appointments). I am hoping to start my 32nd missionary bike tour before the end of next month but it looks like I might be here till the first week of May.

I've had my recumbent back into the shop to have some more work done on her. I've got new chains put on, a new rear cluster, and disc pads for my front brake unit. The steering mast was shortened some. Also, I got a new front tire. I was concerned that there might have been some damage done to the rim of the front wheel from the flat tire but there wasn't any but the front axle did have to be repacked. I still have to get a new rear tire, a set of disc pads for my rear brake unit, and have my underseat pannier rack worked on.

I was truly hoping to be on the road by yesterday, March 27th. Yesterday was my 19th anniversary on the start of this ministry when I left Santa Monica, California on faith East across the desert towards the Atlantic Ocean. This is the second year in the row that I have not been on the road by March 27th.

The thing that I want to write about in this update is some really neat safety equipment that will make my rides safer if I find myself between towns after dark. Last week in the mail. I got a package from
Flash Back , which is part of Bike Up Canada, Inc. In the package were several safety flags that were on spring-mounted masts and some more safety items.

What was so different about these safety items were that they incorporated retro-reflective products. Retro-reflection happens when light beams hit material that contains tiny prisms or lenses which reflect those beams directly back to their source. With the material that Flash Back uses there are over 45,000 of these tiny reflectors in one square inch of material and people don't know they exist because they can't see them. Retro-reflection is the only reflection that drivers can see. Cloth and plastic materials that contain these tiny reflectors are used to make sew-on, iron-on and stick-on safety products. This information comes from
Safety After Sunset .

I got several Flash Flags set up to stick out 17 inches (43 cm) out to the side. I'm using one and I put one of the flags on the mast behind my seat with two other flags but these flags can't easily be seen after dark. Also, I got some bright wide yellow retro-reflective tape, some white retro-reflective tape, a large retro-reflective slow-moving vehicle sign, and four sheets of stickers made to look like the U.S. Flag. I put the retro-reflective slow-moving vehicle sign on the rear of my left rear rear pannier and I put the stickers and tape all over the recumbent. Below are pictures of where I put the retro-reflective safety materials. What I think is so amazing is how bright these materials become when they are exposed to bright light especially from the flash of a camera.

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

retro-reflective safety products on my recumbent

My advice for anybody who wants to feel a little bit safer when they bicycle or travel after sunset they should contact Flash Back and order some of these retro-reflective safety material. The company has a wide gambit of products from bicycle accesories; to stick-on products; vests and sashes; products for pets, Halloween Items, and Canadian products.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this update, I am planning to head out from Baton Rouge (barring any more problems) sometime between Friday, April 20th and Monday, April 23rd. Because of my dental appointments, this might be pushed back by a couple of weeks. I was looking at heading West to Colorado and then travel up to the Canadian border before turning Eastward but I've changed my plans. Instead, I will be traveling first up to the Midwest to see if I could help out with the recovery effort after the most recent tornadoes. As with the last couple of mission trips last year, the emphasis will not be how many miles I can travel but how many times that I can help others.

After taking a circular route through the Midwest, I will be traveling to the New England States and then head down the Coast to the Mid-Atlantic States. I'm not sure where this trip will end but I've got a standing invitation to stay with a Presbyterian minister friend in Upstate New York near Syracuse.

I'll try and add a new update every two weeks along the way so the next one will be around Wednesday, April 11th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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