TRIP 2017

Update #17 - August 04th
Rockford, Illinois
Mission Trip 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total : 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

Mission Trip 72 is finished even though I didn't make it back to Florida. Saturday afternoon (July 29), I was hit by a car from behind. I do not have any major bone breaks but it will take between three and four months to recover from my injuries.

July 23, 2017 : Trempealeau, WI to Trempealeau, WI : 0.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 6,817.58 miles (10,908.13 km)
Year Total: 4,866.35 miles (7,786.16 km)

I had a somewhat okay camping out in one of the classrooms but I should have tried a lower classroom in the children's section because the room was quite warm even with the air conditioning on. I was able to get some rest. I woke up around 5:30 am and I quickly got packed up and cleaned up.

People started to show up around 7:30 am. The pastor arrived around 8:15 am. We had a short talk and she invited me to speak near the beginning of the service. I spoke for about seven minutes. This was the 32nd church that I spoke at this year. I had a better reception here than what I got at the Methodist church in Nisswa, MN last Sunday. During the time for the offering, the pastor passed around an extra basket to collect a love offering for me. When I got it after the service, it came to $120. I'll not have any problem getting that haircut I've been meaning to get and also to get some more minutes on my cell phone.

I'm glad that I've got the chance to stay over today. The last time that I actually stayed put and not travel was back on June 16th when I stayed in the Baptist Church in Hayden, Idaho because of the threat of bad weather.

I'll be riding through LaCrosse tomorrow and I'll be starting my Southeasterly swing away from the Mississippi River towards Beloit, WI and Rockford, IL.

July 24, 2017 : Trempealeau, WI to Viroqua, WI : 55.97 miles (89.55 km)
Trip Total: 6,873.55 miles (10,997.68 km)
Year Total: 4,922.32 miles (7,875.71 km)

I had an okay night at the church. I camped out in one of the basement rooms. In the preschool aged kids for Sunday school. In another room, I found some padded sleeping cushions and I made a sleeping cushion with four of the pads. I also found a large pillow. I took several naps during the day. I was able to get my website updated.

I left the church around 6:40 am. It was a little cool so I got out my jacket. I stopped at a gas station for some milk. The ride South went okay. In a couple of hours, I was able to take my jacket off. The ride to Holman went okay. I got on Bus Mn 35. I stopped at a grocery store for a few things. I got into a conversation with a young lady who had a little boy who's six year old birthday was yesterday. While I was eating a donut and drinking some milk at a bench, the lady came back and she slipped me $20 in a GH.

The ride between Holman and LaCrosse went okay. For most of the way, there was a paved bike path to follow. In the Northern Section of LaCrosse, I stopped at a Salvation Army thrift store. I was able to find another pair of athletic pants.

I got into downtown LaCrosse around 11 am. I stopped at the Tribune newspaper to get interviewed. The interview was quite lengthly. There wasn't a photographer available because it was lunch time. After the interview, I went back a block to a BK for some lunch.

After lunch, the rest of the ride through LaCrosse went okay. At a shopping center in the Southern edge of the city, I found a Fantastic Sams haircutting salon. I stopped to get a great and much needed haircut. There was a Walmart close by and I stopped there to get a few things including a much needed pocket am-fm radio.

At the Southern entrance/exit of the Walmart, I came across another homeless young man who was holding up a sign that said "Down On My Luck. God Bless". I saw this was another opportunity to feed Jesus. I asked him if he was hungry. I pulled over and made him a couple of peanut butter and honey sandwiches and filled a large ziplock bag with some more food. When I gave it to him, I shook his right hand. I noticed that there were a few fingers missing. He could have had the birth defect from birth or he could have been a veteran who had some of his fingers either blown off or damaged in an explosion in Afghanistan or Iraq.

From the Walmart, I rode about 6 more miles to Calvert and turned away from the Mississippi River at the intersection of MN 35 and US 14. There was a slight hill to climb out of the Mississippi River Valley to the top of the plateau. I rode through the town of Shelby. After going through Shelby, there was a long downhill coast to Coon Valley. I stopped in the town of Coon Valley for a break. I noticed that the town park was closed because the area had been hit by a major flood. On the East side of Coon Valley, I started the ride up out of the valley and back to the top of the plateau. There was some road construction because they were repaving the road. I rode through one section of road construction and then I walked up the rest of the hill.

Once on top again, the ride to Westby went okay. I didn't stop because I didn't see anybody around the churches and there didn't seem to be a police station. Between Westby and Viroqua, there was a paved bike path. Along the way, I rode passed a park that was down a hill. It looked like there was camping allowed but I decided to keep on going to Viroqua.

I got into Viroqua around dusk. I saw that there were some camping at the county fair grounds. I found my way to the police station- fire station. I talked with a friendly police sargeant and also a fire man. The two men tried to contact one of the local ministers. Through some phone calls, the guy who worked with the Salvation Army was able to get me a room at the motel across from the county fair grounds using one of the Salvation Army vouchers.

My goal for tomorrow is Spring Green. I'm looking at being in Mount Horeb Wednesday and possibly in Beloit Thursday. This will have me cross into Illinois on Friday. Because of this, I could be in Indiana by the end of the month.

July 25, 2017 : Viroqua, WI to Richland Center, WI : 34.77 miles (55.63 km)
Trip Total: 6,908.32 miles (11,053.31 km)
Year Total: 4,957.09 miles (7,931.34 km)

I had an okay night at the motel even though the night was short. I left the motel around 7:20 am. On the way out of town, I stopped for some milk.

A couple of miles out of town, this guy in a van stopped and pulled onto the shoulder in front of me. The guy came out with a paper bag. The guy wanted to talk for a bit and he gave me an apple fritter. I put in a ziplock bag for later on.

A couple of miles down the road, the rain started. At least, the rain was light. I had to keep on going. There wasn't any place to get out of the rain. I rode through Amish territoty. An older Amish guy rode passed me going the opposite direction and his horses got scared. I rode passed an Amish farm where two young boys were using push mowers to mow the front lawn.

Around 2 pm, I finally came across a gas station near the small town of Boaz. I needed to use the restroom and laso to get something warm in my stomach.

The rest of the ride to Richland Center went okay. I stopped at the Methodist Church. The secretary was in but the pastor was out of town. The secretary called quite a few people to see if another local minister could help me with a dry place to stay. The director of the Lydia House was contacted and he offered to get me a room at a local motel. Because of possible strong storms tomorrow there is an offer to stay over if I need it.

July 26, 2017 : Richland Center, WI to Spring Green, WI : 25.33 miles (40.53 km)
Trip Total: 6,933.65 miles (11,093.84 km)
Year Total: 4,982.42 miles (7,971.87 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I got some rest but I did wake up a little early. There was an offer to stay over but I opted against it because the threat for major storms had decreased and the storms were tracking below the IL state line.

I left the motel around 7:40 am. The ride to Spring Green went okay. I thought that I was going to get caught in some rain because the sky was pretty dark but there was no rain.

About six miles out of Spring Green, I stopped at the Perkins Farm Store. There was a large petting zoo behind the store. I took a lot of pictures of the goats. There were also rabbits, chickens, and pigs. All around the petting zoo were coin-operated containers of crushed corn animal feed. One quarter for a handfull. There were signs that people shouldn't bring their own animal feed with them but I saw a young mother with two young kids bring in plastic containers of animal feed.

I got into Spring Green around 12 pm. I stopped at a gas station for some lunch. They had a sale on $.99 pizza slices. In Spring Green, I stopped at the park for a short break to wait till after 1 pm.

After the break, I rode around town to check out the churches. I stopped at the Christ Lutheran Church (ELCA). There was an interim minister. The last pastor had died back in November after serving twelve years at the church. The interim minister offered to get me a room at a motel that I had passed coming into town.

Because of flooding along the Fox River in Illinois, I'll not be able to ride along the Fox River Bike Trail. Because of this, I'll be taking a more Westerly route across Northern Illinois. Tomorrow, I'll be stopping in New Glarus and I'll be crossing into Illinois Friday. My new revised route will have me cross into Indiana Wednesday, August 02nd.

July 27, 2017 : Spring Green, WI to New Glarus, WI : 47.79 miles (76.46 km)
Trip Total: 6,981.44 miles (11,170.30 km)
Year Total: 5,030.21 miles (8,048.34 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I got some rest but I did wake up a little early. Since there was a restaurant in the complex, there wasn't a breakfast provided. There was a menu in the room but the prices were too expensive for me. It was good that I had food on my recumbent.

I left the motel around 7:20 am. Before leaving Spring Green, I stopped to get some chocolate milk.

The ride East on US 14 went okay. About five miles down the road from Spring Green, there was another farm store and petting zoo. This was the second store of the farm store that I stopped at yesterday afternoon. There were bigger animal exhibits. One of the large pens had an American Bison. It looked quite lonely even though there was a llama in the pen.

By noon, I had ridden 21 miles. I stopped at a cheese store in Arena. In Black Earth, I got off of US 14 and headed South on WI 79 to Mount Horeb. In Mount Horeb, I didn't go into the downtown area to check out the troll statues. I did stop at a gas station for a late lunch. From Mount Horeb, I got on WI 92 and rode it maybe 10 miles and then got on WI 39/ WI 69 for the rest of the ride to New Glarus.

I got into New Glarus around 4 pm. I rode around the town a bit to check out the churches. In the downtown area, I found a police officer in the office. He took me down a block to his storefront church, Grace Church. The secretary was in. She contacted the senior pastor and there was an offer to get me a room at a local motel.

I'm 23.5 miles away from the IL state line. I'll probably be stopping in Freeport, IL tomorrow afternoon 39 miles away.

July 28, 2017 : New Glarus, WI to Polo, IL : 63.67 miles (101.87 km)
Trip Total: 7,045.11 miles (11,272.18 km)
Year Total: 5,093.88 miles (8,150.21 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. The room was pretty good. I was able to get some good rest. The motel provided a free breakfast but it was served kind of late so I passed on it. I left the motel around 7:40 am. There was a bit of a climb out of the valley.

The ride to Monroe went okay. There was some road construction west of the downtown area. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch. After lunch, it was about a seven mile ride to the IL state line. I stopped to take some pictures of Alice at the state sign. Once I got into Illinois, the ride to Freeport went really well.

I got into the small town of Harper around 7 pm. I had intentions to try and stay in town for the night. In the downtown area, I didn't locate the police station. I did stop at a gas station for a break. There wasn't anybody at the fire station across the street from the gas station.

On the way out of town, I had a police car with it's flashing blue lights on pulling up from behind me. The police officer was young and he seemed to be friendly. He told me that he didn't know any of the local ministers and his best suggestion for me was to go on to the town of Polo about 10 miles away. I'm not sure if this was a friendly leave town warning.

I pushed on to Polo as fast as I could but I wasn't sure that I'd be able to get into Polo before dark. I did stop to try and locate my small rear flasher but I couldn't find it. I came upon some woods next to a corn field. I found a place to camp out in some tall grass next to a tall elderberry bush.

My goal for tomorrow was to get as far as Mendito and try and find a place to stay over for church.

July 29, 2017 : Polo, IL to Amboy, IL to Rockford, IL : 30.17 miles (48.27 km)
Trip Total: 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total: 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

I had an okay night camping out in my tent. The night was pretty quiet. When I looked outside the tent in the morning, I saw the grass was really wet with dew. I was back on the road by 6:45 am. It was a shorter ride into Polo than what I thought that it was going to be. I was less than a mile out of town. I stopped at a gas station in Polo to use the restroom, fill up my water bottles, and buy a little breakfast. After about 20 minutes, I was heading out of Polo.

About seven miles North of Dixon, I got stopped by a guy at a farm who was holding up a bottle of water. The guy told me that he had passed me on his way back to his father's farm and he wasn't sure that he was going to connect with me. We talked for about five minutes and then he told me that he wanted his father to come over and talk to me. The three of us talked for about fifteen more minutes before the guy who stopped me asked if there was anything that he could do for me. I told him that I just needed to buy a few groceries at a store when I get into Dixon. The guy asked if he could give me a donation. I told him that this ministry was run with free-will donations. The guy really shocked me when he pulled a $50 bill out of his wallet and gave it to me. When we parted company, I loudly praised God. It was a praise fest for a couple of miles.

The ride into Dixon went okay. I stopped for an early lunch and at a grocery store to get a few supplies. After getting the groceries, I continued on US 52. There was a shoulder to ride along most of the way to Amboy. I stopped in Amboy for a break to get a slice of pizza and a soda. My break lasted about 20 minutes.

When I got out of Amboy, the shoulder along US 52 disappeared. I was really hoping for a narrow paved shoulder but there was just a stone shoulder. I safely started to ride a few inches left of the white line.

Around 2:40 pm, I was traveling South on US 52 between Amboy and Mendito, Illinois when I got struck from behind by a car that was traveling at least over 50 mph about 3.5 miles South of Amboy. I had ridden about 35 miles from Polo, Illinois before the accident. I was about 7,100 miles into this mission trip. The mission trip is over.

I'm carefully writing this because I was told by my attorney that I shouldn't post too much detail about the accident on the web. The blow from behind was so intense that I flew off the seat of my recumbent and my tennis shoes were knocked off. I remembered doing a couple of flips and a couple of rolls before I slammed into the asphalt on my back. My helmet had stayed on and protected by brain from serious trauma. I had no periods of blacking out and no concussion. Because of possible brain trauma and also because the hospital in Dixon, Illinois (the county seat) was small, I was life-flighted by helicopter to the trauma center at Memorial Hospital in Rockford, Illinois about 15 miles South of the Wisconsin state line and about 70 miles Northeast of Amboy, Illinois. It was about a 40 minute helicopter to the hospital. I was in the emergency room for almost 6 hours before I was taken upstairs to a room.

I am so lucky to be alive. I have a fracture to my left scapula (shoulder blade), a fracture to my right pelvis, numerous spots of road rash on my body including my forehead, major bruise in my upper left arm, and some weakness in my left leg. After many test (x-rays and cat-scans) it was determined that I do not need surgery. None of the spots where I've had surgery done in previous years was re-damaged. Prognosis is that it will take between 3 and 4 months for things to heal.

Before getting put into the ambulance before the helicopter, I wasn't able to see how bad the damage was done to Alice. In front of me, there were a couple of my bike bags.

The next update will be posted between August 11th and August 18th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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