Monday, May 25, 2009

Pedal Day 21 - Closer.

"God is the perfect poet."
-Robert Browning

"News flash, Rob, God is the perfect EVERYTHING!"
-Ericka Warren

Today was rainy, flat, windy, flat, straight, windy, rainy, straight, windy, flat, rainy, straight, windy, windy, windy! Did I mention windy? Today was the most boring ride of the 1,364 miles we've pedaled thus far! Now don't get me wrong, especially if you should be a North Dakota resident! The scenery was not boring. The people were not boring. The ducks were not boring. The courteous drivers were not boring. The trains were not boring. The RIDE was boring. The ride is our part of the day, the pedaling and the mechanics of the whole thing. We could see for miles and miles and all we saw was straight! We would get excited when we saw a little turn in the road miles ahead. "Jonathan! Look up ahead, we're going to turn right!"
It really was a good day however! We pedaled 78.74 miles from Minot to Harvey and it was not the best of weather! Harvey was our goal anyway, so we are happy about today! No matter how we look at it, we're 78 miles closer to our goal!
This morning we pedaled out of Minot with absolutely no traffic probably because it was raining and Memorial Day. That was fine with us because we had the roads to ourselves. Before departing Minot we had to stop and get a photo of a fence around a Minot salvage yard made entirely of old wheels. I wonder how long it took to weld all those wheels together!
Twenty-two miles later we arrived in Velva with a welcome sign that boasts 1300 Friendly People. We didn't meet 1300 but we met two. If the two we met are representative of the 1298 we did not meet then I would say Velva is a very friendly place.
At the Cenex station in Velva, we met Delores and Diana who served in the ice cream shop and restaurant located inside. Until today I had never heard of a breakfast pizza but there is such a thing. Diana made a personal pan breakfast pizza for me topped with eggs, beef, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Delicious and warm! It was great!
Delores and I talked about the bike ride, dogs, old barns, and our final destination - Bar Harbor, Maine. She said, "I'd like to go to Maine but hate to think about the drive in a car, not to mention on a bike!" We had a good time at Cenex and Delores and Diana sure made our day with their encouragement and hospitality. If you ladies are reading this, THANK YOU!
Along the rest of the route we did pass some old barns and I think Delores is right. I took some photos anyway. We did see a church that is for sale. I think it would be a great project to make a church building, like the one we saw, into a home. I would even keep the cross on the steeple.
When we finally made it to Harvey we met Margaret at the Little Mart Car Wash where Jonathan and I washed our bikes. I also saw a dinosaur lurking next to the car wash and had to get a photo for Ryan Stiles, one of our grandsons. Rhino is a Dino fan so, Rhino, this Dino is for you bud!
We just ate supper at the Hi-Way Drive-In Restaurant next door. It advertises "Fastest Service Around - Home Of The Big Z." I have no idea what The Big Z is but the service was good and the food was too. Of course after pedaling all day I could eat the straw wrappers and say, "Wow, that was great!"
We are now at Carrington Inn & Suites in Carrington. Tomorrow morning we'll have to go back to Harvey to begin pedaling and we may shoot for Cooperstown. We are looking at arriving in Minnesota sometime Thursday. We are getting closer! Closer to Minnesota, closer to Sarah, closer to the Mississippi River, closer to Maine, closer to Carey and the grandcrew, and closer to home.
A lot has happened today for it to be such a boring ride.I guess when I look back over the ride it wasn't that boring after all. It all depends on my focus. If all I look at is the rain, wind, and straight road, then boring defines it exactly. But when I look at 78.74 miles closer, welded wheels, Delores and Diana, a breakfast pan pizza, Dino, ice cream cones, washing our bikes, pedaling, straw wrappers, old barns, and a church for sale, the day becomes special and more meaningful. All of those little things made for a very big and different day. 
You know what? Life is made up of little things. Most of us never deal with the big stuff. We live lives of little things that, when pieced together, paint our life portraits. It's kind of like those big posters you can buy at the mall. The ones that are made up of hundreds of little pictures. We can look at all the individual little pictures close up and we can also back up and look at one big picture made up of all the little pictures we thought were insignificant! But they mattered! They really did.
We cannot always choose the way a day goes but we can choose to insert into that day little bits of goodness, kindness, laughter, purpose, joy, hospitality, and love. Little things like that can make even the worst of days better when we step back and take a good look at the whole day. Embrace the little things for these are the building blocks of life.
In Luke 16:1-12, Jesus told a story about a shrewd manager who, even though he was a "dishonest rascal," was very good at dealing with little things. After telling the story Jesus said, "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones" (v.10a). 
Want to change your days? Change the minutes and hours of your days. 


  1. Barry - If you had stayed on US2 and gone into Rugby, you would have seen a huge turtle made of welded together car rims. Also, you would have been able to have your picture taken by the sign designating Rugby as the geographical center of North America. You are also going to miss the town of Devils Lake. Considering the fact that you had to miss Rushmore Memorial and Crazy Horse, Rugby & Devils Lake are small potatoes. You are getting near to the potato fields(Red River Valley).

  2. Barry...what an insightfully boring day. I couldn't help but notice that the real lesson of the day is that the church is not the Church and the benefits of the Church are not for sale like the church you saw but instead are freely given to all who will but receive them.
    Also I couldn't help but notice that it didn't take a church in order for the benefits of the Church to be seen outside of the church in the very community of people believers or not. The insertion of love, goodness, hospitality, joy, purpose, etc., Into the relationships built in the restaurants and stores and establishments where real people share real everyday little things is probably the Church that Jesus himself attended and would much rather see us attending...
    Who would think...

  3. I would definitely buy a church to live in. I would put a big pirate ship out in the back yard, maybe after I dug out a huge man-made lake, and use that as another cool place to live and sleep and maybe bowl. I would also use the main auditorium of the church/house to build an exact replica of the chocolate room from the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". I think that dinosaur is a girl. Maybe next time it looks like it's going to be a boring ride you should intermittently shoot off fireworks from the back of your bikes and yell "Woo-hoo!" over and over. That oughta add some excitement.

  4. Todd, whatever you're using . . . is illegal!

  5. Barry - I am enjoying following you on this journey! Here is a quote that goes along with your day - I have this on my cell phone and by my computer: Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.

  6. Hi! Barry-enjoying your venture.You have inspired me to remove my bike from moth balls, pump the tires up and challenge the hill,incline in front of the house(300 yards). Have made it almost to the top, will make the top by my birthday in July----Stay safe, Gpaul