Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pedal Day 48 - Four!

"To every man, there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared and unqualified for the work that would be his finest hour. "

-Sir Winston Churchill, emailed to me by Billy Ricketts

"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway".

-John Wayne, emailed to me by Billy Ricketts

Four days to go if all goes as planned! Three states to go after tomorrow: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine! Jonathan and I have been saying to one another all day, "We're going to Maine!"
Once again the wind beat us up today. It has no mercy. Relentless would be a good word for the wind here. Tim, the owner at Shamrock Motel & Cottages, told us this morning that the wind usually would be blowing in the other direction. That would be at our backs! For some reason it is at our faces all the time. But we still know The Master of the Wind and we can still thank him for the wind, whichever way it blows. One of the good things about the headwind is that it's a constant air conditioner blowing cool breeze over us all day long!
Shamrock Motel & Cottages was a great place for us to stay and get some rest. Jonathan, Margaret, and I decided to do just that this morning so we didn't begin today's ride until 11:00 A.M. This also gave us some time in our cottage to do some route changes, figure some mileage, and just sit. We did leave at 11 and by 6:30 P.M. Jonathan and I pedaled 73.97 miles and made it to our target on the map, Ticonderoga, New York. We are thrilled! According to our calculations we now have 250.3 miles to go. That's an average of 62.5 miles per day but we'll try to do more miles than that tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday so we can make Saturday a short and easy pedal.
New York sure is green and beautiful. I guess whenever most people think of New York they generally think of New York City, Times Square, Wall Street, and Broadway. Today's ride took us through a totally different New York with some absolutely beautiful scenery. I'm so glad we got to see New York from our bikes. I now have a whole new appreciation for the state. I'm especially impressed with the roads we've ridden and the drivers have been very kind as well. New York gets an A+ from me as part of this cross-country bike ride.
Yesterday was a tough day. I was worn out after 44.88 miles. Of course I did a dummy thing and didn't eat breakfast. Then the wind beat up on us and we met some tough climbs. As I said yesterday, we had considered taking the whole day today as a rest day but something inside of me wouldn't put up with that. When I set a goal I have a hard time "unsetting" it. Some would call me stubborn (Margaret) but I call myself determined. Either way, stubborn or determined, I would have had a hard time taking today off.
Even as Jonathan and I started today, I was hoping that this day would not produce the same results as yesterday. This morning had the same wind, more mountains, and more miles on the schedule so I was concerned. Starting at 11:00 didn't help either because we had less hours to pedal. I was glad and surprised when we covered the necessary miles to get us to Ticonderoga and we weren't worn out! As I pedaled today, several verses came to mind:
" . . . the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
"'My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).
I can testify to that dying bodies thing. There were several times on the ride when I was sure the numbers on my heart monitor disappeared . . . went to all zeroes . . . flat-lined! Yesterday, I know I was dead man riding! But how could I ever neglect the spirit within me? If I had listened to my body I would have quit the second day of the ride when we were in the cold of snow-covered Washington Pass. My body told me I was finished yesterday but my spirit told my body to shut-up, quit belly-achin', and pedal! I'm a much stronger person in my spirit than I am in my body! That doesn't bother me at all because I've learned a great secret about all this muscle stuff and strength and pumping iron: I can't do much of it. So here's my secret, every weakness I've got is a receptacle to hold God's perfected strength. The more weaknesses I have the more of God's strength I can hold. It's a swap: God's perfect strength for my weakness. Who wouldn't want to make that swap?
Now when my weaknesses kick in and my body doesn't want to pedal, the spirit kicks in and says, "Just do it. The joy of the Lord is your strength. His power works best in your puny weaknesses."
If you're dealing with any weaknesses today. Just look at them as storage boxes for perfect
strength. His.
Then just do it!


  1. Hey Barry,
    I've loved keeping up with your adventure! You are awesome. I think my pastor has been reading as well, Larry Wynn. I had a friend tell me about these guys biking across the country as well and just wanted to share with you.


    Have a great last few days!!!!

  2. Boy did your blog speak to me today. Ya'll are almost there! What an accomplishment Barry. I will be there in spirit Saturday, cheering you on. Please post lots of pictures. I pray the wind will be at your back the rest of the way. Hey send it to S. Ga. it is way too hot down here. Give Margaret a hug for me!! Love ya'll

  3. We (your friends) are with you always, even to the end of "the ride". Oh, I wish we really were there!!!! Reg

  4. You know that the Doroughs have always been big Steven Curtis Chapman fans (remember concerts on the aerobic step by a certain toddler in Lynchburg?). Over these last few days of your journey, with your eyes fixed on Jesus and the Atlantic Ocean, along with "I Know the Master of the Wind," may this old SCC song be in your heart as well: "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He'll carry us (or pedal us) when we can't carry on. Raised in His power, the weak become strong. His strength is perfect when our strength is gone." Love and prayers from the Doroughs in "War Town."

  5. After Saturday, I'm afraid I will suffer from "4295 Miles Blog" withdrawal. Each day, I look forward to seeing your blog listed in my in-box. I thought about you yesterday as 2700 cyclists rode into Bowling Green on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, better known as GOBA. God blessings, small hills and no wind for both of you the next three days. It is nice to dream! Hopefully we can connect after the ride and figure out the Shettel connection between you and my husband.

  6. I agree with bminer1 and with Reg. I'm going to miss the pictures of our country, but I do hope you'll continue to blog. And I sure do wish we could all meet you at the Atlantic! How fun would that be?! You could have a huge cheering section, an entire choir...it'd be great. It is nice to dream!
    Anyway, I'm proud of you and can't wait to hear all about it in person! Love you all! Mess

  7. We are still praying for you during this last stretch and are waiting with great anticipation to see your front pedal in the Atlantic Ocean! And I just can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, you thought of us when you took the chicken picture!!! Love you both!

  8. You guys must be careful as you have unknowingly entered an alternate dimension during your pedaling across New York. You have entered a land of the giants, from which surely there is little chance of escape. Jonathan is nonchalantly sitting in the throne of one of the giant kings. He will surely pay for his insolence. Tread carefully the rest of the way. On an exciting note, giants usually have large geese that lay golden eggs and all kinds of junk like that, so you could get away from there with a tidy little profit if you play your cards right. Then again, you could have your bones broken and ground up into bread meal. Good luck to you both. We're all counting on you.

  9. It is so hard to believe that you are down to three days. It is definitely bitter sweet. I want
    to thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure
    with me, and your other 134 plus followers. I
    personally will miss the blog,the comments and the glimses of our beautiful country.
    Be safe and remember you are being prayed for today.