DAY -20 / Leading up to the start of the Mission POSSIBLE Tour 2010

MAY 11, 2010

Jon and Earline front of steps 55W

Wow! Hard to believe it’s been over 2 months since I put anything down on the blog here. But I can understand, because on the weeks leading up to the start of a journey such as what we’re attempting, it truly gets crazy busy!

Even looking at OTHER blogs of individuals doing similar trips, there is a noticeable lack of entries in the weeks leading up to the start. NOW I know why! Ha!

But I want to change all that. Even though my head is just about falling on to my keyboard, I want to make a commitment to all of you to count down the final 3 weeks before the trip. I will be helpful to those of you planning similar excursions, and for those of you praying for us (and we DO solicit your prayers). It will give you something very specific to pray for!

[Let’s see what God does, so we can brag on Him….right? Right!]

As you can see above, Earline has HER trike now, thanks to the very gracious help from Power On Cycling. Here’s a photo of Earline getting fitted:

Mark Power fitting Earline to her trike

I DID order some specific items for the trip today, things like shoes for Earline – the kind that clip into the pedals, which are supposed to enhance the ability of pedaling (that’s what we’ve heard – we actually don’t know – neither of us has ever used the “clip-in,” or what they call “clip-less” pedals before!)

Should be interesting….mmmm!

Also ordered some rather large SMV signs today (Slow Moving Vehicle). These are pretty common in the Midwest, especially used by farmers taking tractors and wagons on to fast traffic roads. I learned today that Illinois (which we’ll be going through, has some very specific rules for the SMV signs) (need to be seen at 1200 feet, 4 football fields away, which is what these latest SMV signs provide).

SMV sign
I’ve seen bikes with little flexible 3-inch SMV stickers slapped on the back of their panniers, but I don’t think that is especially helpful when there are trucks coming up behind you going 40 plus miles an hour. (Like I experienced this morning on John Young Parkway….WHOOSH! I got a GOOD little boost from the air of those trucks!…HA!) These signs ARE full-size….which truckers and farmers will be used to seeing. I figured out a way to attach them on the back of the rear pannier rack, wrapped around the back flashing red light. (Remember, 10 mph is about 15 feet per SECOND, so 40 mph is 60 feet in ONE second….so 1200 feet is only 20 seconds at 40 mph!……and only 13 seconds at 60 mph!)

I want to be SEEN! (If you’ve seen my trike go down the road at night, you know what I mean!) Plus we will also have gaudy flags flapping around 5 feet above our heads, so that should also help the visibility.

Gotta sign off for now…almost midnight, and I have some programs to do yet…..yes….now I AM grateful, trust me, but PLEASE pray for some powerful, God-inspired strength to help me, to help both Earline and I…get through the next 3 weeks.

Pray specifically for wisdom for 3 logistic areas, please….we do NOT have our train tickets yet – we have some friends in the biz, and trying to see what is the best way to proceed – some train stations are unmanned, so even if we got off the train close to the start of our trip in Minnesota, the trikes wouldn’t be able to get off the train with us! [Wow.] It looks like the closest might be Mpls/St. Paul, and that’s still several hours by car away from Lake Itasca (the start of the Mississippi).

Pray for HOW we CAN get the trikes up there….Amtrak has some cardboard boxes specifically for bikes, but our TRIKES I don’t think are skinny enough to fit in them, even when dismantled somewhat! [Our tikes DO fold.]:

Trike folding

Also pray for panniers (the bags that hold all our clothing and supplies, etc.). I am getting conflicting info on what brands are the best, and we DO need something to carry our stuff! Lord, give us wisdom!

That’s enough for now. THANKS to ALL of you!

[WHOOPS! Pray also that we know what clothes to bring! We have planning all along for HOT weather – but I checked on Bemidji, Minnesota yesterday, and they had a low of 29 and a high of only 48! BRRRRRR!]


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