Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Very quick summary.  On Monday - August 19, 2013 - Dawn G & her kids brought me up to Ausable Chasm - (about 3 miles south of Plattsburgh).  We had a very nice drive, stopped for dinner at a little family hamburger shack and then got to the campsite about 6:30 p.m.  I was somewhat nervous/excited but settled down at Pelaton & small group.  Tuesday - I woke up after a somewhat restless night (hard ground doesn't help) and got myself and gear together, had breakfast and then realized that the key to the lock keeping my bicycle attached to a small metal rail was missing. And missing. And missing.  I looked but could not find the little devil so had to get someone to free the bike.  Yes, FREE the bike.  Clip, clip - one of the support staff - John - who drives the gear truck had a bolt cutter and there went Dave's antique chain.  "Good" start to a very long day of all uphill riding.  I made it to Whitehall with some assistance from Sherry - the Sweep person.  Thank goodness Sherry doesn't mind the slow drive.  Got to camp about 5 after a number of attempts to make it up those lovely inclines.  Took a shower in one of the two available at the Whitehall Marina.  Had dinner and went to sleep about 8:30, 9:00 - no small group gathering as it had been such a long hot hard day. 
Wednesday - that would be today - I awoke at 5 - started to get ready to go but crawled back under the cover for a few extra minutes of shut-eye. I say that because it wasn't sleep.  Got up - had breakfast - headed out to Route 4 south toward East Greenbush - some 80 or so miles down the line and did fairly well until around 2 p.m. when I got a flat.  Had to walk after leaving a message w/Al to have someone pick me up.  And Sherry showed up just about the time I really started having second, and third and fifth thoughts about what I was doing.  We got to the Y about 3:30- 4 and it was nice to get my tent set up and get some of the damp clothes from yesterday drying in the sun.  I wanted to go shower and get dry since I was drenched from the sweat of being out in 90 degree weather but waited for my friend and rescuer - Mark - to get my tire changed.  Another Angel of Mercy who is blessed with patience and grace.  Tube replaced, shower bag in hand I got my shower, finishing in time to get on the line for dinner - and of course it was the end of the line because that seems to be my place on these rides.  Just call me Caboose.  After dinner - went to try to get online - and thanks to Larry - figured out how to get the WIFI switch on.  YAY.  Just in time for our Pelaton (group gathering) and small group meeting.  Dear friend Marey showed up just then so we quickly greeted one another, I met her husband and then she went to see their son and we had our meeting.  Interesting discussion. Would like to recount now but just want to get back to the tent and go to sleep.  My body is saying - ENOUGH ALREADY... I did get a chance to come back, catch up on FB and jot down these quick notes so that I can at least remember what has happened in the last 48 hours.  You'd be surprised how much gets forgotten in the quest to get from Point A to Point B within a decent amount of time - which for me is hit or miss.  But thanks to the Angels, I have made it so far.  Good night and God bless.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Note to the 2013 Riders - Today's gathering at Vanguard...First Day Together

(This is my note to the C2C cyclists as they gather at the point
   of origin in L.A. in preparation for the start of 2013 C2C ride).

Good evening Cyclists: 
It's 6:15 here on the east coast so at this point you are all probably arriving at Vanguard,
or getting settled in, checking to be sure your bike & gear is all in one piece and nothing
that you need has disappeared into the blue.

I suspect that even if you have ridden before, you are probably experiencing the excitement/nerves
that accompany all major endeavors.  For those who haven't ridden, I still maintain that nothing anyone tells you will fully inform you as to what you are about to participate in....

I see that the tire dipping will take place tomorrow and the actual start of the ride will start Monday.
Had I been riding from Cali - I would probably have appreciated the fact these two events are being
separated by a day's time.  The tire dipping has it's own sacred flavor....joining with your fellow sojourners to mark the start of this endeavor should be given time to soak it to speak.

After the tire dipping in '08 we took off immediately for the road with barely time to say hi to those who came and saw us off.  New friends, the Foster Family - came to bid me adieu and I was soooo grateful that they took the time to see me off.  With family and friends here in the east, I thought I would be the only one marking my participating in the momentous event.  Jessica, Rob, Mikey and Kev opened their home to me so that I could arrive in Seattle  a full week before the start of the tour so I could adjust to the time change, get myself ready and just have time to get organized (a task I'm still working before we left.  This was one of the unexpected side benefits of joining with the greater community to do God's work.

At any rate, before I was 1/2 mile down the road from our starting place, my bike started doing weird things.  It wouldn't move forward.  With barely 5 minutes into the ride I was already in trouble and seriously wondering what I had gotten myself into.  Thanks to the support and guidance of far more experienced riders I made it through the first day, the second, the tenth, and so on.  I did take a two week break between Colorado and Michigan flying home, resting up,   celebrating our 10th anniversary and getting my groove back in order to complete the ride.  In light of that I want to encourage you to TRUST your instincts as to timing, biking, and riding so that you can do what you set out to do.  At the same time, part of life is reaching beyond our grasp - which is something you've already done by signing up and doing all it took to make it to this point. 

After dinner on that first night we were welcomed by Claire and others and then got to eat some delicious cake - always welcome
at times of celebration.  Trust me - don't pass it up; you will work the calories off in no time.
As Jerry noted, as this day got closer he wished he could be with you from the start of the journey.  I too am finding I wish the same thing but it wasn't meant to be at this time.  However, I will be ready to ride as you all get to Montreal so until then my prayers go with you as you are in the hearts and minds of so many. 

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship and Communion of the Holy Spirit
be and abide with you from this day forward.

Joanna Tipple

Friday, February 1, 2013


Good Friday Morning:  Along with sermon prep for Sunday, I've been making sure my C2C page is updated with relevant and inviting material.  I am hoping that after the 3 inital responses to my donation request, things will continue to move along.  Yes, I could have started this months ago.  But I wasn't sure I could make the commitment and discovered that it is probably better I don't try to ride the whole way.  At the same time, I want to have the experience of doing as much of the ride as possible since this time I have an idea of what's involved and I think it would make a difference in how I experience it this time around.  However, the same holds true now as for last time, no matter how much I do or do not ride, the contributions are the important thing - the money which will go towards helping eradicate poverty.  It may seem like a big task but the other piece of the ride is raising awareness and perhaps engendering a turn around in the deep cynicism that has overtaken us as a people.  I firmly believe (not that this make it so) that there are absolutely enough resources in the world for everyone to have enough water to drink, food to eat and a place to live.  However, we also have to stop polluting our resources as well. We have to be willing to rethink how we live and encourage others to do the same.  Hey - I know it's not easy...I'm still working on how to do with less, less driving mainly. And through education and discussion, we want to encourage others to rethink these things with out coming off like a bunch of scolds. The level of conflict and anxiety get rateched right up when trying to address the problem which is a terrible waste of energy - and far to draining to allow any real solution to be thought of never mind worked out. 

But here is one creative way to address the issue - which isn't really one issue but a series of complex, interwoven matters that together end up with us trying to overcome POVERTY.  Very overwhelming when thought of at that level - in the big picture mode - but no reason to try and fix the whole thing at once....a little at a time, in different places, with different people going about it; this can be ended. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Registering for 2013

Well isn't this interesting?  I have the funds to register for this years' ride and yet I haven't clicked on the site to finalize that next step.  I have a bike, support from my family, and the funds to register but just as I was about to I wavered.  I'm not sure why.  Actually I did more than waver, I quivered.  I'm not even planning on doing the whole ride this time as I can't commit that amount of time but even the thought of being away for any length of time has my anxiety level ratcheting up.  Yikes...this has gotten out of hand.  I want to do this but apparently my inner self is having second thoughts.  Or maybe that's not it at all - it's just my bio-chemistry running amok. It seems to be doing that lately - like the last 2 or 3 weeks.  It doesn't seem to have any concrete basis in anything but my thoughts have been circling and there is the internal quivering that occurs when the anxiety kicks in.  I'm pretty sure it isn't about the ride itself...I did the 2008 ride and this time I know what to expect - which may be the issue - I know what pushing myself to that degree is going to feel like but I don't think this is the real basis for what's been going on.  It's just so random and been kicking in over who know's what...
I have shortened the length of my being away precisely because I want to be here on the farm and there are many things to attend to.  However, I really would like to do the ride having some experience under my belt. I'm also not sure if I have the energy to do the fundraising that I need to do.  I mean I know I can...but it does take a concerted effort. A lot of people sound like they have already made some good and getting a jump on things don't tend to partner well.
Well - time to get to work on the house....things to do - the cycle keeps turning.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Inclines: Part 2

I rode all the way on my bike today.   NO getting off.  Ok - well I did get off the 2 times my water bottle dropped out of my bike shirt so I did have to get it.  (Don't have the water bottle or holder yet).  And then I stopped 1 time to get a fresh peach from a local farmstand.  I could have gotten more at the 3 other stands I passed on my route.  It was a great day to ride.  I'm not sure how far I went but it was in the 15 mile zone.  The best part for me today was that the 2 places I had to walk on Monday I didn't have to today.  Now, it could be because it was cooler, I took a different route or it was earlier in the day but regardless, I was able to ride up those babies and not fall over and not get out of the saddle.  (Although I wouldn't mind a different saddle...I like the big comfy ones...)  It took about an hour and a half.

The only negative to today's ride was something that sadly occurs on most rides.  The litter which is EVERYWHERE.  WHY do people feel it's ok to throw their debris out of their cars as they go on?  I mean - really?!!? You can't wait until you get to the next gas station or HOME to throw out your junk?  It is a thorn in my side.  Not that I agonize over this...other things yes, not this.  But 2 weeks ago I saw a little boy litter - right in front of his dad as they walked out of the dollar store and his dad didn't say word one to him.  I had T pick it up to throw out when she went to work.  I thought that perhaps dad would get the hint since it was pretty obvious that she was picking up the kid's mess.  Well, apparently it didn't phase him at all since I saw little boy drop the rest of the toy packaging in the parking lot as they walked to their car.  Now, I don't usually do things like this - at least not with strangers but I stopped my car, walked over to their car and knocked on the window.  I wasn't loud or violent - I just knocked on the window and said to dad, "your little boy dropped this" and pointed to the litter.  He opened the window and the little boy held out his hand.  I said "sorry hon, it isn't ok to litter" and then got back in my car.  I know it was risky, and it wasn't my intention to scare the kid but I get so fed up with people who litter as if the world was there own personal trash receptacle.  I think I may have written about this during C2C 2008 as I'm sure I saw quite a bit of litter but it still doesn't cease to amaze me.  Dad always said leave a place better than you find it...cleaner, more orderly, whatever was needed. This was reinforced at Camp Matollionequay where I spent 8 summers of my life and then the major reinforcement experience was via my drill sargeant at the Monmouth County Police Academy in Howell NJ.  We are all charged with the care and keeping of our world and if you see something out of place or that doesn't belong it behooves us (I love that word) to pick it up and throw it out. I always tell the kids that if they pick something up from off of the ground then they are responsible for it.  I don't push it when it comes to just seeing things otherwise all we would be doing is picking up litter but if you touch it, it's yours.

Well, it was a good ride and with another 15 miles under my belt, I'm on the way to making the goal of 1000 miles done before the trip next year.   A few miles at a time, I'll get there.  A few pieces of litter picked up and thrown away - it's that much better than it was 2 seconds before.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I heard from someone recently about how he has a hard time getting up inclines.  Any grade of incline.  Doesn't matter if it's just a slight rise in the becomes the Rockies.  I soooo identified.  That's what it's like for me when I ride.  I can ride for miles and miles, I can ride for miles and miles...oops - wrong song.... but I can ride for miles on flat, level terrain.  Put an anthill in the mix and forget it....I'm as winded as an old organ bellows gasping its last breath.  But tonight I rode up quite the steep grade on Gahbauer Road.  Gahbauer parallels our road but as you head onto it from Rt 217 you have reason to believe your bike will just keel over in an expression of sympathy with its rider.  That would be me.  Yet after an initial hesitation - I did have to unclip my pedal so I didn't in fact fall over sideways - I got back on and headed up what feels like the side of previously aforementioned Rocky Mountain.  And then I went on to find another really steep - going up into the air kind of feeling - not too far from the first one.  And I almost made it up.  It's been a while since I've done any up and up riding.  The kind that's like ALL UP  - on either side of the peak - so I have to say I was very happy with my attempt tonight.  I may have only gone about 3 or 4 miles but I really saw how much more improved I am at this point than I was even after riding the tour last time.

Well, as they say - "ain't no mountain high enough" to keep me, well in this case, to keep me from finishing what I have set out to do.  And that is to make a difference.  There will always be inclines  - obstacles and challenges put the point is to do the best one can and to make a difference, regardless of how one gets through the mountain to the other side.  And that's exactly the point.  The point is to get to the other side whether through, or around or over the top.  Who cares, as long as we don't stop....

Monday, July 23, 2012

2 outdoor days in a row - & 13+ miles today

Hot was hot today.  I know, it's summer, it's supposed to be hot.  But there's hot, then there is h-o-t...and then there is biking around the county when it's h-o-t. I am happy to have been out there.  I even got a few more miles in than yesterday - although I have to figure out how many.  I probably should get an odometer so I can keep track.  I doubt I will be getting a blackberry, android or iphone any time soon so won't have the ability to get those cool apps that keep track of distance.  But, I did put in well over 13 miles, which is what I did yesterday.  Since I've ridden 2 straight days outside, I think I can really say now that official training for next year has begun.