There is a day that must be written about – it was Thursday of last week. The route was from Burley, ID to Tremonton, Utah and we knew it would be a long day – well over 100 miles with some climbing. The surprise of the day, though was that instead of the NW tailwind we were expecting via The Weather Channel, we had 20+ MPH SW headwind most of the day. Most cyclists will tell you they would rather be climbing than have a headwind – at least you get to the top at some point with a mountain.
I’m not yet a fast rider anyway (yet) and by 2pm, we had been on the road for 6.5 hours and had only made 52 miles. We were concerned about getting to Tremonton before dark and at the pace I was going, the odds were very much against me. One of the contingency plans we had made was for me to cash it in and ride in the van, should we be up against a deadline that would not be made otherwise. At 2pm, it was my opinion that we were risking getting into town between 10pm and midnight and it seemed logical, as hard as it was to accept, that we had hit a contingency trigger. I stopped, got off the bike and began taking my lights off the bike. Christian would have none of it. Even though I was the one slowing everyone down, in his opinion, this was not a contingency triggering event. We were still a long ways from darkness and things could swing back in our favor (by the way, I was praying the entire time for an end to the headwind, but it was clear that eliminating the headwind was not in God’s plan for me). We did hit a few downhills (although at one point we had a -4% gradient and with the headwind I still couldn’t muster more than 11 mph :-)) and the wind lessened from time to time.
Christian led the charge in rallying the troups behind me. He made phone calls to the office asking everyone to pray – that it was an incredibly tough day. He made sure I wasn’t stopping for long breaks, so we could make the best of the time we had. He made sure the support van was close at hand at all times, in case of needing any quick nutrition and at one point I had a slow leak in my front tire – so instead of repairing it, we aired it up a few times the last 12 or so miles into town, which required the van nearby constantly. Dave and Ben were encouraging us (and in particular, me) and lifting us up. I got a call from John Maisel, Founder of East West Ministries about 4:30pm in the afternoon after hearing I was having a tough day – he prayed for me on the phone and said encouraging words. I texted guys from from my Home Group at The Village Church saying I was having a tough day and they quickly responded saying they were praying for me. It was as if everyone was on our team that day – but most of all – Christian, Dave and Ben were surrounding me, encouraging me on. We arrived at our hotel about 9:15PM that night in the dark – exhausted, but grateful for safety and finishing strong because of the Team and Teamwork. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. We could not do this without you.