Thursday, July 31, 2008

News Clip

click on the link...once you get to the site, there is a link to the video.

Newspaper article from Akron:



Thursday July 31, 2008:

It has been a tough week. We are in the midst of our highest mileage week of the entire tour. The temperature is well into the 90s and nearing 100. The humidity is also increasing but has not been too bad yet. We had a tail wind today for the first time in a while. It was welcome and helped us get through a hot day.

The scenery has changed to mostly farm land. It is hard to believe there is starvation in the world when we see mile after mile of fields. There are a few towns on the map each day but many of them are close to ghost towns. They have a few residents but no businesses that are still open.

This week we are celebrating the half way point of the tour. On Wednesday, we were half way in terms of the number of days. On Friday about 20 miles into the day we are at the half way point in terms of miles.

We are finding the people of Nebraska very friendly. They are highly interested in what we are doing and occasionally some will give a donation to one of the cyclists. I have also done 2 interviews. One was in a very small town called Akron for the weekly news paper. The other was tonight in Minden for television. Lisa and I were both interviewed. I don’t know if we will make the news clip or not. Jane will try to post the news clip if she can find it on the internet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Grasshoppers anyone?

Bob said that if they could find a way to harvest the grasshoppers (probably not the right name) that they run over, they might be able to feed the world. I remember the experience when we rode through Kansas. They crunch beneath your tires, they hop into your wheels, onto your legs, your handlebars, your arms, and yes even into your face.
Bob also described the ride as long and hot. The weather report indicates they are heading into a heatwave. They are also on sweep again tomorrow. The leadership team has made some changes since the last time they swept - hopefully it will help to know there is an end in sight to their day. If a rider doesn't look like they are able to complete by 7PM, that rider needs to get in the SAG. This takes a lot of stress off the sweep, the kitchen crew (not having to keep serving so late), and the SAG team.
Please pray for patience, relief from the heat, and safety.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wray Colorado

I heard from Bob tonight. I generally hear from either Bob and/or Lisa every night. The last couple of days they have cranked out some very long, hot, dull days. They try to get as many miles as possible done in the morning. They are trying to keep out of the heat and avoid the prevailing "easterlies". Not a typo, they thing the whole westerly thing is a myth. Unfortunately with 90 mile days there are only so many of those miles that can be done in the morning.
Bob said he had stopped for coffee today in a town called Akron. He and another biker were interviewed and photographed by the local newspaper. It is so important as the riders head into towns, bike along the way, camp, and talk to people that they leave a good impression of their reason for biking, their membership in the church, and the Lord they serve. They can leave a good taste or a bad taste in the mouths and minds of the people with whom they come in contact.

They were very pleased to have a community pool with a fun water slide today in Wray, Colorado. This really helps cool the body, soothe the muscles, generally relax, and have fun.

Unfortunately there was another accident yesterday. A woman hit some garbage while biking on the interstate. The unofficial word was that she had a concussion, a broken pelvis, and lots of road rash - those are the stories that scare me and keep my mother up at night.

Kari and I are taking a road trip this week. We are taking my parents and heading out to Souix Center, Iowa to meet the bike tour (and visit with relatives). We are really excited to see them. By the time we meet up with them it will have been 6 weeks since we've been together (hmm, I may have switched tenses a few times in that sentence).

Thanks once again to all of you who sent cards and packages. Thanks to all who check the blog and take interest in the tour and it's cause. Thanks to you who have donated funds. Thanks for all of you who stop and ask about the tour, and thank you most of all for your continued prayers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our camp at Snow Mountain Ranch.
At the continental divide after a long mountain pass.
At the top of Bertha pass, our tallest pass, at 11,315 ft.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's hard to believe we are in Denver

It’s hard to believe we are in Denver!
The last couple of days and specifically Saturday were fantastic!
Saturday started with temperatures in the low 50s. We had a nice downhill first thing out of Snow Mountain Ranch. It is cold going down at that temperature. Very soon, however, the downhill turned to an uphill and we climbed our last mountain pass of the Rockies. The summit was just over 11,000 feet (the highest altitude of the tour). The downhill was one of the most beautiful I have ever experienced. We passed waterfalls, had snow topped mountains in the background and had several over looks of the valley we were descending into.
After a cup of coffee and a piece of pie in the town of Empire at a café that is 140 years old, we continued our descent into Denver. The route was filled with beautiful views and interesting towns to ride through. We rode along a mountain stream, through a canyon. Keep in mind that we went from an 11,000 foot summit into Denver which is around 5,500 feet. Many people on the tour considered this the best riding day we have had yet.
The people in Denver gave us quite a reception when we rode in. They cheered for each rider that came in. They even had some cheer leaders (in uniform) handing us cold water bottles as we rode into the parking lot. They had music playing and umbrellas set up with snacks for us to enjoy. It was a carnival atmosphere and a lot of fun.
We also had our second mail stop. A huge thank you for the packages and notes of encouragement we received. It is fantastic to know that so many people are praying for us and following the tour.
Sunday is our day off. The celebration service begins at 10:00 AM. We will be riding a couple of miles to the service from our “campground” at Denver Christian High School. We will ride in one big mass of 140 cyclists. It is quite a sight with all of us wearing our bright colored “Sea to Sea” jerseys. We hope to spend a little time this afternoon seeing the sites of downtown Denver.
I am out of time now. We will try to send pictures later today if time allows.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

OMG this is amazing

Lisa texted me this message at 10:30 MST. For those of you who don't do text messaging, it translates to "Oh My Goodness". They just completed an 11,000+ ft mountain pass that Lisa thought was one of the best biking experiences of the trip. They were stopped on the way down at a coffee shop for some apple pie and she decided to share her excitement with me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pictures from the Road

Greetings from Dinosaur, Colorado

Lisa sent this a couple of days ago, since then they have entered the Rockies and the scenery is gorgeous. They are looking forward to a shorter day. Kari and I are doing well, Kari is back to work in the kitchen this morning.

Greetings from Dinosaur, Colorado!

I’ll cover three days (Sunday – Tuesday) July 20 – July 22.
On Sunday (our day off in Park City, Utah) we spent the morning sleeping in and cleaning up our bikes and doing a little routine maintenance. We then caught the shuttle from our camp ground into Park City to do laundry (a lovely chore at a Laundromat filled with about 30 middle school aged kids on some adventure outing).
We made a contact with some friends of Jane’s parents who moved to Park City about 7 years ago. They were kind enough to pick us up from the Laundromat and take us out to lunch. It was great to have a relaxing lunch at a restaurant and not be rushed to get back on the bikes. They also stocked us up with baked goods that were gone by noon on Tuesday (food does not last very long with this group).
Monday was a 95 mile day (which registered as over 100 miles on out bike odometers. The scenery was fantastic. There was a large and steep climb between the 25 and 35 mile point. We were on “sweep duty” which means we have to stay in back of the group to make sure no one gets lost or is out on the road needing help. Because of the difficulty of the day, there were several riders who struggled and we ended up pulling into camp around 7:00 PM. It was a long day but still enjoyable because of the great scenery.
Tuesday was another 90 mile day. We were basically back in the desert after having some mountain scenery on Monday with actual trees. The day was pretty easy except the last 20 miles which was a long gradual uphill into the wind and the temperature was well into the 90s. There was NOTHING in this 20 mile stretch. It was both physically and mentally tough. We crossed into Colorado about 3 miles before the end of the ride.
We are not big fans of rumble strips that are built into roads to keep drivers alert if they wander off the road. These rumble strips are built exactly where bicyclists like to ride. Our choices are farther into the lane or farther to the right which has more gravel and other junk. This usually leads to more flat tires. Both of us have 4 flat tires to date and have each ruined a tire on the road.
We have 2 more days this week which will be at or near 90 miles. It will be a difficult stretch of cycling with the amount of miles. I am told by one of the riders who is from Denver that we will have one more day of desert terrain and then it will begin to change. We are excited for the change.
Other than the dishwasher, the comfort of home I miss second is the ice maker in the refrigerator. As much as I am trying, I have NOT come to enjoy the warm water in the water bottle on the bike. I drink it because I need to. Also, when this trip is done, it will be a LONG time before I have oatmeal, a granola bar, or a peanut butter sandwich.
I am not sure when we will be able to post this update. The Internet is not currently functioning.
Thanks for your continued prayers and support. We have opportunities to discuss the purpose of our tour daily. Just today, I talked to 4 different people (groups).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I laid awake last night thinking

I laid awake last night thinking....
I still question the grammar of that statement - Susan me out
Bob and Lisa are in the midst of a couple of tough weeks. But they know their general mileage, they know most of the elevations, they know there is a break in sight, they know there will be a meal waiting for them when they get back to camp and they have a pillow to lay their heads on at night.
People who live in the cycle of poverty have no map of where there days or weeks are going, they don't know where their highs and lows will be, they don't have any idea when the days of hunger and despair will end.
Just a thought to, help me once again, put things in perspective.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another tough day - Salt Lake to Duchense

Another trying day...these back to back to back 90+ mile days in the mountains (and I assume heat even though they didn't mention anything). Today was their turn on sweep so once again 12 hours on the road. Lisa had some tears on the phone for the first time since they left. After riding that long, a rider had complaints that the sweep team was pushing her to ride faster...She took it very hard.
Our girls have had a couple of those life experiences this week. You know that they will be better people because of them. It is just hard when you are 1000's of miles away as they have these experiences.
The next couple of days map out as 88 miles, 96 miles, and then a 30 mile day into Winter Park. Please continue to pray for their emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
I had a "God thing" that I just need to share with you. I ran into town this morning to pick up some bike parts that Bob needed and was unable to find in Salt Lake City. Today was also "Christmas day" for the camp staff. I kept very busy until about 2 and then just had it. We were invited to the home of one of the camp staff (Matt) and we were looking forward to it. I planned to drop off Kari (she doesn't enjoy car rides with her post op belly) and was going to look for a post office to mail the parts to Denver. I went to talk to Matt's mom to find out where the closest place was to mail the package to Denver. There was a woman with Matt's mom who asked where it had to be in Denver. I told her it needed to get to 3rd CRC in Denver. Well, guess what...3rd CRC is this woman's church, she is flying home tomorrow and she will hand deliver it to the church on Wednesday.
Thank you God, I needed the break and the reassurance that he would get the parts.
PS I just talked to Bob - he said both of them are riding very strong. He is so proud of how well Lisa is riding.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The sunset from Willard State Park over the Utah mountains.

Inside the Mormon Tabernacle. It was beautiful!

Climbing up the first sumit on our way to Park City.
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We made it to Utah (It looks the same as Idaho)!

This was our shower in Snowville. It was actually a lot bigger than it looks, and the cold water felt good.

The view from the beach at Willard State Park in Utah. The beach was right outside our tent.
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Hard Day

Yesterday was the hardest day we have had so far. In the end we had biked 101.5 miles with two summits over 6000 ft. Needless to say, we are exhausted.

The state park we are staying at is beautiful. It is in the mountains and right beside a lake. The only bummer is that our tent is a long ways away from the kitchen and gear truck where all of our stuff is.

On our way through Salt Lake City (we are actually staying in Park City) we were able to visit the Mormon Tabernacle and visit one of the CRC churches in Salt Lake. It was nice to have some places to stop on a long day.

It is good that today we can rest and spend some time in Park City sightseeing because Monday we have another tough day.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a Day

Bob called about 2:30 Seattle time, which was 3:30 Utah time, something close to 6:30 Grand Rapids time. I think they had a good day. I was a bit distracted when they called. You see I was waiting for him to call so that I could tell him that Kari, our 16 year old daughter, who is in Grand Rapids needed to have an appendectomy. Let me refresh your memory, Bob and Lisa are in Utah, I am in Seattle for a wedding with every one of my Visser relatives, and Kari is in Grand Rapids awaiting surgery. At this point I can tell you how incredibly thankful I am for our Camp Roger family, our Youth Pastor Gretchen, our wonderful friend, Tricia, and a very understanding surgeon Dr. Uitvlugt.
So as I sat in I-5 traffic in Seattle Kari had her appendix removed and I got a call from Dr. Uitvlugt while pictures were being taken that they were done with surgery and that all had gone well.
I have changed my flights and am flying home on Saturday instead of Monday.
Please keep the prayers going. Tomorrow is an anticipated difficult day on the bike ride and I will be traveling home to be with Kari who will hopefully be discharged about 12 hours before my flight comes into Grand Rapids.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Burley to Snowville

Lisa called tonight. She said it was a rough day. She described it as long and hot. It sounds like she started out with a flat tire, they had 45 miles of headwinds, and the SAG vehicles had difficulty getting enough water.
They are staying in a town that she thinks the arrival of the bike tour has doubled the population . Showers tonight involve a tarp over a backstop and a hose. The girls get a half hour to shower and then the guys get a half hour. They also said they cleared the town cafe out of food, and they were working on clearing the diner out of their food.
She also reported that one of the riders tore his Achilles tendon and it is questionable whether he will be able to ride.
The next couple of days look rough...keep the tour in your prayers.
Thanks, Jane

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shoshone Falls

This bike is called a Penny-Farthing. We got to try it out at a local bike store.

The Dairy Farm that we got a tour of.

The Snake River Canyon.
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A Great Day

Wednesday July 16-

Today was extremely fun! It was our longest day so far with a total millage of just over 85 miles (yes there were some “bonus miles” from the 81 that we were supposed to do today.
We will start with last night. We stayed in Gooding for the last night. Gooding is a city with a high volume of trains circling the city (yes they literally circle the city). We heard them all night long! There was also a brush fire at the edge of town that required fire trucks from many cities around Gooding, including Boise. So, the night was not all that good, but things started looking up in the morning.

This morning we woke up early because we knew that we had a long day, and there were also a lot of places to stop.

Mile 21 of 85- There was a dairy farmer outside of Gooding that invited us to come to his farm for a tour of his milking parlor and for refreshments. At this farm they milked cows on a circling platform. The cow would just walk on and off by themselves. The farmers were very nice, and it was cool to see.

Mile 35 of 85- We are riding along the Snake River which runs through a deep canyon. We crossed a large bridge on our way into Twin Falls. When we stopped to take a picture, we realized that there was someone there getting ready to BASE jump off the bridge (we are finding that there are many things that are legal in Idaho that are not legal in many other places). It was very cool to watch glide to the bottom of the canyon. FYI- This is the same location that Evil Knievel attempted a mile long jump over the canyon, but failed.

Mile 37 of 85- Twin Falls Reformed Church had a lunch spread prepared for us. Lunch included subway, watermelon, chips, ice cream, milk, and water. It was very good!

Mile 42 of 85- After lunch we went to see Shoshone waterfall (the Niagara of the west). It was about 2 miles out of our way, but it was well worth it. Once we got to the bottom of the road where the observation parking lot was, we took some pictures and started our trip back up. The road had a 12% grade (very very steep), but surprisingly it was easier than we thought, and both my dad and I made it quickly to the top.

Mile 43-85- The last section was a little less exciting. It is very hot and dry in the desert, and I am ready to see something besides dirt, sage brush, and railroad tracks. People are saying that the scenery will change once we get to Salt Lake City. I can’t wait!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mountain Home to Gooding

Bob called about 5PM our time. He and Lisa were both showered and had camp set up. They were beginning to wait the 3hrs until dinner (called at 3PM their time and dinner is at 6). My understanding is that this time is spent napping, chatting, playing cards, helping others set up their tents, and exploring the "town" (Bob and Lisa -let me know if this is wrong, maybe this is just what I imagine you doing). Bob is trying to avoid doing his laundry until the weekend. They are hoping that they will meet up with some former neighbors of my parents while staying in Salt Lake City and ??? get a little help with their laundry. Speaking of former neighbors, I'm not sure if I told you about their encounter with my old neighbor on Overbrook Lane. They were waiting to go through an intersection in Idaho and I guy rolled down his window and asked what they were doing and where they were from. They said Michigan. This guy asked where, they said Grand Rapids. He said, wow, I used to live on Overbrook Lane in Grand Rapids - yes he knew my family. I think Overbrook Lane has a dozen houses max. This is where we break into a rendition of "It's a Small World".
Bob said it was a harder ride today. There were headwinds and poor road surfaces. When I look ahead, it looks like a tough couple of weeks to me.
As I stalked the other blog sites, it also looks as though there has been some problems with tiredness and some stomach issues. Please pray for health for the cyclists. Illnesses can spread quickly in this type of community.

IF you get some extra time, there are some great blogs, pictures, and newsletters about the trip available at

I had about an hour block of time and stopped by church to check on the group working with the SERVE team... it was good to check in with friends and supporters of our family and the trip.

Odd night for me - Bob and Lisa are obviously gone, Kari is at camp (I am home) and the dog is at a friend's house. I can't remember the last time I was home alone - without even the dog. I am leaving for Seattle tomorrow at 4am. My theory is that if you have to set the alarm for a time that begins with 3 it is not worth going to bed. So I am getting things done around the house - no Bob sorry, I am not cleaning. I tried to hook the dehumidifier up to the hose so it drains into the sink...we will see if it is successful. I am also trying to find more disk space on my computer...EEK, this might be my last update if I crash this computer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pictures from the Road

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Saturday – July 12, 2008
We finished our second week of biking and have Sunday off in Boise. It was not a very difficult week since we had a few short days and some tail winds.
Things have settled into a routine. We get up between 5:30 and 5:45. Generally we are on the road by around 7:30. It takes a couple of hours to pack up the tent, sleeping bags, etc, get breakfast, wash our dishes and get the bikes ready to ride. This process takes even longer when done with 140 people. We are learning patience. At night we have dinner at 6:00 and pelaton (group meeting) at eight, which is basically right after dinner because of the lines for food and dish washing. After pelaton, about 9:00, we go right to small groups. Small groups last until 9:00 or 9:30, and then it is time for bed.
There are 4 SAG drivers. They try to space themselves out every 10 – 15 miles. If we go through a town (which has been pretty scarce) a coffee shop is generally well patronized. Today we cleaned up one café of their cinnamon rolls. Another morning earlier in the trip, we wiped out another restaurant of all their homemade pies.
Most riders like to get miles in before the hottest part of the day. However, once we get to the town we are staying in, many riders will find something to do before going to camp.
We have been riding with different people each day. It is not unusual for us to ride with several different people throughout the course of a day. Some people ride with the same group every day, but I think most of the riders just pair up with someone different each day.
People are being very receptive and supportive of the trip as we travel through towns. Last night a coffee shop stayed open 2-3 hours extra so that we could use their internet (because ours hardly ever works). In another town the school allowed us to use their laundry machine. We get more donations each day from people cyclists meet along the road. It is cool to see the momentum grow as we travel.
We just received all of our mail that was sent to Boise. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We had so much fun opening up all of our letters and packages. It was very encouraging to know that you are thinking about us and supporting us.

They are in Idaho

How do I sum up their last few days of biking?
They did another stint with their sweep team. They really enjoy the people on their team. This is helpful because the days that they sweep tend to be longer days when you just can't ride at their own comfortable pace. They will be doing sweep again in another 9 days.
The riding has been quite easy these last couple of days. If you are following in the Shifting Gears devotional, you will see they rode between 35-65 miles with no significant mountain passes. I have not heard of ant terrible headwinds so I will assume they have not been an issue. I know that I would personally rather climb a mountain pass then put up with headwinds all day.
They did have a night (a believe it was Thursday) when they had very high winds (gusts to 50 mph) at camp. Most people including Bob and Lisa took their tents down and sought refuge in the school gym. Some tents were damaged in the winds, but everyone was safe.
Internet has still been an issue, some people have been heading into towns to hook up with free wifi. There was even a coffee house that stayed open late for Sea to Sea riders to use their Internet. They have been so impressed with the hospitality of the towns they ride through and stay in. I told Bob he needs to tell us more of those stories...
I also asked him to blog about their typical days...give us a schedule of what your routine looks like. Many of you probably don't know that they have been getting up around 5:30 to start the day. I don't think they are setting an alarm either.
I asked him what his biggest struggle was...he said it was carrying enough food on his bike to get through the day. Ironic.
In my spare time, I have been looking at other blogs, pictures, and information available on the site. If you are looking at the pictures and are trying to figure out which helmeted, spandex laden cyclist is Lisa, the easiest way to identify her is by her red bike with 2 large lime green water bottles. Bob, well I can just identify him. You are on your own. Doug Lutke has some great pictures of Bob, Len Reimersma has some of Lisa, Jonathon Stoner has a lot of pictures on the flicker site that can be accessed through the web page.
Thank you for your continued support of the tour, for Bob and Lisa, and the effort to end the cycle of poverty.
Prayer requests: Please pray for our immediate family this week. Bob and Lisa plan to be riding from Idaho into Utah, I have plans to head out to Seattle for the wedding of my niece, Kari (although she would love to go to Seattle) will be working at camp on the kitchen staff. Continue to pray for safety, health, and awareness of the cycle of poverty.
Thanks for your interest.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I am having so much fun on this trip so far. People have been so open and supportive of the tour as we go through the many small towns in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Right now I am sitting in a coffee shop in Ontario, Oregon. One of the employees of the shop is keeping it open two hours over the normal time, so that we can use the Internet (ours is still not working, and I am not holding out much hope).

I am also learning a lot on the trip. As I talk to more and more people I am beginning to discover what I have to say to people about my faith. I have had more opportunities in the past two weeks to talk about my faith (and the bike trip) to complete strangers than I have had in the past 19 years. It has been both intimidating and exciting.

Last night we had a huge wind/dust storm in the small town of Huntington, Oregon. In the middle of the night we (along with many others) decided to take down our tent, not an easy task in a storm with gusts of wind reaching 50 miles an hour, and sleep in the gym. It was a good bonding experience if nothing else.

I am excited to have a day off on Sunday to let my muscles rest and recuperate. I am sorry that there are not many pictures, but there is just not enough speed, I am sure there is some technical term I do not know, to update pictures on a normal basis. Hopefully you will all get to see them when you get home. I have to say though pictures do not do justice to God's beautiful world that we are riding through.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We thank all of you.

Lisa Brouwer

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I know that the captions do not always go right next to the pictures but it is the best I can do with the Internet I have.

An Old mill that we stopped at for water. This was only one of the many opportunities we had to talk to someone and hear their story.

This guy was great! He even gave us a tour of the mill.

The miles of wheat that we saw for almost a whole day.

The many mountainous views that we have been seeing in Oregon.
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Week 2- Day 3

Finally!! We have Internet that works. I don’t know if it will continue or not.

The daily change in scenery is amazing. Yesterday we started in the wheat fields with hardly a tree in sight. After climbing the mountain pass, we rode down in the pine forest. Today (Wednesday) we rode through a valley with the Elk Horn Mountains to our right. The mountains have snow on the top and are very beautiful. It is hard for us to imagine that snow can be in the mountains when we are all searching for shade. As I look around camp, all the people are congregated in the shade created by the school building and the various vehicles accompanying the tour.

I have been surprised that there are not many towns to go through each day. Most days we need to carry enough food to get through the biking day. Today we actually rode through a couple of small towns. That is a great way to help break up the day. The town of Haines looks like an old western town. It was a fun stop.

Both Lisa and I are adjusting well to constant eating. We are finding it difficult to take enough food on our bikes to get us through from breakfast time (6:00 AM) until dinner time (6:00 PM). Some of our camping locations are a few miles from town. We only have our bikes as transportation so we have to put on a few extra miles to get to town and back.

As we expected, 140 bikers riding on the roads and into towns creates a lot of interest. I have had at least one opportunity each day to talk to people about what we are doing. We have a “business card” that we can pass out that explains what we are doing. Once in a while, someone will actually hand one of us a donation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Days 8 and 9

Continued good news from the road.
Internet is still an issue for them so I will try to summarize the phone calls.

On Monday Lisa rode in a group including Pastor Len. Pastor Len was the one who got me interested in biking back when I was in high school and helped me believe I could succeed at it. If you want to see more pictures of Lisa go to click on rider blogs and then click on Len Riemersma.
She has figured out that it seems to work best if she just eats at every break rather than try to eat a big lunch.

Today I talked to Bob and they had another great day today. He is feeling very strong and thoroughly enjoying the ride (except for the interstate).

They are currently tied for flat tires. Lisa got her first one today.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Bikers Traveling From Seattle To New Jersey To Raise Money To Fight Poverty

KENNEWICK -- Hundreds of cyclists take over Columbia Park this weekend, but they won't be here for long.
They are biking 3,881 miles from Seattle to New Jersey.
Sound hard to you?
From 18 to 80 years old; from Canada, the US and across the world, Spreading the word about poverty is all in a days work.
Tents, Gear, And Bikes.
Just a few parts of what it takes to move hundreds of people across the nation.
A majority of the riders are affiliated with a congregation in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
Father and daughter team Bob and Lisa Brouwer are from Grand Rapids Michigan. They said getting so many people together sends a message.
"It's a good way to get a bunch of people involved and to definitely make a statement and raise awareness as well as funds because its not everyday you get to see a whole 150 people riding their bikes down the road in the middle of the country, so it's kindof cool" said Lisa Brouwer.
Each rider is working to raise $10,000 to fund incentives to reduce poverty.
The bikers got a helping hand here in the Tri-Cities from Family of Faith Pastor Dan Wolters.
"It's an opportunity to do alot more with a whole bunch of other people then what we're able to do by ourselves and so there's alot of excitement that builds momentum" said Wolters.
Riders streamed into Columbia Park all afternoon. They set up tents, and got their bags from a massive semi-truck, one of two that follows the group during the entire cross country trip. Organizer Claire Elgersma said the trip means alot more than just biking.
"It's not about the cyclists but it's about how god can use us to touch the lives of people and to challenge people to engage themselves in making a difference locally and globally" said Elgersma.
If you want to meet or hear from the bikers, there will be a worship service in Columbia Park Sunday at 10:30 AM.
That's followed by a community fair to show how you can help against poverty.
Just head to Columbia Park in Kennewick by the band shell.

Sunday July 6

We had our first rain the desert. It rained on most of our ride into Sunnyside Washington on July 4. It was only a short day. We had our rain coats on and were quite comfortable riding. It was actually better than the 100+ degree temps we had the previous day.

The CRC in Sunnyside fixed a great evening meal for us and we watched the fireworks from the front lawn of the church.

The group of riders is fantastic. It is difficult to learn over 100 names of new people. Everyone is having the same problem. It doesn't seem to matter. It is easy to have conversations with people we don't even know. It is quite acceptable to ask people their name. No one is offended. It is also interesting to see how the generations are mixing quite well.

I decided that the luxury I miss most is the dish washer. It is difficult to get a group this size to wash all of their dishes. The dish water is quite disgusting.

Today (Sunday) we have a day off from cycling. The CRC here in Kennewick, Washington arranged for several activities. I am at the pool of one of the church members and am using their wireless Internet for this update. The celebration service this morning was well done. The church here is helping a group of Burmese immigrants who worship with them regularly.

Photos from the road

A beautiful view of tent town with sunset ... perhaps sunrise

Lisa and Claire after riding behind Bob on a rainy day...laundry was in order for the afternoon.

Water stop with one of the SAG (support and Gear) vehicles

Biking in Eastern Washington
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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bob and Lisa in the news

Week one completed

I just got a call from Lisa...she sounds so good on the phone. They have completed their first week of riding. The spot they are staying is "gorgeous", the temperatures are "awesome" - mid 70's. The Sunnyside CRC made an "incredible" Hispanic meal for them. Laundry is done, and they are looking forward to going tubing tomorrow.
She said that she and Bob were interviewed by the local news station. I will let you know if we get anymore information on that.
Lisa hopes to email some pictures for me to post soon.

Friday, July 4, 2008


I was up a lot last bothered me that I am worried about whether my daughter can eat 5 meals a day, when some mothers worry about whether their child will get a single meal.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Short Day

It looks like you will be getting more updates from me. It took Lisa an hour and a half to update the blog due to incredibly slow Internet access.
Lisa called early this morning to tell me about their night. They are staying at a school and the automatic sprinklers went on at 1AM. Yes, they are in tents...
They called tonight and said they were done riding by 10:30 that's AM. They really wanted to get their miles done early because of the 100 degree temps they are experiencing. They said it was a beautiful ride, but no where to stop. Tomorrow looks like a similar ride.
On these shorted days Lisa has been doing OK, but on those longer days she has had trouble getting enough calories in. It will take some experience to learn to eat about the equivalent of 5 meals a day. I remember when Bob and I rode cross country we began putting loads of peanut butter and cream cheese on our bagels just to increase our calories. Hopefully she can figure it out quickly.
We got a huge amount of rain in GR. Kari and I stopped home briefly to borrow the Knotts steam vac to begin the process of drying out the basement. The Knotts so kindly went back in our house today to continue the process. I am learning to ask for help. Kari and I will have a very busy week out here at camp and my final presentation is next Thursday.
Please continue to pray for Bob and Lisa as they cycle and Kari and I as we try to manage the home front, the camp front. Please pray for our family as we miss each other...especially when the Holiday is usually family time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Finally after climbing for 25 miles, we made it to the sign. At least the slow ride up was beautiful! The 20 mile downhill on the other end did not hurt either.
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At one of the SAG stops (this one was at the top of our 2nd 4000 ft pass)
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The DOT helped us out by having these signs on the passes we crossed.
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At the top of our first 4000 ft mountain pass.
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One of many amazing views
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Tent Town
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