let me tell you all of the excuses we have for not updating the blog:
Personally, I think you would rather hear from Bob and Lisa directly rather than my 3rd hand accounts. But, Bob and Lisa have had a very busy week. When their options are showering, eating, setting up the tent, going out for ice cream or starting up the computer, seeing if you have Internet, getting some message that says your cookies are wrong then blogging... you can imagine that blogging often falls off the list.
We also had no idea how many people were following the blog. We knew of family members, a few friends and coworkers, people from Plymouth Heights CRC, but we were shocked to find out today how many total strangers follow the blog. Lisa made the comment today that she expected that once she left GR she figured a lot of people would just forget about the tour. She knew via the mail stops that there were a few people who hadn't forgotten, but had no idea how many people were supporting and praying for them.
So here are my memories of their week:
Monday the blog had just been updated the day before...nice ride. They had a couple of areas with really rough roads and actually had to carry their bikes for a period of time. They also stopped to purchase some cheese and crackers and ate them just before crossing into Illinois. Lisa also broke her rear wheel on Monday. She was able to ride it in and get it to a bike shop, but she was fortunate. They were able to set her up with a temporary wheel, but she had to get it replaced by a more permanent one today.
Tuesday going from Woodstock into Palos Heights and Wednesday morning were very tough days. Not necessarily the number of miles, or the wind. It had more to do with all of the traffic and busy busy roads. Lisa described Wednesday as riding for 50 miles on streets like Burton and 28th street. They never really had a good chance to get into a nice pace. Lisa said she was at the end of her riding group and by the time she got through a light, the group was slowing down for the next one.
Thursday was the day they crossed over into Michigan. We were finally in the same time zone! They had a great ride into South Haven. Lisa wanted to get in quickly and get cleaned up because Derek Van Dyke, a fellow staff member from Camp Roger, went down to South Haven to pick her up and take her to camp for closing night of session 7. She was able to go to Honors Campfire, sing with the Staff as we serenaded the campers, and join us for ice cream afterwards. They left about 11 PM and got back to South Haven at about 12:30.
Friday was a great ride into Grand Haven. Kari and I along with my parents and their friends were able to get too the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds to cheer them on as they finished their ride for the day. The headwinds were starting to pick up as they were finishing their day. They had a very nice stop provided by Graschaap CRC. They are finding more and more of these stops as they go along. Bob's dad also came out to visit them at the conference grounds. World Home Missions provided a steak dinner for the cyclists and their families. It was nice for all of us to have a dinner that actually required a fork and a knife.
On Saturday, the tour riders were joined by about 150 other riders for the ride from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids. We were joined in the ride by Uncle Steve, Cousin Jack and Doug VanderLaan from Plymouth Heights Church. My sisters and friends prepared a great stop for all the riders in the town of Lamont. The stop was greatly appreciated and was at a perfect spot about 25 miles into the ride. It was a fantastic day riding into GR. Their was a wonderful group of people welcoming us and we really felt the support of our church, family, and friends.
We are looking forward to a day off the bikes but we are also looking forward to the last 2 weeks of the tour.
I have been trying to add pictures for the last 20 minutes....grrrr not going well. I will have to try again later.