Saturday, September 21, 2013

Final group photo - Day eight!


What a day. Our stay in Ludington was quite eventful. We soaked hot tubs to relax after a long ride, ate dinner, had sweet fellowship with new friends and a sang couple songs of karaoke. Too much fun.

Riding through Hart -last leg of the trip
We started today early to make sure that we arrived on time to reunite with our family and friends for a picnic at 2:30. We felt the wind of the Spirit all day, living deep inside of us and pushing us all the way home. We made great time and really didn’t want to stop long for breaks.
We rode through Hart, Shelby, and Montague. Upon arriving into Muskegon we decided to stop at a waterfront park to group up before arriving to the Welcome Home Picnic. We had our final devotions; we prayed together, took some groups photos, said some tearful goodbyes and sang the Doxology one last time (it has become a theme song this trip). We then mounted the bikes and finished the last few miles.  We were cheered home by a great group lined along the road. It was an emotional finish line to end an emotional week.

God has been so good.  He has protected us and strengthened us through every one of the 712 miles.
It has been an honor to get to know each member of the team and we are proud of all that has been accomplished (in HIM). We rode 712 miles, we climbed close to 4,000 feet, and raised approximately $75,000 for LPC and Alpha Family Services. 

We thank the Lord for ALL He has done, we thank YOU for all you have done and we especially we to thank each family for supporting your spouse on this ride, letting them be away from home for a week and for covering the home front. We thank each supporter for your putting tangible action to your  belief in life.

We could not have accomplish any of this without the favor of the Lord and the support of each of you. So again, Thank YOU!
Final mile, up the hill and around the corner.

We would also like to thank each of our sponsors:
·         Requets Foods
·         Artex Label
·         J & H Family Stores
·         Quincy Street, Inc
·         Zeeland Vision
·         Hamilton Medical Center
·         Westside Service
·         Holland Litho Printing Services
·         Main Street Bicycle Co.
·         Koetje Wood Products
·         Generational Wealth Management
·         West Michigan Bike & Fitness
Due to each of these underwriters, every dollar raised by the riders went directly to the ministries of LPC and Alpha! We are grateful.

Welcome Home!
Thank you all for following us along the way, praying for us daily, texting encouragement, sharing scripture, and being there at the end of our adventure.

As one of our riders posted tonight on her facebook page…
It is finished!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The team was amazing today. After yesterday and those hills, the fact that everyone was able to get on their bicycle successfully and pedal away from the motel was a praise in and of itself. God was good to us again today. Despite back country roads and a period of heavy rainfall, we made it to Ludington in one piece and with joyful spirits.
1.       Betty rode the entire 80 miles today—such a trooper! At the breaks she was even helping get out the snacks and pull the chairs out for other riders.
2.       The team successfully completed another 80 miles--- only 70 more to go! The winds were calm for the last 20 miles, with the promise of a tailwind tomorrow!
3.       Notable quote of the day: “If I can’t find something, it’s probably up my shorts”
4.       We’ve all learned over the course of the week that Val is capable of telling 20-mile long stories (coffin—HA!)
5.       An unidentified creature managed to haul away a rather large piece of road kill only a small distance ahead of the riders. The debate now is whether it was a cougar or bobcat.
6.       We only suffered 1 flat today
7.       There was an awesome demonstration of teamwork at one point when our fellow rider (Laura) realized she had blown a tire as she was climbing a very steep hill. Not only that but she simultaneously realized her pedal clips were caught. Thanks to Amy & Mary for quickly identifying the problem, dropping their bikes and coming to Laura’s aid. It was a beautiful analogy to what we do every day in an effort to save lives on the verge of a crash. Way to go team!

     8.       As in every other sport, a good smack on the rear is appropriate especially when hill climbing. Thanks to Rachel for reminding Sherry of this acceptable behavior. It worked!
    9.       Karaoke--- enough said.
    10.   Singing the doxology tonight as we gathered for devotions in the hotel… once again, thanks to Betty for leading us with her beautiful voice.
Despite an Achilles injury pulling Sarah off the bike for the rest of the trip, we are thankful that God’s plans are always bigger. 
Rachel apparently has NOT had enough.
 She is now trying to ride the
bike rack outside of the restaurant!
She has been able to share Scripture with the riders on breaks and help out in the sag wagon. It has been a good reminder that God not only sees our futures, but will use our giftings and unique abilities as long as we are willing. 

We are all missing family & friends and cannot wait to roll into Maranatha tomorrow between 2:30 and 3pm. Please join us for a welcome back picnic… God has been good! Come cheer us to the finish line. We want to finish well--- to God be the glory.

Addendum to Day 6

We were pulled over by a concerned policeman. Thank you officer for your concern. 
When we arrived at the motel tonight we knew that we had no choice but to stop everything and give God the glory for all that He accomplished today.  We are really getting to know one another and loving it. What a great team we have.  

1.       We did not get lost today.

2.       We climbed over 3,500 feet and 1,000 feet in the last 60 minutes of the ride.
3.       We rode a total of 103 miles (12 hours on the rode).
4.       Praying at the bottom of hills for power to make it to the top.
5.       Sarah  has become the scripture girl at the break stops.
6.       MOOmers Ice Cream stop – at 80 miles …23 more to go (thanks for ice cream Don).
7.       We killed a snake today. Running over a live snake with a bike is rather scary.
8.       We had another rider join us for about ten miles of riding. Thanks for joining us for a while!
9.       Ben changed another guys flat tire at our lunch stop. The man was out of spare tubes and we have plenty since we went ALL day without a flat.
10.   Laura wins the quote of the day, “I would rather give birth 4 times than ride up these hills.”

Amy  and the gang pushing through the last huge hill
We don’t have many photos to post tonight because they are not loading well with the limited internet.

What a day! A very fitting verse was sent to us today.
                Psalm 121

                “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will neither slumber or sleep. The Lord watches over you. ..The Lord  will keep you from harm, he will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We pulled out of the cabins a little late this morning. It also started with a bit of confusion.
When the routine of beginning with breakfast is messed with we fell apart momentarily. Once on the road things smoothed out and we hit our first break at 19 miles. Carolyn and Betty fixed scrambled eggs, sausage and cereal along side the road at a park and ride. Delicious and fuel for the long day. We rode 100 miles today and felt like we were make in familiar territory as we cross the bridge. Last year we had the Port Authority sag us across bit we decided to do our own sagging this year. We had bikes and people squashed  into every nook and cranny of the RV.
We had lunch in Mackinaw at the Subway. (Big shout out to the girls and guys behind the counter - we threw them for a loop).
We met 2 gentlemen who thought what we were doing was really cool. (Shout out to you, Subway guys).
Upon leaving, we again had some confusion. The trail we thought continued for 10 miles suddenly turned to gravel. We rerouted and continued on to our destination of Harbor Springs.
Tomorrow we WILL leave on time and we WILL NOT get lost. That's the mantra for the day. :)

Thank you all who prayed specifically for the rain to stop. It worked! We rode in and out of rain a couple of times but nothing too terrible. There are mixed forecasts for tomorrow (rain, pop up thunderstorms or possible sun but warmer) so pray for the weather well.
It was a very late night tonight. We did not leave for the restaurant for dinner until almost 9:00 pm (that's what happens when we don't get in until 7 PM). We had a great dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and headed off to bed.  (Sorry for those looking for this earlier-food must come first!)


1. Quote of the day, "Let's just flip a coin to see what way to go."
2. We had 4 flat ties today
3. We made it across the bridge! Fun and exciting time.
What a group. Back to this side of the lake. 
4. Val saw the bridge for the first time
Val taking in the view.

5. Ben rode with us in his jeans
6. Lots of hills at the end of the day. (they have only just begun)

7. More gorgeous views along the top of the lake.
8. Ridng a full 100 miles
9. The State Policeman that offered to escort us out of town in the morning. (We did not take him up on it but it was cool of him to offer)
10. Dunes resort ice cream and pasties.

One extra little piece of information...
We believe that if Don Wickstra and Sirri had a trivia contest, DOn would probably win!

We ask that you continue to pray for our safety, sore bodies and injuries. We are doing this for HIS GLORY so God, please hide us in your shadow.

Good night everyone and thank you! (We will spare you the John boy routine tonight)
 - The Ride4Life team.

Sherry and Val - photo op

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We’re back!
It was a beautiful but cold morning! The first scenery of the morning was over the water, watching the clouds reach down into the water with the sun reflecting across the waves. Gorgeous. 
We made great time today even while climbing about 1,500 feet. When we left Escanaba the sun was shining brightly.  We rounded the bay and headed across the UP on US2, which provided us with a wide shoulder with a rumble strip.
Our bodies are feeling that we are on day four. Please continue to pray for muscles, rears (as strange as that may sound, it is a very important component on a ride like this), ankles, knees, tendons, shouldres, etc. You get the picture. WE ARE WEAK BUT HE IS STRONG!!!

Here’s today’s TOP TEN:
1.       Our 2nd flat of the trip (same bike)
2.       We finally found the ice cream stop and Don held  to his promise to buy for us all. Thanks Don!
3.       Avoided all the tires and road kill. Today the number one victim of those ruthless motorized vehicles was SNAKES.
4.       The wind at our back literally felt as though God was pushing us! Thank you God!
5.       The trees are beautiful and beginning to change. It just added to the majesty of following the lake. Our God is quite the artist.
6.       Don decided to take a swim upon arrival at our cabins tonight.
7.       Beautiful views all day long.
8.       Feeling your prayers!
9.       Great conversations while riding and later tonight during devotions. These people are impressive.
10.   We have raised over $70,000 between the two centers (Alpha and Lakeshore)! It takes around $1,000- $1,200 to save a baby and we are riding 700 miles. As we did that math and found that together we (the team and every supporter) are saving a life every 11 miles!

So, tomorrow we ride again and every 11 miles we will be renewed! We pray that you will all be conscious of what is happening during these eight days too. It is so much more that a ride around the lake. It is a ride for life!

Photos coming when we have the service to download. Thanks all and goodnight!

…Good night John Boy…Good night Jonna… goodnight Don…goodnight Sherry…goodnight Rachel…goodnight Amy…goodnight Sarah…goodnight Abbie…goodnight Ben…goodnight Betty…goodnight Carolyn…goodnight Shelley…goodnight Val…goodnight Mary…goodnight Rachel…