This will be my fourth year, 7th ride, and I have slept on church floors over 170 times. It’s well worth the simple living, and ‘sacrifices’ to comfort, because we’re helping families in need, meeting great people along the way, making friends, and bonding with fellow riders.
During orientation last Saturday we met 38 fellow participants, learned names, then learned names again as we were in helmets, sunglasses, and bundled up in riding gear. Another great group of people to get to know. Weather cooperated and the practice ride went fine; a short 11 miles just to get to know how people ride together, making for a safer group.
Sunday we enjoyed a nice introduction and fellowship with Holy Lutheran Trinity Church. Then we packed, dressed for biking and were off down the Nachez Trace Parkway, on the way to Jackson, MS, to arrive next Saturday. This was a short ride day of about 37 miles, but we had rain with temperatures around 43 or 44 the whole way. So we arrived at the church thoroughly wet and cold. This was our third stay with the best small church, Shady Grove Methodist, I have experienced in my three years of riding. No disrespect to any of the other great churches we have stayed at, but Shady Grove has a Sunday attendance of about 30 people, and more than half of them showed up to great, meet, welcome and feed us dinner and breakfast. Their mission starts at the exterior doors of their church.
Today we rode about 55 miles to Collinwood United Methodist Church, another church hosting for the third year in a row. No rain today, but temperature showed 28F for the first leg of the ride. Finally got over freezing after the second stop, and it warmed up all the way to 39F when I rode up to the church. In my opinion the cold can be dealt with if the proper gear is worn, and the rain can be dealt with if the proper gear is worn. Temperatures like today, with rain, make for very difficult riding. So we were lucky, and so glad we’re not home being couch potatoes. I just love it.