Bob and I finally took off on a much needed bicycle trip the summer of 2013; the year after his knee surgery. We were gone only four days but covered 260 miles. Lightly packing our mountain bikes with about 15 pounds each including the tent, we were ready to roll.
Our ride started on a sunny 88 degree day as we headed in a southwest direction. We were enjoying the back roads; soaking in the sun and taking in the scenery. About 49 miles later, the weather started turning. The initial light rain felt great against our hot and sweaty bodies, but that feeling was short lived. Ominous clouds rolled in as it rained harder, complete with thunder and lightning. Bob and I frantically pedaled faster, hoping to find someplace soon.
It was then that I said, “Oh Lord, protect us from the weather.”
A few minutes later, we came upon a driveway and leaned our bicycles against the tree near the road to get our rain jackets out. Following us was a truck that turned into the driveway and drove up to the barn. Just as we were about to leave, the farmer drove back to us and rolled down his window. The farmer said that it is a little wet to be out.
Bob responded that a little rain doesn’t hurt anyone.
The farmer replied, “House is yours for tonight if you want. It’s empty.”
The farmer explained he is about done remodeling it to rent out. Then he said, “Lightning strikes too. House is yours tonight and you can use the shower.”
Bob and I gratefully accepted his offer and had thankful prayers. The house and shower was greater than hoped for. After cleaning up and eating, Bob and I safely watched the torrential rain and light show as we thanked God for his protection.
The next morning Bob and I had some breakfast. We left a bit late; about 8:00 a.m. The skies were clear of the previous night’s storm. Still heading southwest, we continued on the preferred back roads. We encountered a couple brief light rain showers, which was appreciated on another near 90 degree day. Arriving at our destination early afternoon, we visited with a few friends before turning in for the night.
A Sunday morning started early with leaving at 6:00 a.m. and we bicycled 20 miles south. Reaching the outskirts of a town, we saw a couple on packed bicycles. Bob sped up to catch them in the parking lot they were in and shouted a friendly “Hello! Where are you headed?”
Unsmilingly, the man replied that they are going to Washington, D.C. and the couple kept right on going.
Bob and I looked at each other in disbelief. Never before did we run into anyone traveling on bicycles that were unfriendly. We started guessing the reason – agents who didn’t talk to anyone? Found out bad news? Had an argument? Constipated? We will never know.
Further up the road we asked a woman about where a good place would be to eat breakfast. She recommended a restaurant in a small mini-mall area so we pedaled there. We saw Subway first and decided on that instead. Entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the best music a person could hear on a Sunday morning: good old bluegrass gospel music. Bob and I agreed that would be the perfect place to sit and relax while eating breakfast and studying the map.
We arrived early to our destination. Since we had time before needing to set up camp, Bob and I bicycled to the other side of the river to explore.
Monday morning we left by 6:00 a.m. It was our longest bicycling day with about 85 miles by the time we reached home. The day started out sunny as we enjoyed the back roads. However, the skies looked questionable later on so we passed on jumping into a lake to cool off. The good Lord blessed us with the prayer I said at the beginning of our trip. He extended my request by allowing us to get home within a couple hours before the next big storm hit. Praise God for his mercy and grace!