Update

African Connection links are now in the sidebar to the right, just below the My Travel section.

Click here to see a La Crosse Tribune article about the mission in Uganda.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This Year's Tour...

It's time to announce my plans for the 2010 bike tour. Cycle America is running the Coast-to-Coast tour again after a few years off. Having done the first leg, the Northwest Sampler ride from Seattle, Washington to Missoula, Missouri, the logical next step is to pick up in Missoula and ride the Mission: Montana leg, ending up in Jackson, Wyoming. And, being logical as I am, that's the plan.

That WAS the plan. In the last week, I've been working on my journal from the mission trip to Uganda. Something I'll be sharing eventually on the UjumbeUganda blog, along with contributions from others on the trip. The last chapter of the journal is actually a collection of thoughts on the issue of what I can do. In this, I concluded that I'm often not so much limited by ability as by will. It's not "What can I do?" but, "What WILL I do?"

The few tours I've taken have shown me that this is often the choice in cycling. Taking that first tour in the Pacific Northwest, going over Trail Ridge Road in Colorado and riding up to Bergun, Switzerland taught me that I can do these things. But, and you'll have to trust me on this, I first had to decide that I WOULD do them. And that, dear reader, was the hard part.

It was challenging to think about this in relation to the experiences in Uganda. Challenging to write about. And, as I noted in the meditation that closes my journal, I do love a challenge. So, I have decided to not ride Mission: Montana. Instead, it is off to Africa. My plan ~ take the money that I would have spent on the tour fees, airfare, shipping my bike and other expenses and put it towards the work in Uganda instead. I can do this. Easily, if truth be known. But I had to decide that I WOULD do it. So I'm telling you. I will do it. And you'll hold me to it, right? Thanks.

I'm thinking that I'll take a couple of days around the 4th of July, when the Cycle America tour ends in Jackson, and do some long rides around here. Maybe even spend a night or two on the road; I'll choose the motel option for sure. I'm looking forward to it already. It will be a different type of challenge, but there has been this idea of a Trapist Brewery Tour of Belgium. This summer looks to be a good time for a dry run in the beautiful hills and valleys of western Wisconsin.

Of course, I'll continue training. And writing about the training. And, when the time comes, about the tour, too.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trappist Tour . . . didn't know you were THAT interested in monks! Uganda & Mission: Montana - good idea - creating your own tour as a mission. I like it.

Spiffer said...

Wisconsin biking has a lot of beauty, and (my personal favorite), cows to inspire you. I miss biking there. Maybe when we visit this summer I could join you for a ride? But you'll have to go easy on me. Or, like Bill, you could just wait for me at top of F.O. looking not-the-least-bit-winded.

Jack said...

Sounds like a plan. I'm pretty sure summer is cow season here. And about FO. I am not-the-least-winded at the top quite often, as in whenever I am there ready to go down.