as written by Jeff
From Kohler-Andrae State Park to Manitowoc, Wisconsin
It started as a beautiful day… waking up near the beach in Kohler-Andrae State Park. The kids enjoyed the woods, the playground, our hammock… it was all wonderful. It had rained that morning for a little bit, but the beach was still gorgeous, and we had a filling breakfast of pancakes. Mmmm. Hey, we only had 33 miles to go today, so we could afford to luxuriate a little. Right?
Well, it became challenging rather quickly. The call to break camp was not a welcome one. The rain made things a little dirty and wet, and the arguments started, … in general everyone became a little testy. And the delays grew longer and longer. Rather than leave at 12 noon, we weren’t ready by 1:00. Or 2:00. I started to begin to panic a little…
We missed our 3:00pm checkout by 8 minutes, so we ended up paying for 2 days. That was a bummer. But then, real disaster struck. After just 9 miles of riding through Sheboygan, along some marvelous views of the lake, Jeff mis-judged a curb at the bottom of a hill and cut it too close. The right trailer wheel hit the curb, upturning the trailer, spinning it 360 degrees in the air, and landing on the opposite wheel. Miraculously, no one was hurt. We didn’t even crash! The result: our gear was all over the street and one of the trailer wheels was seriously bent. Wow.
This is what the wheel looked like after the trailer flipped over.
I was incredibly discouraged. Now what? Find a bike shop. Fortunately there was one just 4 blocks away: Wolf Cycling and Fitness (http://www.wolfcycle.com/). When I walked in with the bent tire, my heart sank when the first response was, “We can probably order you something.” Uh-oh. That’s bad. The owner tried a new wheel from a similar trailer he had in stock: almost fit, but not quite. I explained about our trip, so he began to try to repair the wheel, bending the rim back into shape using some pretty significant force. Some luck, but that was a BIG S-curve to get out. Then he had an idea: he should check in the back to see if he anything there.
Two minutes went by, then he came back holding a rim that had been hanging in his office for at least 10 years. It was an old BMX racing bike tire (an Araya 7x). He doesn’t really sell or carry them anymore. But it was exactly the right size, with exactly the right number of spokes. Incredible!
The job was time-intensive, taking each spoke off the old rim, installing it on the new one , then making sure that the wheel spin perfectly. In the end, though, we had a new wheel. I can not praise Harley or Wolf Cycle enough for their kindness toward us.
Harley, owner of Wolf Cycle in Sheboygan, working on replacing our bent rim with new & stronger one
Matthew 6:31-32 says “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” – I’d like to add “…or where will we get another wheel?” The lord is showing us during this trip that He is clearly in control, and this adventure is opening our eyes to the reality of His presence and provision.
Sunset in the Wisconsin country.
Unfortunately, this was another 2 hour delay for us. It was now 6:00pm and we still had 25 miles to go to our destination in Manitowoc. So we pedaled, and we pedaled. We watered a lot of fields along the way since we didn’t have much time to stop at a bathroom (and there weren’t many anyway). The views were gorgeous along County Road LS (Lakeshore Drive); I never get tired of seeing the lake. And, the Lord provided a rich sunset for us that we all marveled at.
It grew dark, and we still plodded along. At one potty stop a car turned around to make sure we were okay. The driver, Al, was very encouraging and wanted to make sure that we had a place to stay. He then blessed us by opening up a wallet of gift cards, took out two Perkin’s gift cards, and said “have breakfast on me!” Wow, really? The kindness shown to us… just blows us away.
Al, who stopped by to check on us. Could he have been an angel?
We could not wait to see our hosts for the night: Kyle and Char Schleuncher. Char was a member of our staff team years ago, and she and Kyle are wonderful people. We finally arrive around 10:00pm, exhausted, tired, and hungry. The Schleunchers had chicken, hot dogs, cheesy potatoes, and refreshments for us, and immediately our spirits SOARED… it was an oasis after a hard day. Baths and showers for everyone, some visiting with Kyle and Char, and bed… for 8 hours. Beautiful.