Arvid, we don’t have time for all your issues ….. So after a bit of a challenging morning riding through the thunderstorm and fixing 3 flats, I was reminded of my 2012 GWR attempt. We were sitting in a Tim’s at 2am somewhere in Quebec, when my friend (and support crew member) Weldon asked me how I was doing. He was expecting to hear ‘good’ but instead I was giving him a rundown of all the things I was dealing with. He looked at me and said: “Arvid, we don’t have time to deal with all your issues. Finish your double double and get on the bike”. So this morning, after a warm shower and a short nap, I took Ruth out for breakfast. When we came home the weather had improved, I fixed my bike problems and set out to test if ‘mega miles’ are also good for getting faster. I set out to do a fast 100km. I was back in 2h, 55min, averaging 34.1 km.I have not been able to break the 3 hour mark in over 10 years. Maybe there is hope for us old guys yet!
My 4 AM start is a bit rough. Lightning, winds, downpours and 3 flats in the first 3 hours have caused me to be picked up by Ruth. Not sure what I will do today. I have a done of prep for the Oregon race to do anyway. Will decide after I am warmed up.
Here is what is up for me this coming week. (at least that is the plan)
Monday 333 kmTuesday 333 kmWednesday 333 km Thursday off Friday 500 kmSaturday off Sunday 500 km Any ‘awake minutes’ left beyond the riding time are spent on finalizing the plans for the four events in August and Race Across Oregon July 19-22. Some have said to me; “You have already done 30 days of these kind of distances. You can continue to do this”. I hesitantly agree and yes, I believe I can do this, however I am still nervous and somewhat fearful. Each day requires a fresh resolve and a willingness to dig deep into the character that defines me on so many levels. If it would not be for the platform that this provides to be a voice for orphaned or abandoned children rescued by MCF, I am not sure I would have the willpower to do even one day. When I am asked;What is the single biggest strength you have to be able to do this? My answer is;I know the life of a child filled with despair and hopelessness will be transformed into a life filled with opportunities and hope as a result of the work of MCF. So my alarm will go off at 3:45 am. I count it a privilege to get up and ride my bike for 333 km to offer ‘Hope’ for a child that presently has none.
500 km = an honest days work 17 hours, 51 min includes 23 min off bike time. Average riding speed was 28.6km/hour. Here is the liquid I consumed to do this today: 8 bottles of water 9 bottles of Gatorade2 litres of Pedialyte
Being at peace Every clear morning, around 5:30 am I reach the spot on Henderson Highway that turns east. Today there were NO people and NO cars for the first two hours. At this turn of Henderson Highway I am always able to see the most beautiful morning sunrise sky you can imagine. Today it was particularly beautiful. I sensed a peace that is hard to describe. I felt totally at peace with God. I felt totally at peace with the people in our lives. I felt totally at peace with myself. I was lacking nothing. I realized how blessed I am to be able to ride and celebrate 15,000 changed lives, now filled with Hope for a better future. Thank you, Charles & Esther Mulli, for allowing Ruth and I to be your ambassadors in Manitoba and beyond. I was able to translate this peace into another personal best on the bike.333km in 11h, 33min, at an average speed of 29.1km/hour and only 8 min off bike time. I am off for 2 days before I begin my first of 3 x 500km days in preparation for the 1005 km Race Across Oregon later in July.
7766 km done – 7244km to go. Ruth and I decided to celebrate crossing the half-way point by going to Applebee’s after I completed 333km today. I am pleased with how it is going. My health is very good, my attitude is mostly positive.Thank you for your prayers. Today during the rain a lady stepped out waving her hands frantically from the end of her driveway. My first thought was that she needed help, so I stopped. She said that they have noticed that I am out there everyday. They even timed me that one lap takes 1 hour. They concluded that either I had NO life, or there was a very important reason I was doing this. So they decided to ask me. I briefly explained what I was doing and sent her to grandpascan.com for more info. I am off tomorrow!!!!! I wonder what I will do at 3:45am when I wake up.
5433 km done, the dreaded middle third syndrome is about to begin. Things have gone well so far. Just finished my second day in a row in under 12 hours. 11h, 59 min and 11h, 57min, averaging 28.2km and 28.4km/hour, with only 13 min off bike time each day. However…… things are changing mentally. Entering the second third of any event, no matter how long, can become a huge mental challenge. I wake up at 3:45AM, and my first thought is; “What was I thinking cycling 15,000km?” I am too far in to quit, but riding another 10,000km seems inconceivable. This is also when you start to doubt all kinds of things. These kids rescued by MCF are not my responsibility, I don’t need to do this, etc. The middle third can easily turn into an emotional roller coaster, and the slightest thing to go wrong can become very challenging. The middle third builds character. I am very much aware of this mental struggle and quite well prepared (I hope) but I would appreciate your prayers for me to stay mentally strong. There is an end to every day, that is very good.
Our son Paul and his family took us to Half Moon for Father’s Day. Three generations of Loewen men. We are so blessed. For a change, I was able to enjoy the ‘scenic’ Henderson Highway from the passenger seat of a van, instead of the seat of a bike. Thank you guys for this special outing. On our way back we stopped to take a very special photo. This is the future home of the so-called ‘Mully house’. Our friends from the Riverbend Hutterite Colony are RTM home builders. They sold a house that is presently under construction, to the owners of this property on Henderson Highway. Many of the sub-contractors and suppliers are either giving huge discounts or in some cases even free service/products. Riverbend Colony is donating all the labour, etc. In other words, all proceeds from the sale of this home will go to Mully Children’s Family. It it is becoming a huge fundraising initiative. There will be a celebration and home dedication/fundraising event at the Riverbend Colony on August 10th. We will bring our Kenyan friends to Riverbend to help celebrate MCF’s 30 year anniversary, Charles Mulli’s 70th birthday year, the 15,000 children (now adults) that have graduated from MCF and the completion of my 15,000 km ride and our 15th year of extreme cycling events on behalf of MCF. The plan, Lord-willing, is to move the house into place on (Henderson Hwy) on August 12th. Beginning tomorrow morning at 5 am, I will pass the flag 24x/day. The MCF flag on the side of the road will serve as constant reminder of why I am doing this. It will be a huge encouragement for me. Thank you Michael Maendel and Riverbend Colony for partnering with us and MCF in such a powerful way. Blessings on you. God is good.
When I take some time off the bike for a number of days, especially before a big event, sometimes I wonder if I still even know how to ride.
I think some runners experience the same feeling before a marathon.
So I decided to go for a fast (for me) 100km today. I managed to ride 100km in 3:07, or 32km/hour average speed. For an old guy, I was pretty happy about that. Having this week off, going camping and catching up with our grand kids has been wonderful. Two more days and the real work begins again.
4000 km done By now I am quite familiar with the cracks (and there are plenty) on the road on Henderson Highway.
So far, for the most part I have been able to direct the potentially mind- numbing boredom of riding the same ‘loop’ 12 times a day, into an opportunity for growth; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I carry a miniature pocket radio, using the right earbud only. There are a LOT of choices of ‘talk’ radio, music and inspirational programs.
My daily goal is simple, ride 333 km before coming home.
Executing this goal requires perseverance, courage and dedication to complete. I believe that these are character traits that can be developed further. We are NOT limited by what we are born with.
Romans 5:3-4; Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
While God calls us to persevere in our faith, (a lot more important than cycling 15,000km), the lessons learned on Henderson Highway can play a significant role towards that ultimate goal. I believe that it is good to plan a deliberate (controlled) activity that helps shape the person God wants us to become. For me, this summer it is Henderson Highway. But boy, I am so excited for this planned week off. Sitting around a campfire without my legs going round and round, will be great.
6 days of 200km/day went really well. I have been able to stay on the bike with next to NO off bike time, other than a flat. If you are interested, visit Arvid’s stats for the detailed info. Thanks to Ken and his friend and Nicole who came out to provide some km of drafting this week. Much appreciated. Thanks to the Friesens, Loewens and a few others who came out to cheer me on. For many years I have been so privileged to hear, “Go Grandpa Go” shouted out of a passing van. Paul even followed me on his electric Unicycle for a few km. That thing can do 30km/hour. I don’t think I will ever try it, as it is enough of a challenge to stay upright on two wheels, never mind one.
Monday at 5am the real work begins with 333km/day.
It was fairly calm and the temps reached the mid-twenties. I had to think of how blessed I am to be able to do this and I thanked God for my health/strength at age 62. I reached 10% (1500km) today. That means celebrating the first 1500 lives of former destitute kids, whose lives and direction has been changed by Mully Children’s Family. I am very pleased with my cycling results thus far. Besides the two flats, I am off the bike for only 2-3min/day so far. That of course will change significantly when I begin the 333km/day next week. I can only carry food and liquid to fuel me 100-150km on my bike, so I will need to replenish a few times a day. I have had 2 sub 7 hour times for 200km unsupported this week so far. I have not done that in years. I am so thrilled for the 20+ solos/family units who have let me know that they are participating in the 1000km challenge. There may be others that I don’t know about yet. It is NOT too late to join the team of difference makers. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you ride 1km at a time, remember that it represents 1 transformed life. The funds you raise/donate will help transform the next 15,000 lives.
Yesterday I had a discussion with a few Hutterite friends. They were all excited about the rain that was in the forecast for today. Their freshly seeded crops were in need of the moisture. If I am honest, I did not share their enthusiasm about today’s weather. Then I was reminded of our first visit to MCF in 2016. While touring the facilities, Ruth and I got a bit frustrated with the rain and all the clay sticking to our shoes. Angela, our host, did not make any apologies. She simply said: “Around here we call the rain showers of blessing and we thank God for them.” So today, as I cycled in the rain, I thanked God for the showers of blessings. I was still cold, but I was NOT miserable.
The weather was rather pleasant with sunshine and a very moderate wind, for a change. The best biking weather I have had this year.
I was very pleased with My first day efforts as I am trying to ease in to it.
Start 9am, finish 2:07pm
Total time 5h 7m, riding time 5h 4m, off bike time 3m
Average riding speed 29.5km/hr
I was surprised by a visit from our friends and former support crew Ernie & Fritz. They began their 1000km Challenge with a quick photo on the side of the road. Thank you for joining our efforts on behalf of MCF.
To read the full project description, download the PDF.
To participate by riding your bike in support of MCF, download the PDF.
Arvid's stats are updated daily in an online spreadsheet. Click here.
May 20: As the ride begins, pray that we will have strength equal to the task ahead!
Charles Mulli is a former street child from the slums of Kenya. He became extremely successful in business, but then God called him to give it all up and care for the orphaned and abandoned children still on the streets in Kenya. Charles Mulli is the founder and CEO of Mully Children's Family. To learn more about MCF, click here.
God has called me (Arvid) to be an ambassador for Mully Children's Family. I have chosen to use ultramarathon cycling as my platform from which to fulfill this calling. You can follow my ride, here, at www.grandpascan.com/ride. To read more about me and my story, click here.
I am asking you to help. I am trying to raise funds for the ongoing and capital expenses for the child mothers program at MCF. This program provides the critical life skills the young mothers need. To learn more about donating, click here.