The last 2 km were by far the most enjoyable. We had a large group of cyclists join me for our bike parade to NKMB church. Thank you ALL for making the effort in bringing your bikes. It meant a lot to us. The parade was followed by an inspirational program in the church and some refreshments after. Thank you all who participated in the program. A special thanks to our MCF friends, Ndondo, Lydia and Mumina for sharing your powerful testimonies. Thank you to our friends who looked after ALL the details to make the evening flow so smoothly. Thank you for coming out and celebrating what God has done in 30 years at Mully Children’s Family.Ruth and I feel so blessed to play a role in representing MCF for the last 15 years. It takes a village to raise a child. (MCF is that village)It takes the world to support that village. (ALL of you who continue show interest/support for Ruth and my efforts on behalf of the kids at MCF are part of that supporting world). All we can do is say a big THANK YOU.
We picked up our MCF friends at the airport. I got home at midnight for a few hours of sleep before the final 333km. It would be interesting to get to meet some of the last 333 kids rescued by MCF, represented by my last 333km. Hope to see some of you tonight.
14,000km done, 1000km to go. It was another hot one today, but I felt good all day. Last day is August 8. ALL are invited to NKMB Church, 1315 Gateway Road, on Thursday, August 8, at 6:30PM. Come hear an inspirational program that includes our guests from MCF (Ndondo Mulli and the same children (I) Arvid transported across Canada in 2005) Refreshments will be served.
Also meet at the church parking lot at 6:PM with your bike to join our 12 grandchildren and others for my final 2km. It will be a lot of fun. We are looking for LOTS people on bikes. If a 4 year old and even an 88 year old can do it, so can you.
An Invitation for ALL to join us for GrandpasCan/MCF Celebration.
Arvid Loewen of GrandpasCan will complete his 15,000 km ride in support of Mully Children’s Family, celebrating 15,000 saved lives. It is all happening at NKMB Church, 1315 Gateway Road, on Thursday, August 8, at 6:30pm. Come hear an inspirational program that includes our guests from MCF (Ndondo Mulli and the same children Arvid transported across Canada in 2005, the Canadian Safari) share of life before, at and after MCF. Refreshments will be served. For those wanting to participate in the Bike Parade, (Arvid’s last 2 km) please bring your bikes and meet at the church parking lot at 6:00 pm. The youngest solo rider participating that we know of is 4 years old. The oldest is 88. If you fit anywhere in-between, please join us. We would like as MANY participants as possible. Bikes with trailers and toddlers are also welcome. Please see the map below.
I am back home. I am very pleased with how Race Across Oregon went for me. At age 62, I was the oldest solo participant there. I finished in 59 hours, 40 min, 20 minutes before the cut-off time. Given my schedule leading up to the race, I was certainly NOT well-rested and struggled with the need sleep the first night. I got through it, but was forced to take 3x 15-20 min naps. The second night went a bit better and I managed on 2x 15 min naps. The weather was warm, up to 37C during the day. The first night temperatures dropped to 6C. Both extremes. I thank George Thomas, the Race Director for allowing me to start 10 hours late. It felt a bit weird to be that far back, but I managed to mostly remain positive. My nephew Juergen and his friend Dave (now my friend as well) from Abbotsford did a great job looking after me. Thank you. RAO has 48,000 ft of climbing. That equates to 800 ft/hour (on average) for the max allowed time. Race Across America (RAAM) has 170,000 ft or 490 ft/hour on average of climbing for the max allowed time of 12 days. It felt like I was climbing 80% of the time, going downhill about 10% of the time and normal riding about 10% of time. The biggest challenge for me was the lack of recovery time between climbs. The scenery was simply incredible. It is very remote and my support vehicle was down to the last few litres of fuel in the extra jerry can due to arriving at the few populated towns in the late evening because of my delayed start. It ALL turned out great. RATTLESNAKE and PORCUPINE encounters: At one of the long climbs struggling at about 8km/hour at night, I saw a 3-4 ft stick on the road. Or so I thought. As I was within 3-5. ft, it recoiled, and went up into a striking position. In a split second I managed to change direction. It did NOT strike. It became roadkill from the follow vehicle. Shortly after, I just managed to avoid hitting a porcupine that was meandering down the yellow centre line. These two incidents were certainly helpful in staying awake. Now it is back to the task at hand on Henderson Highway. I still have 3,828 km to go. A slight problem. I have NO bike. My two bikes are enroute home (in the rental van) to arrive Saturday. My spare third bike was discovered to have a crack in the frame. Bikes and Beyond and Giant are trying to accommodate my needs. Not sure when I can resume. I do NOT have a lot of flexibility left in my schedule to be done by Aug. 8 at 6:30 pm. In the meantime, I will just take a nap. Thanks for your ongoing interest.
My support vehicle for Race Across Oregon is on its way. I will fly out early Friday morning after the Order of Manitoba Investiture Ceremony on Thursday evening. The race starts on Friday evening at 6 pm with a max. allowed time of 60 hours. However, because I can’t get there on time, I will start 10 hours after the official start. I will start Saturday morning at 4am. They will allow/give me a few hours past the official cut-off time at 6am on Monday to finish. My bikes are gone, too bad, so sad. Frank and Agnes, former boss and now good friends, are driving the van to The Dalles, Oregon. My nephew Juergen and his friend Dave from Abbotsford will drive to The Dalles and be the actual support crew for me. FYI: Frank was on my support crew in 1996 during one of my first bike races requiring a support crew. It ended in a dreaded DNF, and is etched in my mind as one of the lowest points in my cycling career. Frank and Agnes flew to Halifax in 2011 to present Charles Mulli with a $50,000 cheque when I set the Guinness World Record for crossing Canada in 13 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes. It will forever remain one of the highlights of my cycling career. Throughout our 15 years of being ambassadors on behalf of the children at MCF, hundreds of people have given of their time and resources to make this all happen. Thank you. I could NOT have done this without you. I humbly accept the Order of Manitoba on behalf of all of you. Thank you. I want to also highlight my family, our grandchildren and especially Ruth. They are my support/cheerleaders. Unfortunately this is an award presented to individuals. I believe Ruth is as deserving of this award as I am.
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.
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.