Elk River (Part 2)

Rich Dixon keeps us on his journey


Elk River Day – end of Week 1, and Kelley, the first person on Dick Foth’s list.

God reminded me: the ride was His story. Bike riding was background. As I cranked through Minnesota forests, He arranged appointments.

Weeks earlier, in a draft itinerary, our friend Kathleen noticed Elk River, home of her close friend Kelley. So Kathleen invited Kelley to follow us.

As Kelley tracked us via GPS, she realized construction detours would direct us within blocks of her house. While I pedaled along, blissfully unaware, she called Becky and introduced herself. They arranged two speaking gigs.

First, we told our story in a park to a group of moms and kids who seemed fascinated by a 1500-mile ride on my odd bike. A relaxing encounter that couldn’t have been pre-scripted.

Meanwhile, the important stuff still happened beyond my awareness. As I finished my presentation and talked with individual kids and parents, I noticed Becky gathered with a small group of moms, obviously praying together.

The first week had been especially difficult for Becky.

I got to ride a bike. She managed equipment, arranged lodging on the fly, fielded calls and emails, and orchestrated an evolving schedule. She navigated, tried to keep me fed and hydrated. She also had to assist with dozens of small tasks inherent to wheelchair life away from home. Her role as one-person-do-everything support team proved to be more difficult, stressful – and isolating – than we’d anticipated.

We hadn’t accounted for cumulative effects of these myriad challenges. When I saw Becky praying with a group of women, I felt grateful for her moment of support and encouragement.

Another unplanned appointment. As usual, I was oblivious.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

And we still hadn’t met Kelley.

To be continued…

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  1. Pingback: Elk River (Part 3) – 300 words a day

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