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  • Timothy Bruce

A full second week completed and time to relax on the beach

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

The second week of the East Coast Ride has taken us from Wilmington in North Carolina to Virginia Beach in Virginia, including:

  1. Some cool early mornings followed by warm temperatures by midday

  2. 2 rides around over 70 miles and 3 rides of around 50 miles to clock up a total for the week of just over 290 miles, with some tough headwinds

  3. A Build Day on the Wednesday repairing a roof and kitchen floor,

  4. 2 nights based out of a Mid-County Volunteer Fire Station near Roper,

  5. An evening of praise and worship at Beulah Baptist Church

  6. An afternoon at the beach in Virginia Beach

By now we have all found the routine of packing our cases, taking them to be stored in the trailer, having breakfast, cleaning up the building before we ‘circle up‘, all in 90 minutes of waking up. At our ‘circle up’ we discuss the upcoming ride, someone shares a devotion, we celebrate successes, individual contributions and our hosts before starting the rides. Making an early start means that we have finished most of this week’s rides before the temperatures really start to rise, however, next week we face the prospect of some longer rides and potentially even earlier starts.


This week we have also been riding into some tough headwinds which have made the rides seem longer and slowed our bikes down. Nevertheless, we have still had to clock up the miles and persevere through the rides. Many of us have felt pretty exhausted on arrival at our host venue and sometime staying awake has been difficult. Riding as a group can help overcome the headwinds as the lead role can be shared amongst the group. This has helped to build a far more cohesive team of riders as we have supported each other on these rides.


We had a great build day where the crew I worked with started the process of replacing a leaking roof, whilst another team replaced the flooring in a kitchen. On my group we started by stripping the leaking side of the rook all the way down to the base board, then we laid a sheet covering before starting to fit new shingles. Just a few people could go on the roof at a time and I climbed on to trim the edge pieces to give us a clear, repaired roof to start the reinstatement work. I also climbed on as part of a second team to fit the shingles. We all returned back to our base with a sense of achievement, with many of us doing roofing works for the first time.


Whilst doing this work we stated fire station building where if you opened one the doors, everyone in the building knew about it. I was based in the gym room, situated between two cycling machines which for some reason, I did not feel inclined to use! One particular morning at our ‘circle up’, Jennifer shared her story and there were tears and cheers as she told us about her life experiences. It is so wonderful how honesty and vulnerability can be so powerful!


On the Friday evening, I agreed to facilitate an evening of praise and worship on the piano in the sanctuary, with support from Morris Mathis’s on the drums. We had no rehearsal time and I had the scour the available hymnal to find songs that I knew I could play. Most of them played from memory although I did have some songs on my iPad. I started off with ‘When I survey the wonderous cross’ played to the tune I played with my father, before he died, as a result an emotional experience every time. The pastor of the church gave me a book of encouragement the following morning as a token of his appreciation for our discussions and time of worship. We hope to stay in contact and talk about the book, ‘Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians’ by James Gilchrist Lawson.

Our final ride of the week brought us to Virginia Beach, with Jonathan Barringer wearing his sumo wrestler outfit. This shorter ride allowed us sufficient time for us all to visit the beach and some went for a swim in the ocean. I have to confess I was not among these intrepid few but I did have a fabulous seafood meal, shared with Dan and Cindy Hepp and David Maidt. Yum, Yum!


We again have a day off tomorrow so the chance for swim may still be there - watch this space!

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