Open Road Press

Fathers Matter

July 3, Day 1 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

Overlooking the Pacific OceanDebbie and I couldn’t have had better hosts to launch us into TheHopeLine Tour of 2014 today. Jim and Karen Massey laid out the red carpet in grand fashion with the same warm hospitality that they treated us to in 2010 preceding our honeymoon on wheels. Jim drove us to Manzanita on the coast of the Pacific Ocean this morning. We then ran into him several times during the first fifteen miles of our route, as he enjoyed leapfrogging us and providing all sorts of encouragement. Thank you Jim and Karen for another wonderful send-off.

I experienced an object lessons early in the day. When Debbie and I first mounted our fully loaded bicycles, it was a rude awakening. We trained on loaded bicycles in the past several weeks, but not with the amount of weight we had this morning. The official weigh-in revealed that Debbie had roughly 60 pounds and I had 70 pounds, excluding our own body weight and that of our bicycles. When I ventured down the hill, I had difficulty keeping the bike in a straight line, this while cars were whizzing by merely feet to my left. In a short time we stopped, and I shifted a pound of weight from my front left pannier to my front right pannier. What a difference! The bicycle was now in balance, and much easier to control and ride.

How many of us struggle in life when things get out of balance? But making an adjustment to address the problem can make life much easier.

Down the road in Tillamook, we ran into two sets of bicycle tourists. We were struck by the theme of fatherhood. First, there was Charlotte, a recent high-school graduate who was cycling with her father. How cool is that? Then two college-age brothers were cycling together, while their dad was back home arranging lodging for them for the night. These two encounters were in stark contrast to many of the youth we chat with on TheHopeLine, who do not have loving fathers like these two. Many of their issues stem from the lack of effective adult leadership in the home.

Toward the end of our day, we climbed a challenging hill of 800 feet. It’s amazing how these hills are right on the Pacific Ocean. A few miles later, we enjoyed a pleasant ride aside the beach, as shown in this video.

Tomorrow we will be heading inland. We’ll also step aside to allow Tim Altman, the CEO of the Dawson McAllister Association, to present a guest blog post. Tim oversees both TheHopeLine and the production of radio content for the organization.

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