T Minus One

Anyone who watched the Apollo launches will remember the phrase “T Minus”. It was used along with a number that indicated the number of minutes / seconds until the Saturn V Rocket along with the Apollo capsule perched on top started it’s long, slow climb to space.

Today, I’m at T Minus One. One day to go. If I am not prepared now…. well, I’ll never be prepared for next week’s adventure ride from Minneapolis to Chicago with 13 other people who I have not yet met.

A countdown is a sequence of backward counting to indicate the time remaining before an event is scheduled to occur. NASA commonly employs the term “T-minus” during the preparation for and anticipation of a rocket launch, and even “E-minus” for events that involve spacecraft that are already in space, where the “T” could stand for “Test” or “Time”, and the “E” stands for “Encounter”, as with a comet or some other space object.

Other events for which countdowns are commonly used include the detonation of an explosive, the start of a race, the start of the New Year, or any anxiously anticipated event. An early use of a countdown once signaled the start of a Cambridge University rowing race.

The first known association with rockets was in the 1929 German science fiction movie Die Frau im Mond (English: Woman in the Moon) written by Thea von Harbou and directed by Fritz Lang in an attempt to increase the drama of the launch sequence of the story’s lunar-bound rocket.(Wikipedia)

I only know most of the rest of the team  I am spending the next week with through Facebook posts and short emails so I am looking forward to putting a real face to their “Facebook face” and finding out their stories. Many are from the Minneapolis area, some are from Texas and a few are from California. One is a teacher, one is a photographer and one is a Pastor and some are students. What I do know is that we have one thing in common — a desire to be involved in some way in the work that Venture Expeditions is doing in Chiang Mai Thailand with refugees and local residents. (More information is here and here).

The Old Sauk Double Climb

The first of the two hills that make up the “Old Sauk Double Climb”. Believe me, this picture does it no justice at all!

So, T-Minus-One. I waved good bye (at least for a while) to the “Old Sauk Double Climb” — the twin pair of hills that tormented me on every ride to work and the “Third Sister” climb further down the road. (By the way… those of  you who think that the Midwest is flat are horribly wrong.)

I also stuffed five days worth of clothes, a sleeping bag, a pillow and other miscellaneous items that I probably won’t use, into a Rubbermaid tub and filled a backpack with “mega protein this” and “mega protein that” bars and powder. One thing for sure… I’m not going to be undernourished!

The bike is also ready. I decided to bring “Banana” as my trusty steed this trip. Banana is my GT ZR 3.0 road bike dressed in the the yellow, black and red paint job. She has been with me on my longer training rides this spring and summer. I purchased Banana almost 7 years ago in Manchester Vermont and she has served me well in VT, in WI and on my climb up Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts last year. No doubt she’ll be perfect for this adventure too. (Brownie, my Raleigh Clubman, gets a week off as my commuting buddy while I am gone while Dumpy, my trusty town bike rescued from a landfill in Vermont, also gets the week off.)

I want to thank everyone who has financially supported and prayerfully supported this Venture Expeditions project so far. It’s a great thing when we can release resources that we have been blessed with to help others in the world where justice needs to be done. My job now is to stay healthy, enjoy God’s creation as I ride and make sure that the people we meet along the way can understand the importance of and the commitment that we have all made to these projects.

By the way, I am taking just enough electronic stuff so that I can pass along some pictures and writings of the experiences. We’ll see how it all goes as I record some of what I see and the people I meet.

Thanks again, all of you, for the encouragement, suggestions, advice, financial support and friendship as I worked up to the launch. I leave for Minneapolis tomorrow and we are all on the road beginning bright and early Sunday morning. Chicago… here we come!






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