Mercy Riders

Pushing pedals, pushing hope

July 19, 2014
by Emil McCauley
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July 18, One Year Later

On this day we stay in Ohio, taking the historic Lincoln Highway for most of the hot and humid day. It parallels route 30, weaving north and south it, which means we’re not in heavy traffic. We enjoyed some tail winds again.

A Drive-in.  I haven't seen one   of these in a LONG time.

A Drive-in. Wouldn’t it be ironic to watch ‘CARS’ here.

I looked back at the original post for the day, and I mentioned the movie “Cars”, where little towns are bypassed by an expressway. This whole trip so far has been like the movie in a sense. Because we value our lives and aren’t allowed on the expressway anyway, we’re taking ‘back roads’ to get from point to point. Being on a bike, you can’t help but take time to look around and if we stop, we always seem to be greeted with genuine courtesy.

We finished the day at the Auburn Lake Park with 100+ miles ridden. In years past Greg and I would talk about the number of century rides we have done in a year, and 10-12 seemed to be a good year. Given that, this year is AWESOME.

July 17, 2014
by Emil McCauley
5 Comments

July 17, One Year Later

It was ridiculously hot and humid outside the hotel in Rochester IN at 7am. We got some limited relief in the form of a paved Nickel Plate Trail running south-east out of town until we get to county road W1000N. We cross Meridian St at some point and the road changes to county road E1000N. I’m actually better at remembering numbers than names. There’s heavy traffic on the Jane Adams in Chicago? No clue where that is.

Just west of Roann, IN we all needed water, and we see a woman in a driveway and ask for water. She doesn’t live at the home but gets the owner, who gladly gives us ICE and water. Ice, yet another commodity we take for granted.

Carol helped us out with water when there was none to be found.

Carol helped us out with water when there was none to be found.


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July 16, 2014
by Emil McCauley
4 Comments

July 16, One Year Later

With a generous two day rest, we’re on schedule and back on the road.  And it’s hot and humid.  It was hot and humid coming out of Denver, but it was more of a gradual buildup.  Here, after enjoying some civilization and air conditioning, it’ s a little bit of a shock.

I am the holder of the map, a mostly made up route based on lines on a computer.  The satellite view is not quite there yet in terms of knowing if the route you picked is all pavement or if you’re in gravel.  Today is all pavement, beginning at the point on the Old Plank Trail we ended a few days earlier.  I’ve navigated half of the route before on trips out to meet Michelle blueberry picking in Indiana.

The scenery today is traditional midwest.  Corn and other crops.  But there are some gems, a few depicted here.

No Caption Necessary

No Caption Necessary

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July 15, 2014
by Emil McCauley
6 Comments

July 15, One Year Later

On this day, we drive up to Chicago and visit some of the Mercy Housing facilities that we’re helping. The first stop is in Englewood, with 99 single‐room occupancy apartments and on‐site social services.  A few of the residents join us in a ride to Lake Michigan, talking about their stories along the way.  We ride up the lakeshore and cut over to Wabash to the South Loop Apartments, a 207 unit facility. A small reception is organized where we each talk about our experience on the ride thus far. Additionally, some residents are taking up a fitness challenge, and talk about their experiences. It was a great event to be part of.
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July 14, 2014
by Emil McCauley
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July 14, One Year Later

Sunday, a day of rest. Literally.

A big reason I wanted to be home the day before was to be able to participate in the St Vincent de Paul food pantry, which is hosted every month at my parish, St. Anthony Catholic Church. I joined at the charter’s inception 4 years prior, and it’s gotten me out of the comfort/complacent zone and out into my microcosm of the world to help the poor. It very much has played the important role of me not riding across the country to say ‘hey look what i did’, but to involve others in a great cause and say “HEY, LOOK WHAT *WE’VE* DONE!” The community “WE”.

I am getting as much out of being part of SVdP as the people we help. People in need asking for help, now there are some strong people. Having to put your pride aside and ask for help can’t be easy. As Bill observed during the ride, it’s easy for us to cloak our perception of things on a situation, only to find it’s not a good fit. SVdP has helped me in this area to focus on the person and their situation; to see Christ in them. I’m not there yet in every case, but like this ride, it’s a journey, and I know God has patience with me.
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July 13, 2014
by Emil McCauley
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July 13, One Year Later

On this day we are scheduled to be home at the end of the day. Home for half of us anyway. Once again we are blessed with great weather, not too hot as I recall.

Even though the miles are rattling off, early on we don’t seem to be making good time. Soon though, we begin to see familiar monuments from long rides we had done in preparation for this ride. Now the miles seem to go quicker as the “theory of relativity” kicks in. We’ve been down this road before so naturally it goes quicker, like getting older – time seems to fly by faster.

Claire, her father and sister

Claire, her father and sister


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July 12, 2014
by Emil McCauley
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July 11, One Year Later

On this morning we maybe spent more time than we should have at the local bakery next to the theatre on the square, but the goods were great, as was the coffee, and so were the local folks. The weather continues to cooperate as we try to go 128 miles.

The rolling hills continue, as do the bad roads, that is until toward the end of the day, when new pavement granted new energy to tired legs. The route we are taking will actually be filled with riders doing the RAGBRAI bicycle ride across Iowa. It started a week after we went through the state. Good luck to them.
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July 10, 2014
by Emil McCauley
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July 10, One Year Later

It’s good to pray in the morning. We always have during the ride. It clears the mind and focuses on the good things we are doing. We eat to get us going before we ride, then will stop and get a more substantial breakfast later, which we affectionately call ‘second breakfast’. We cross into Iowa along rt 275, which has a pedestrian walk along one side. Not all bridges have this amenity, so we need to plan accordingly.

At the Nebraska/Iowa Border over the Missouri River

At the Nebraska/Iowa Border over the Missouri River


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July 9, 2014
by Emil McCauley
4 Comments

July 9, One Year Later

Last year I wrote I didn’t remember much about this stretch. Looking at the route and reviewing some pictures, a few things come back. Claire had called ahead and secured a place to stay in Omaha NE, only 120 some odd miles away, saving us money on lodging yet again.

Michelle and the boys often go out and hit some museums and saw the sights. On this day they visited a museum of small, old buildings. Mark and Matt enjoy the basic of small spaces.

We're happy that pictures don't have audio

We’re happy that pictures don’t have audio


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