Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 9, Issue 5

Issue link: http://cp.revolio.com/i/929813

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Page 20 of 50

There is something special about Milestones in life; with them I am drawn to both reflec ng on God's provision in the past and planning in accordance with God's will for the future. My 50 years in the wind began as the college age me rode BMWs and my first BMWMOA Na onal was back in 1982. In 2003 God called me to take a le turn from the straight line of a church based teaching ministry to pursue motorcycle ministry. My ministry journey began on the Highways and byways as I rode across the United States on a Harley-Davidson spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Chaplaincy training and Ministerial creden als were acquired along the way. This year a er riding the Harley to all 50 of the United States and all Canadian Provinces, some 250,000 miles it was me to go back to the beginning. In the spring I got in touch with a high school buddy and connected with his BMW pals from the Cleveland, Ohio area. They had put together a western adventure ride to Utah and the 2017 BMWMOA Na onal Rally in Salt Lake City. Their route crisscrossed mountain ranges and desert wastelands on secondary roads and trails something I had never experienced. They kindly agreed to my late enrollment so I pulled out the r1200gsa and set about to put the final touches se ng it up for a long distance road trip. On the appointed day I bungeed my camping gear aboard and headed out on an 1100 mile solo run to meet the group in Moab, Utah. Day 1 was 640 interstate miles to Albuquerque. Day 2 a shorter 450-mile highway ride to Moab. A er a day or so my neck was sore having to stretch up to look over the shield. As I was figuring how to cut down the shield I found the windshield was easily adjustable. So much for knowing your equipment! The rest of the trip was most enjoyable. I only knew 1 fella prior to the Moab meet-up and I found that the mix of people in the group of 10 exceeded any expecta ons to man these were great guys! The day 3 ride-plan called for a dirt road ride in the Canyon Lands Na onal park. Now I rode some dirt in High School, and have since ridden 300,000 or so miles on pavement and gravel. So I thought what the heck, I rode dirt as a kid, why not follow the group. That may not have been the best assessment of the situa on. As it turned out my first experience with a dirt road in 45 years was most likely the wrong pick. The Shafer Trail was something less than a road and something more than a path. It was not the; 8' wide road, or the cobblestone surface with sand and dirt finish, or the switchbacks with out guard rails, or the 500 shear drops, or what felt like a 30% grade, but the combina on of the above that struck a new found fear in my heart. I could not stop because of the very steep and narrow path, so forward was the only op on. As the steep grade got steeper I coasted and rode my brakes that quickly heated and then they began to malfunc on. Oh Boy! So being a praying man, I prayed earnestly as I pumped the brakes back up to func on and carefully feathered the front brake on the ride down. What seemed like an hour through the narrow switchbacks was probably half that but finally the terrain evened out and I was down the escarpment. Heart pounding I put the kickstand down and caught my breath. Thank you God! My friend Pete came by and said "U – OK? " I quickly sucked it up and said "sure just catching my breath" (BTW-the whole me it was 105d in the sun and I was completely covered in full armored riding a re unfamiliar to this Harley Ministry Milestones RUMBLE IN THE WIND RUMBLE IN THE WIND By Jeff Claes 20 WheelsOfGrace.com Issue 300,000 miles and s ll riding

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