DAY ONE

I cut my hair last night. Had a hot shower today. Repeat, a HOT shower today. Fantastic. First one in almost 4 months.

Had a great day today. My rear-end is a little upset at me, I’m more tired than I’ve been in a long time, but satisfied with the day’s effort.

So, for those of you just tuning in, today was DAY ONE of the Tour du Burundi. Here’s how the day went:

Bujumbura to Nyanza Lac:

Distance Travelled:  120.3 km

Average Speed:       20.1 km/h

Calories Burned:      2987

Fastest Speed:         48.8 km/h

Pretty good, right?

We rode out of the capital city this morning, waking up at 0530, breakfast at 0600, and we were off at 0700. After some treacherous navigating of the lawless (some might say brainless) traffic of the city, we were off! A beautiful, and I mean beautiful, lakeside bike ride, all pretty easy given what still lies ahead of us.

All TEN of us made it. Simon, the Tour’s mastermind, has been ill for months now and last night, he informed us he wouldn’t be able to join us. He showed up this morning with his riding shorts, jersey, and an optimistic attitude. We were praying constantly for his recovery, so this was an added boost for the whole team. Praise God. I thanked Him (God, not Simon) for (almost) every kilometer as it ticked by on the bike computer.

One of the joys of the ride was being able to spend time talking and getting to know all of the riders that have come out to join us. We have Ladd (USA), Simon (UK), and myself, already in Burundi, joined by Old Codger/AKA Old Paul (UK), Paul (UK), Matt (UK via Scotland), Andrew (UK via Russia), James (UK), and Super Dave (USA).

All of us turned out to be married. The fact that we’re all in Burundi right now means one of two things; one could surmise that our wives have driven us all to madness, and the only way to escape was to run away to the middle of nowhere and sign up for a ridiculous bike ride. The alternative is that we each have the loving support and encouragement from our better halves that made this entire ride possible. I think it’s definitely the latter. I love my wife!

We had some lovely scenery to stare at, other than each others’ vibrating tushies, we had NO delays of any kind, no punctures, crashes, etc. and arrived to a beautiful hotel in the south of the country for the evening. Some of the team accompanied staff from Scripture Union to show the Jesus Film to a group of about 300 people this evening. We’ll be doing that on every stop of the tour. Tonight, we had roughly 60 people who committed their lives to Christ for the first time! Glory to God.

I’ll be praying the following every day this week. “Every kilometer for Your glory, Lord.” The joke today is that I prayed far more often than my teammates, as even though or British brethren pretend to use the metric system, they still measure distances in miles.

Pray for team health tomorrow. My good buddy Dean has sore knees, and Simon may be out tomorrow, so pray for MIRACLES of God’s design for us. We are going to sleep now, so it is up to you to share about this and pray during your day. We have the toughest day of the Tour tomorrow.

I’ll try to talk a bit about each region of the country as we pass through it. The road that we travelled today was safe, and had many people walking on the sides, engaged in trade in small markets, and manning their shops.

Just a few years ago, the road was barren. No activity of any kind. The people were hiding from rebel and government troops. Most of the women that we saw today over the age of 14 or so would have been raped multiple occasions in their lives during this time. A sobering thought when thinking about my sore backside.

So we press on, focused on telling the story of Burundi and promoting this country to the world at large. God’s people are being persecuted in the Central African Republic, war is still upon this continent, and Burundi needs help and prayers.

Thanks for your support, emotional, spiritual, and financial. The money that we’re raising will be going towards our Medical Clinic, so please contribute if you can!

God bless you all, talk to you as soon as I can! Enjoy some of the images from today! I’m going to bed!

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