Posted by: karljfeller | July 22, 2010

The Journey -What’s Next Papa?

We are only one day out from being done with our ride across America. I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday we were leaving San Diego for a 70 mile climb through the mountains. Pedal by pedal, we’re just about there…

I love San Diego so much that it was hard to leave that city. Then there have been so many places along the way this summer that I’d love to have stayed. But if we just stayed there, we would have missed so much of this journey, the experience of the ride, and not been able to play a role in raising support and awareness for this cause.

Tonight, I pulled up google maps and just stared at a map of America. It blows my mind! Here we are, almost to the end of the tour. Pedal by Pedal, mile by mile, day by day we have made our way across the country. So many times in life it’s easy to stay with what you know or like, what’s comfortable. There are times for that. But if you always choose that you might miss a greater story that God has planned out.

A theme verse for me this summer has been Romans 8:15 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” (Message Version)

When we choose to move forward, we stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us and the experiences we have had, but we don’t settle for staying where we’ve been. Instead day by day, move by move, we ask God “What’s next, Papa?” I’m glad all of us on the team decided to start this journey -each one plays a role in it! And now, we are almost there! Each day of this tour has been a chance to ask God what he has in store and now when we finish I’m asking God ‘What’s Next’ and trusting his plan and purpose.

Today I celebrated my 29th birthday and look forward to this next year with adventurous expectation!

Posted by: karljfeller | July 8, 2010

So long Texas, It’s the climb and Texarkana!?

We are now over half way done with the tour. I can’t believe it. It seems like time has flown by. We’ve ridden over 1600 miles already (not really sure how many, but a lot =0)
It’s been amazing to ride from town to town, church to church and meet so many people. It’s humbling and amazing to see the generosity and hearts of so many. As they join with us in raising support for Blood:Water Mission by hosting events, services, taking offerings or opening their homes. Some days I feel like I’m seeing some of what Paul must have seen as he went from church to church in the New Testament. Generosity and heart, people giving and serving, and seeing churches finding their unique purpose in their community. From a the many small towns like Carrizozo, New Mexico, where churches open their buildings and hearts to feed us amazing meals and welcome us, to larger cities like Chandler, Arizona, where my home church, Desert Springs, took great care us, it has been an incredible journey. More than being taken care of as a team, it’s been great to see so many stand with us in the purpose of changing lives on the other side of the world in Marsabit, Kenya. I posted a short video on youtube that Isaac Taleno helped me make about the need for clean water and medical clinics in Africa (a shout out to Aaron Smith and Matt Ward for helping on the text):

When we visited The Oaks Church in Red Oak, Texas, they held an Art Auction to help raise money for Blood:Water. A number of local artists donated their art to be sold to help raise money, there was incredible live music and artists who were painting art during the auction. My heart beats with the creativity of that night. What a great way to raise support! They also had us play a role in the auction by having each Ride:Well Team member paint a square on a mural of the Ride:Well Logo that would be sold either as a whole or as individual pieces (I’m not much of a painter, I missed using photoshop on mine, but it was a blast!). The event was a great success in raising money for the cause.

We also had a little fourth of July Celebration… Someone trusted me with a sparkler!? Thanks Ty for being ready to blow it out if things got out of hand.

And at the risk of sounding like a Miley Cyrus song… here are some quick thoughts: It’s the Climb.
On the way out of Quemado, New Mexico, it was freezing cold in the morning and within the first 4 miles, we had one of our hardest climbs of the trip… at least it seemed like it. During that climb, my knees started to hurt because of the cold. While we were making that climb, I started to think about how much more of the nation we had to ride across. I’ll be honest, the thought of over 2000 more miles at that moment didn’t appeal to me. In fact, I thought about asking the next car I saw if I could get a ride home.
A few days ago a some of us were talking about our trip so far. When I mentioned the ride that day, Anne Jackson told me it was good to hear that someone else had been at the point of giving up. It reminded me how challenged we all are at times. No matter how strong we might seem on the outside, all of us face battles that we have to choose to ‘ride through’ or run away from. And now, mile by mile, pedal stroke by pedal stroke, the team is more than halfway across the country. We’ve done it together, for a great cause. When you’re vulnerable enough to talk about your own struggles, failures and success in life, you just might help someone overcome their challenges.

I have 2 heroes from the team that I want to mention for making hard choices to press on when things have been tough.
Firsty: Melissa Foss, who broke her shoulder in 2 places and rode over 1500 miles until she found out it was broken! Ouch!
Secondy: The one, the only Crystal White, collided with a team mate and got a concussion on Saturday. She’s back with us and cheering on the team with her great heart!
At this point, neither of them are able to keep riding, but chose to stick out the tour with great attitudes and find new purpose with vision for the cause of Ride:Well. Now that’s real heart. They’re heroes in my book.

Tuesday, we entered Texarkana, where I stood in two states at once! Welcome to TexArkana in Texas & Arkansas. The little fountain under me marks the state line.

ps… I now have a new haircut. I’ll tweet some pics of it tonight… Haha, I’ve added to the rat tail.

Two days ago, we rode out of Quemado, NM to Socorro, NM… On the way we saw the huge satellite dishes featured in the movie “Contact,” I’ve never seen it, but have some of the sound track… anyways, they were huge. They’re called the VLA -Very Large Array. They move on train tracks and are huge. I’m not really sure what they’re for and we didn’t catch any Aliens in New Mexico, if we did, I would’ve posted a picture for you. My good friends Dustin Burkhart and Anne Jackson are holding up a marker board in front of them. At every water stop the drivers hold up a sign with encouraging, funny, crazy or random messages for us on the board…

Just yesterday on the way to Carrizozo, NM we rode past White Sands Missile Range… We stopped at a Rock Store where the owner offered Katie Pilman and I some Apricots from her trees cause she couldn’t eat them all herself. We got a few for the team and ate a few before she told us that we were only 15 miles from where they tested the first atomic bomb. Hopefully we won’t grow any extra eyes or something?!
Yesterday, my good friend Ian Pietz tried riding without hands and rolled over his front handle bars. He’s ok now other than a few scratches and a few broken parts on his bike. But he’s earned the nickname Eagle, for trying to fly on his bike…
Then today we rode by the biggest Pistachio I’ve ever seen! I wish I was tall enough to take a bite?! Ian Pietz and Dustin Burkhart are getting some shade in this picture…

Then, here’s a little challenge for all of you. Get to know the people you come in contact with in life. During this trip, I’ve gotten to spend time talking to team members. Riding ahead to catch up to some of them, hanging back to hear their stories… Finding out more about the roads their lives have travelled, the challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve ended up on the Ride:Well Tour. I’ve heard the story of a friend who was told he’d never walk again and now has run a few marathons and challenges other people to run. Another that left his job to be a part of the Ride:Well Tour. We’re surrounded by stories of champions. Learn to listen to and cheer on the people that God’s put in your life.

Another good friend of mine is posting some interviews on youtube so you can meet the team on his blog at: so hop on over and check his blog out too. Also, for more blogs from the team, be sure to check out all of them on the ridewell site at: -amazing stories and so much more!

Posted by: karljfeller | June 16, 2010

45mph and New Mexico

Remember that cart I said I wanted to build for my bike at the beginning of the tour? Well, I thought I’d let you jump in again and come along for the ride.Today we rode into New Mexico! One of my friends got a phone call for a new job, and another friends girlfriend drove all the way from Colorado on her day off to see him ride and cheer him on. She and her friend put together treat bags for all of us too with notes to each of us! How cool was that?!
This has been a challenging few days between riding up into Payson, then out of Payson and now into NM. The first half of today, we were hit by strong crosswinds… We were pedaling hard just to go 10mph downhills. After crossing the Arizona/New Mexico Border where we ate lunch, the wind died down. Today was more made up of rolling hills than it was mountains. Don’t get me wrong, we climbed some good altitude, but mostly on long hills. That being said, it felt like every hill was another mountain. I think that’s the challenge of a tour like this with riding day to day. It’s hard, but I’m so excited to be a part of this challenge with a global impact.

Throughout the day, I always spend some time talking and hanging out with the team, but I try to always spend some time riding on my own too… Praying, thinking, asking God questions… Today, I feel like God dropped this into my heart:Sometimes, life seems like everything we face is a HUGE mountain. When the truth is that we’ve maybe faced one or two, but some of what we are facing are just hills. When everything starts to seem like a huge mountain you’re facing, take some time. Stop what you’re doing, and reevaluate what’s going on. Are they really mountains? Ask God what his perspective on your challenges are -how to deal with them, rather than just getting defeated. The great thing is that a lot of the time when you’re at the top of those challenges, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Oh, and maybe learn to enjoy the victory too. On the way back down the last hill today, I reached my new highest speed 45.1mph -it was amazing! But it didn’t come without the climb. You can’t always understand God’s purpose, timing or way with challenges we face, but you can know that He’s right there with you, walking every step of the way.

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. Psalms 108:13
What mountain, or hill are you facing? Let God help you TRAMPLE those enemies, those challenges.
Ride your lifes journey with purpose!

ps I just found out that since Monday Morning, we climbed over 14,000 feet!

Posted by: karljfeller | June 14, 2010

Bald Eagles, Dead Snakes and 7000 Feet and Counting!

This last weekend, our team rode into dsc, (my home church) in Chandler, Arizona. It was an honor to share the vision of Ride:Well at my home church. We rode our bikes into the service and up a Ramp to the song SandStorm and I got to share part of why I am involved in Ride:Well. (I posted a blog about my the story I told from the hospital in South Africa a while back -heres a link: (An old blog) Africa Trip -2008

It’s a story I will never forget. That morning, the church gave $11,000 toward the Blood:Water Mission cause. That will change 11,000 peoples lives! How amazing is that!? Thank you so much to all of the Host Homes, anyone who helped with the food and so much more! You guys are Awesome! ps: a shout out to the Rempel’s for opening up their home to my friend Dustin and me. Zeke, thanks for lending out your room and starting the camp fire out back!

This morning, we left from Fountain Hills, Arizona to ride up to Payson. Shortly after we got on the road, a bunch of us spotted a bald eagle a tree. You can just barely see it in my picture, but it was sitting on top of that Dark Green bush in the middle of this picture.

We continued on throughout the day and made our way up to Payson. There were a ton of long steep climbs and a few downhills. On one of the downhills, I rode past a big snake. I think it was dead, sorry there’s no pictures, I didn’t want to stick around to find out. As we got into Payson a few of us stopped at Sonic for a little treat. All in all, we climbed over 7000 feet and rode a distance of around 80 miles as we rode through Payson today. A few of us actually ended up riding a little extra (17 miles) because we missed the camp ground, but we know what tomorrows ride will look like now =0). For anyone in H2O out there, we rode to where Tanto Rim Christian Camp is at -where we had our 2010 Coram Deo Retreat! Tomorrow we ride to Show Low, so I’m off to bed now so I can get up at 5a.m.

Posted by: karljfeller | June 9, 2010

Camel’s Milk, Chamois Butt’r & Crazy Love

It took me a few more days to get a new post up, so I’ll fill you in on more later, but day one we rode from San Diego to Anza Borrega State Park. It was crazy -up hill for 70 miles. We climbed 4800 feet that day. I thought I was seeing things, there was even one point when I rode away from the van, with fresh bottles of water and tried to figure out how I could take a nap on my bike… or get in the van, but they had already pulled away to go meet another part of the team. Then I saw signs for Camels Milk and was wondering if I really was going crazy. But here’s a pic of one of the signs, turns out they make soap with it!?:

It turns out I’m not the only one that saw the signs =0)
And a short note about Chamios Butter… Haven’t used it yet, but will be soon. Ask your local bike shop if you have questions about that haha.

And finally Crazy Love… My parents left me a message that day saying that they were thinking of me and praying for me and that they Crazy Love me. So… One of the things I focused on while I was riding that day was how much, how great, how amazing God’s love is. It’s crazy. Crazy Love. He doesn’t judge us based off of our accomplishments -how good or how bad we can do things. He doesn’t withhold his love because we withhold ours. He loves us in a Crazy Way… That reminds me how confident, how secure, how sure I am in Christ. He is my FIRM FOUNDATION. When everything might fail or fall around me, I can rest assured that HE loves me with a crazy love. And he loves each of you and this world with that same love, and invites us all to be a part of his family.

ps We may be riding through your town soon. Heres a link to the trip Itinerary

Posted by: karljfeller | June 4, 2010

Music of the Moment

Today was full of more training and finding out more about Blood:Water Mission and their work in Marsabit, Kenya that we’re raising money for.

The biggest thing for me today was talking about really being where you are. Not constantly thinking about where you’re headed or where you’ve been, but embracing and enjoying the moments you are living in right now.  In Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning talks about listening for the Music of what’s happening right now.  It will never come again…  If you get caught up in always asking God where you’re headed, what his plans are… you can miss what he’s speaking to you right now.  So relax, enjoy the moment, don’t miss the music.

Challenged in this season of my life to find God’s next step in ministry and career, one of my goals on this trip is to listen for God’s leading in this next season of my life. To be honest sometimes it’s all I can think of -with worry, excitement and wonder.  But today, God was challenging me not to get caught up in that as I seek his plan, but enjoy the present moment. The ‘music’ playing right now.

Tomorrow we ride with the teams for the first time bright and early!

Posted by: karljfeller | June 3, 2010

Ride:Well Tour -First Night!

I’ll keep tonights blog short, but just wanted to fill everyone in on what’s going on before I hit the hay. Today pMark & Brenda dropped me off at Faith Chapel here in San Diego, where I got my bike put back together and got to meet the whole team that I’ll be traveling with on the Ride:Well South Tour, the Team Leaders and directors of Ride:Well & Blood:Water mission. It was cool to finally meet people that I’ve been talking to over email, facebook and the phone in the last month. The Pacific Coast Tour Team is here too and I met two people from Phx heading out on that tour.

Tonight, we got to hear some of the history of Ride:Well -how it started with just a few guys that sold their car to buy their bikes on the way to Portland, and started riding across the country (without any training) and has grown to multiple trips each year. All for the vision of making a difference in the world. And over the years, Ride:Well has been able to do just that in greater and expanding ways. At the core of Ride:Well is the phrase: benefit the world. discover your soul. Something that’s been a core teaching around H2O and in my own life is that when you give you grow. I can’t wait to see God’s plan for this trip unfolds in our team, my life & how it will impact lives in Africa. Later this week I’ll fill you in on some of the specific areas and ways Ride:Well is working with Blood:Water in Africa! Then Sunday morning the Pacific Tour will leave during Faith Chapels early service and our Southern Tour will leave at the end of the second service and post some pictures)!!

Ok and random info for this blog… did you know that Starbucks is sponsoring this tour! They gave us Via and Via mugs!

Now where’s my sleeping bag?

Posted by: karljfeller | June 3, 2010

On the Road!

Here we are! About half way to San Diego, with my good friends pMark & Brenda driving me out! A big shout out goes to Texaco in the middle of the desert for Beef Jerky and Cheddar Cheese Pringles to help the drive go smooth. Today I get to meet up with all of the Ride:Well Team for the first time in San Diego and so the journey begins!
I’m so excited to be a part of Ride:Well and Blood:Water Mission and the impact they are making in the world. Not to mention the great memories that will be made, the relationships that will be formed, the changes and growth that God has in store for me and all of the team. Many of you are and have been a part of my trip through your encouragement, giving & prayers. If I could, I would build a cart on the back of my bike and take you all with me this summer. So this blog is your chance to climb in the cart and ride along with me this summer and continue to be a part of all that God has in store. I’ll post more soon!
ps This just in, we crossed the California Border, does anyone have a tooth brush I can use… this jerky did wonders on my breath.

Posted by: karljfeller | March 28, 2010

Ride Well Tour 2010

And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

I remember reading the words of Isaiah 58 while sitting at the back table in a coffee shop in Prescott a number of years ago on a cold November day. Snow on the ground and a warm cup of coffee in that busy shop near the town square, I had chosen to make my way out of town to spend a day just seeking God’s will for the next step in my life. Away from the distractions and normalcy of that season of my life, I asked God to give me wisdom, to help me understand his heart and his direction.

As I read through some familiar verses that day, somehow I ended up on a chapter I don’t think I had read before -Isaiah 58… It took me some time at first, but as I read it, I began to understand that God was telling me ‘spend myself’ on the things that have his heart. To help those in need -to do what I can to bring JUSTICE into the social injustices of our world. That chapter became a defining group of verses and challenge for me over the years to come. -How can I impact student and adults lives that are in need -spiritually or physically? How can I bring the light of HOPE where there seems to be no hope?

Now faced with the challenge of unfolding God’s plan for my life in this next season, I’m learning more and more to Trust in God and make sure that He is my constant and have been asking Him what steps he would have me follow in life.

Last year, when the Ride Well Tour made a stop at Desert Springs, something hit a string in my heart. Their cooperation with Blood Water Mission to promote clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa, tangibly reducing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic while addressing the underlying issues of poverty, injustice and oppression grabbed ahold of my heart. As my time on staff at DSC came to a close, I felt like the great opportunity for me to be a part of the Ride Well Tour was arising.

Through many gifts from dear friends, unbelievable support from Desert Springs Church and the board and an incredible discount from South Mountain Cycles, I’ll be able to be a part of this great tour! It all goes back to the challenge that God has stirred in me since that day he led me to Isaiah 58. How can I make a difference in peoples lives -physically and spiritually?

I can’t say thank you enough to every individual and dsc who has played a role in helping pay for this amazing cause. Also, the continued training and help that the crew at South Mountain Cycles has given me is helping me prepare more and more for this great adventure. Thanks Erik, Lindsay and Craig for answering all of my crazy questions. I haven’t fallen off the bike yet!

I’ve been training -running & taking classes at the gym since I knew that I would be a part of the tour and this Monday Morning my Bike was finished and I started training on it!

Then, this June, I will begin to ride across the country with about 17 other individuals to raise funds to help build wells in Africa -literally changing lives of the individuals that live in those villages! I will also be filming during the tour to help with a project that Ride Well is putting together to help raise awareness for this cause.

Will you pray with me that God would use this trip to raise awareness in the churches we visit, people we come in contact with and lives we reach into -so that we can bring hope to people in need?

I’ll keep this blog updated as we get closer to the tour and then I’ll be posting updates and pictures throughout the tour! So check back soon!

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