Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast
Authors: Tim and Debbie Bishop
Creating a life with another person requires more than just a physical relationship. In order to decide whether a person really is your soul mate or the person you want to spend your life with requires planning, getting to know the person and definitely understanding their point of view in many areas. Tim and Debbie Bishop took the long route to taking that final step. Both enjoying many relationships but neither finding that right blend or combination to complete either one they decided to venture in a world of online dating hoping to find the right person. Their journey into what Tim calls Cyberspace proved to be not only interesting but in this case a viable and safe way to for each one to meet some with the same Christian values, outdoor interests and even seeking the same end result hopefully a serious relationship. But, neither was too quick to move ahead a lions pace so they took it one step at a time. Hearing each one tell the story about how they met, their time together, their bike rides, their trips, discussions and seven year courtship you realize just how long it took them to finally bond but how special their relationship would be when they would finally join as one. Debbie at one point realizes that she would like Tim to finally make a move and commit. Tim was debating his future at work and whether it was time to make some real changes in his life. As you read the first chapters you will get to understand the huge responsibilities he faces everyday, the reasons he took so long to make up his mind to retire and the changes within his company that helped to solder his decision to leave. Restructuring in a company can often mean some huge changes are taking place. In this case two of his senior level executives were retiring early, his role in the company did not seem as great at is was before Tim realized that it was time to leave. So, April 30, 2010 was his last day of work. But, although he shared this information with Debbie she wanted more from Tim. Not thinking she understood his personal crisis as he puts it he did not understand that after so many years she wanted him to decide about them.
Describing what happens next and hearing Debbie’s innermost thoughts you being to wonder why it took him so long. Taking a break from each other allowed Tim to assess his feeling and realize that maybe he might lose the best person that ever came into his life. Everything in life is not perfect and it is during those difficult times that you need someone in your life for love and support. God was not going to figure out his life. God was answering both of their prayers now if they would both pay attention. Then miracles do happen on April 22, 2010 they went up to Acadia National Park and he finally popped the question. At his retirement luncheon he announced their secret and his family was thrilled.
Next the bridal shower, the big day planned and the final preparations for their cross-country trip by bike are discussed in detail in Chapter three. On page 25 we see Debbie getting their bike gear together as each one relates their feelings, their fitness goals and Debbie in pink relates how her school year was winding down, how Tim would lead the planning for the wedding and the trip while she completed the school year and its requirements. Two health conscious soon to be married adults were going to go on a cross-country route that might be span as much as 4000 miles to be completed by the time Debbie returns to work in September.
With colorful pictures, exciting details and definitely some tense moments before and during the trip Tim and Debbie prove that Two Are Better including many important life lessons and definitely great advice for everyone. They both belong the HopeLine- a service for difficult teens and young adults that brought them closer from the start. Focusing on teens and young adults that need some form of support and intervention while going through the many changes they encounter as they reach adulthood.
The preparations getting in place as you see Tim and his friend Jim working together on page 31 to set up the pannier locking system the journey is about to begin. So, all of you adventurous people that would like to take this tour with Tim and Debbie and enjoy the scenery and the ride get your bike gear ready, helmets in place, knee pads too, proper riding outfit and let’s being our journey. Plotting the course out of town and ready for action we hear Debbie’s voice stating that she never realized that now she and Tim would venture out together in the wild and their first stop well it happens people was in search of a restroom. But, not knowing where you would find them you guessed it some of these stops were in the most unusual places. The first day they went 47 miles and don’t say a word that is more than most could do and thinking it would take 80 days without any rest days they did great.
Throughout the journey you will see them both wearing the Hopeline T-shirts promoting the organization along with enjoying their trip.
The lessons you will learn, the advice you will get, and the thrill of the cross-country biking adventure all come together to form a well written, engaging, exciting book that will appeal to almost anyone. Along the way they went to many different churches and gave out cards for the organization hoping to help other teens. Their next concern was how to handle the many different terrains they would encounter and next they traversed over some hills and their ingenuity will astound you. So, let’s see some scenery as long as you are careful to not accept any rides from strangers or stop in the wrong places. First look at the St. John’s Bridge really breath taking and next page 43 is magnificent the Mulnomah Falls and on pages 44-45 these are breath taking The Columbia River Gorge from Chanticleer Point on page 44 and 45 Mount Hood. Well, bikes can have vender benders but or get stuck in the mud hear Debbie’s voice when she surprises Tim. After the desert they went to a camping site and that’s when things heated up for the newlyweds but that you will have to learn for yourself as they both had to deal with rattlesnakes, close quarters and tempers that needed to be tempered you might say.
The lessons that young couples will come away with are invaluable as Tim shares their pre-marital counseling, what they learned and areas they would excel at. Read pages 54-55 to learn more. You cannot ever hide from your problems or life so Tim explains that his former boss required that he have an exit interview and that process and more is explained in Chapter 5. But, visiting the desert and seeing the pictures on pages 60 and 61 will sooth anyone’s nerves and more. The incredible sunset on page 65 is amazing. No one ever has smooth sailing or in this case smooth biking as you will learn in the chapter titled Facing our Fears. Despite what they relate the pictures are breathtaking and if you have never been to Idaho you just might take a plane or bike ride after you see these glorious photos. Check out the photo of Roger’s Pass this picture is so beautiful and the greenery so vivid you would think you were there. A visit to the Fairview Baptist Church would renew their spirit and drive and then some physical issues come up but these two would never let that get them down. Contact with old friends, meeting a nurse practitioner Debbie shares how God delivered her from her own personal problems. We Can Do This tells the rest followed by Tornado Alley which is Chapter 8. Urban Travel is interesting and Debbie’s description and Tim’s bravery killing a strange bug brings some humor into this story. The pictures, the places the events and the people along the way bring this trip to life for everyone riding along with both Tim and Debbie. The interesting comments made by each author helps you see the trip through their eyes.
The last wing of the trip was through the Adirondacks where they encountered another flat tire. The most beautiful photo is on page 166. You want to know what it is you have to read the book and find out for yourself. As we visually see Debbie biking every step of the way she braves it at the end when she comes face to face with the most adorable deer. The final leg of the journey, the funny things that happened, the fact that they were brilliant at finding rest stops you can read, visualize and hear their thoughts in the chapter titled Homestretch.
“We experienced a precious simplicity to life on the road.” This says it all. Tim further explains their plan for a great “life system,” and many years of realizing that Two Are Better.
Age has nothing to do with enjoying life to its fullest. Living a healthy life and value family is important while enjoying community, recreation and spirituality. How do they get life’s balance? Read pages 191- 193 and you will find out. Some mysteries are only solved when you experience the situation or read about them yourself. This is one informative book filled with great advice for everyone and two people that are a total inspiration to everyone. So, I hope those of you who took the journey enjoyed the pictures, the scenery and the ride. Bike Safely:
This book gets FIVE NON-FLAT GOLDEN BIKE TIRES
Fran Lewis: reviewer