Monday, January 14, 2013

And it starts....

   My name is Len Kooy, I live in the Holland Marsh which is 30 minutes north of Toronto in Ontario. I am 45 years old.  I am married to Carrie for 27 years and we have been together for 30 (yes I'm asking her those stats)  We have 5 children, 1 son-in-law and 2 grandchildren.  I'm writing this blog under duress, it will be more writing than I've done since highschool. 
   I became interested in this trip after a young man in our church biked across Canada with Sea to Sea 2008.  I admired him and envied him as well, and always thought to myself if they do that again I'm going.  I'm not sure why I wanted to go so badly, I'm not a biker.  I've been a Christian all my life, but my relationship with the Lord has grown in the last two years.  One of our sons was struggling in his life with addictions.  We encouraged him to do a YWAM after hearing from another young man in our church that he was going.  Hockey has always been big in our family, so naturally a hockey YWAM made sense.  He decided to go last minute and we encouraged him and sent him on his way.  After three months of discipleship training he went to Russia for two months to play hockey.  When we brought him home five months later the changes were drastic and amazing and my wife and I were challenged in our faith daily by him.  He was relentless and it was good. 
   Growing up one of the younger of 9 kids in a family that was always on the go seemed to put my compassion level quite low.  Suck it up, work through it, if you don't do it no one else will.  The last two years have opened my eyes and heart.  What better way to serve God and others than to raise money for poverty?
   This trip will not be without challenges.  I'm not a biker.  I borrowed a stationery bike and have been on many times, 6 miles, 9 miles, 13 miles..
   A few weeks back I went out for my first "road" training.  I was on the bike for an hour and did 15.5 kms.  Wow did I learn alot that day!  My bike is a lower end mountain bike that my wife bought me for fathers day about 15 years ago.  So what did I learn?  well to start I should have pumped up my tires.. I now know what rolling resistance is!  2 kms into the ride and I started to struggle- come on fight through it I told myself.  Head down and pedal.  I look up and their runs a black cat right in front of me.  Good thing I'm not superstitious.  Lord help me I'm praying.  Another km and things go a little better.  I'm not listening to music so its just me and the road ahead. Its a quiet crisp morning, no wind -2 degrees.  All bundled up and I'm starting to struggle again.  Head down and I dig in again.  My mind starts to wander, hmmm lots of garbage along these roads, don't notice when driving the car... keep going, sacrifice, this is for poverty, I can do this.  I eat plenty I think to myself.  Just heard on the radio the other day that there are more obese people in North America than hungry people.  Things are going a little better again.  And the mind wanders again... my butt hurts, wow so many dogs around here- good thing they're on chains, why didn't I take the time to pump up my tires?  another tough stretch, but I talk myself through it.  Maybe my wife will have breakfast for me when I get home..  Are you kidding me?? Is that a Big Mac box on the side of the road (my weakness)  Lord you're supposed to be helping me..a little farther along a french fry box... ugh this is hard!  Alright Lord I hear you loud and clear, this ride is not at all about me.  It's about helping people who couldn't imagine eating as well and having as much as we do.  Thanks Lord for the reminder I think to myself as I dig in and keep biking...


  1. Thanks for the great read. I'm considering doing it.... but am a little fearful I can't make it. I did the Sea to Sea Nicaragua a few years back but I've gotten quite out of shape since then. Keep going!

  2. It's mental, it's physical, it's spiritual. It's the most incredible journey I've ever undertaken (4 weeks of the 2008 tour). There are a LOT of miles coming--uphill, downhill, in the wind, in the heat, and in the rain, and some days you won't feel like riding. While I could say a lot of things, the one thing I'll say is this: acquire a road bike; one with three gear rings. You won't regret it. Best wishes on the tour.