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Typical Day During the Tour

What to Expect on a Typical Day During the Tour

Getting Ready
A typical day on our bike ride starts with breakfast about 8:00 o'clock. The local pastor gives a short devotional thought before we began eating. After loading the luggage and filling the water bottles, we gather with our bicycles outside the church to take a group picture with the local members bidding us farewell.

Take Off
Again the pastor will pray that everyone will have a good time and for our safekeeping before we take off. One vehicle will be up front scouting the way and blocking traffic at intersections (if necessary) while Yuri brings up the rear with his van pulling the bike trailer making sure everyone is well taken care of. If for any reason, one needs or wants to get off their bike and ride in the van, this option is always available.

Rest Stops
About every 10 kilometers we stop and regroup and make adjustments and refill water bottles. As the day progresses, these stops become more social as games are be played while some lie out blankets on the grass to rest. Lunch will vary depending on whether there is a local church to feed us or we have a picnic somewhere along the road. We stop and visit any points of interest along the way like museums, castles or parks.

Riding in the Countryside
The terrain in Ukraine is similar to the Midwest with flat to rolling hills. It's an agricultural country and we ride past a lot of wheat and potato fields. Going through the small towns in Ukraine is like going back in time. Brick houses most likely have a garden and fruit trees with chickens and goats in the walled in yard. Wells by the road provide water for the community. It is common to share the road with horse drawn wagons. Ukrainian roads are typically decent. Our routes tend to avoid the main highways

Arriving Into Town
The Slavic people are very hospitable and make a point of welcoming us warmly when we arrive at the city limits sign for our day's destination. Sometimes there is a welcome poster (like the one on the home page when we arrived in the city of Poltava), almost always we are offered a round loaf of bread with salt from 2 girls in traditional dress, often a brass band adds to the festive welcoming atmosphere. Members riding their own bicycles accompany us from the city limits to the church. It is not uncommon to be interviewed by the local press and greeted by the mayor of the town. Occasionally we are given a police escort. They know how to make you feel special.

Showers and Food
Portable showers with warm water are set up to get clean before supper. A Ukrainian meal is really spectacular. It starts with a soup and progresses to a variety of prepared hot and cold foods (5 to 9 different dishes). Dessert comes after being stuffed and then the fruit in season is brought out to top everything off.

Evening Activities
After supper there is a meeting where the pastor tells us a bit about the church and the area we are visiting. Often church members provide some music for our entertainment. We introduce ourselves and receive some souvenirs. Sometimes there is time for them to take us on a walking tour of local interests. It doesn't take much persuasion after all the day's activities to head for bed. Most often this is a mattress on the floor with sheets, blankets and a pillow.