Kent Klassen Interview - Virtual Cyclist for Love In Motion 2016
What drew you to cycling?
Kent is an avid cyclist who enjoys both Mountain Biking as well as Road Cycling and participates in 4 – 5 races per year. This wasn’t always the case. Kent described his introduction to cycling as a “health intervention” on behalf of his older brother, Perry. He was picked up by Perry one morning and taken to “Lifecycles” bike shop where he purchased his mountain bike and it’s been “downhill” since then! Kent added Road cycling about 4 years ago as a form of cross-training.
How did you hear about LIM?
Kent attends Aldergrove Alliance Church where Love in Motion was being promoted. This church hosted the lunch stop for LIM Day 1 back in 2014. He joined Team Aldergrove along with Amy Broadwell & Dianne Murchison. The team was very thankful for the incredible support they received, financially and prayerfully. Kent has attended Alliance churches his entire life, which made the idea of embracing Alliance roots & cycling for an amazing cause a great fit.
What drew you to get involved in the LIM ride?
As a business owner, Kent has been very blessed by the community of Chilliwack. Kent was also familiar with the amazing work of Ruth & Naomi’s Mission in Chilliwack. This was one way I could “Love my neighbor” says Kent and “give back to this community”. The LIM ride hit at a peak time of business for Kent not allowing him to take the time off to participate. But Kent had already figured a way around that by planning his “own” rides for the entire week of Vancouver Island LIM. The week the ride took place Kent was working his full-time business as well as doing rides in the evenings. He completed seven rides: four mountain bike rides and three road bikes rides. In the end completing equivalent kilometers to the Vancouver Island ride. He also encouraged buddies to cycle with him and get the word out about “Love In Motion”. And the word is out – as a “Virtual” cyclist, Kent has raised to date $5250 for LIM 2016!
His LIM experience . . .
Any one participating will tell you that so much of the energy for the ride – comes from the people you are riding with and having a common goal. Cycling has so many analogies of the how the body of Christ works together and how we get through our journeys in life. A “peloton” is a main group or pack of cyclists that ride together to save energy. The reduction in drag is dramatic. Kent rode with friends and kept in touch with Amy and Dianne on their ride during the week via “texts” and “selfies”. In this particular photo below, Kent’s wife Gayle commented on the Fox gloves. She meant the flowers, we were looking for his cool bike gear!
Kent concluded that his experience with this ride was an amazing one and it has left all of us wanting more!
I became aware of Love in Motion 2014 from an Edmonton buddy who rode in one of the many Bike for Bibles’ rides that I have done. It seems that many people we meet on charity bike rides are
friends for life! The minimum fundraising goal for a full distance cyclist on Love in Motion 2014 was $9,000.00 – I believe I raised upwards of $13,000.00.
One of the most important things to a cyclist on a long distance cycle tour is the tour manager. Ed Witvoet led Love in Motion 2014. I have experienced many different tour managers in 18 years, but Ed stands out. He has excellent leadership skills, is personable, relates well to a myriad of difficulties that arise along the way, is a great cyclist himself and immediately gains the confidence of the entire group. Ed comes with a lot of experience, having previously been the tour manager for two cross-continent rides for Sea to Sea.
I ride a lot of km’s that are not directly connected with a charity – everytime things get difficult (sometimes many times each day), I think to myself, “What are you doing here?” On those rides I do not have a good answer to that question, but when I am on a charity ride, my perspective is completely different as I know beyond doubt that, in my own small way, I am doing what He tells me to do in His Word.
Riding a motorcycle for charity! How cool is that? It was the spring of 2012 and my youngest daughter, Cara, was graduating from high school and keen to do something “big” and noteworthy. Just in time, our church showed the RIDE 2012 video with its plans to raise money for three inner city Canadian churches. Growing up on the edges of Vancouver, I knew of the tremendous needs and struggles of Downtown East Side. I could only imagine similar needs in Toronto and Montreal.
So here the dream was sparked. The thought of riding with likeminded riders, for a cause I felt had sound merit, and representing our local church inspired Cara and I to plan a much more ambitious summer than initially expected. To start with we needed a motorcycle for two up across the nation and back, plus our entire personal wardrobe for our two-month journey. It was decided we could not afford the space required to do any cooking on the trip, but we also could not afford too many nights in motels. So we ditched the pots and stove, but acquired a couple of micro tents and sleeping bags that could stuff down the size of a cantaloupe. As long as we were wearing our jackets and riding pants, everything else could be stowed snuggly in our new-to-us 2003 Goldwing.
Off we rode to General Assembly in Winnipeg, planning to ride with the group heading east. As it was Love In Motion’s first year (RIDE 2012), communication was a little spotty, but we figured clarity would unfold in Winnipeg. We planned to leave the Island of Vancouver and ride across the nation to the Island of Newfoundland; the tour started with the talk of riding Sea to Sea but we happily dubbed it Rock to Rock. I had been focusing my devotions before departure on being open to God’s spirit, particularly through any changes of routine, and that I might know God in a new or different way. I wanted to be listening and ready for anything God might have had for me. I was also listening for a particular scripture, theme, or message I might be given to carry across our nation. By the time we left I had a short Scripture and a message to share if the opportunity presented itself.
On our first day, Sunday, we attended the Alliance Church in Yarrow, BC. There I was most encouraged to meet Tim Tjosvold, a very enthusiastic missionary I had met at seminary about twenty years earlier. We reminisced, shared, and dreamed, then said our goodbyes. This I took as God saying to us, “I am with you. All is good. Look for me each day, always.”4
When we reached Winnipeg, we discovered the trip west was ready to go, but the trip east a little less developed. Cara and I continued our way east alone, with several home-stays planned. Meeting the family of God across Canada was certainly a highlight for us. It was a blessing to share in what God was doing in different parts of Canada, to create fellowship with some the beautiful people who welcomed us into their homes. We were people of faith, riding in faith, to further the faith, which was a beautiful thing.
After completing the 2012 Ride, 2014 brought along the second Love in Motion. Two things had changed: first, the ride’s organization had really stepped up, and more riders were interested (thanks, Linda Poelzer!); second, LIM was starting in Vancouver and going to Halifax. If not Rock to Rock, it was a worthy objective. My oldest daughter Dawn was keen to live what Cara had experienced two years earlier. This time, we could have the benefits of a group ride--meeting a group of people who would become special friends. After Halifax, once the group went their separate ways, Dawn and I would continue to Newfoundland and our solitary adventure.
Off I went again, this time with Dawn. Linda had organized many opportunities to meet our Alliance family across the country. She never let the purpose of our ride get out of focus. Taking the light of God’s spirit across Canada gave us the opportunity to see and help out in some of our country’s hurting communities, and was well worth the effort and expense, both times.
Was it cool to motorcycle to Newfoundland? The best! In 2017 Love in Motion will be riding east to west, starting in Newfoundland. Even though I have done the ride twice, I am seriously considering a third trip. My wife has never been to Newfoundland; maybe we will see you there!
Christian & Missionary Alliance Love in Motion 2014 Cycling Tour, Week 7, Day 1
“You have two days to make a difference; make them count.” My wife said as she dropped me off. Coming out of
Toronto, I was the day’s “sweeper”, supporting the slowest riders for the first 25km before a SAG (Support and Gear) wagon took over. My task was simple; what could possibly go wrong?
But things did go wrong. Soon after the start, six riders missed a turn and disappeared from view. With no support vehicles nearby, I frantically rode 8km through road constructions searching for them, and helped them back on course. Just as we made it back, one rider’s hub failed, and I had to leave her and her mom behind, hoping to quickly find the SAG wagon so that it can turn around to pick them up. We continued riding (slowly) through the many rolling hills. Under the scorching sun, the less experienced riders began to slow down. My extra supplies of water and food were running out, and the next SAG wagon was still far away. Every joke that I use to motivate others had been used. I too began to suffer physically and emotionally from the heat.
Then one of the riders behind me said, “we should pray.” Her words struck me like lightning. For almost 5½ hours on the road, I had relied on my own abilities and wit, forgetting that it was God who was in charge. We stopped at the side of the road; we prayed for the Holy Spirit to be with us; we prayed for renewal of our spirit; and we prayed for the people that we were riding for. What followed was a calmness that I’ve never felt before. We got back on our bikes with the knowledge that God was with us. Although we rode no faster, we didn’t feel tired anymore. Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the next SAG wagon and the smiling face of Gina-Marie.
The adventures that day actually didn’t end there, but the challenges that we faced no longer felt impossible. A year later, I still ponder how spiritually significant that day had been for me, and the lessons that I learned are still vivid in my mind. Make yourself available for God’s work and God will put you to good use. And no matter how difficult that work may seem, God will always be by your side.
In 2014 hundreds of people chose to make their bikes count for eternity. Today Switching Gears interviews Roy Daly, motor biker from BC.
SG: Roy we first met in RIDE 2012 and then you returned to LIM 2014 and rode your motorbike Coast to Coast. Could you tell us how you found out about RIDE 2012 and LIM 2014?
Roy: I was a delegate from Sevenoaks Alliance in Abbotsford to General Assembly in Winnipeg in 2012. As General Assembly was promoting the RIDE, I signed up. I also did the pre-ride from Vancouver to Winnipeg. After this I was primed to go coast to coast in 2014.
SG: It is evident that you put a lot of kilometers on your Goldwing. Just how many kilometers did you log on your bike in 2014?
Roy: From Abbotsford to Halifax and back home again, 15,358km in 22 days.
SG: 15,358 km in 22 days!! That’s crazy!! I know from personal experience that a Goldwing is pretty comfy—but that is still some pretty hard riding! Just for fun tell us about your longest, hardest day on your bike.
Roy: Riding a Goldwing is just plain fun! The longest day was on my 4-½ day trip home when I went from Toledo, OH to Sioux Falls, SD. It was just over 1300. I left after breakfast and didn’t stop until 11 p.m.
SG: 1300 k in one day! That’s nasty! Roy, the main reason for interviewing you was your stellar care of your people. Every day, at the end of a long, hard day of riding we would find you at your computer…. were you playing computer games?
Roy: No to the computer games. Of course I kept in touch with my family each day but also every 3 or 4 days I would send an email to all my supporters giving them an update and sending them a few pictures. In this way they continued to be involved with us by praying for us which was quite evident in the way we sensed the Lord’s hand upon us all the way. I also kept track of all my expenses and daily mileage.
SG: Roy, you refer to the people who supported you through fund raising as your “supporters”. In all ways they were a part of your team. I love the way you took responsibility to keep them informed. That thought never crossed my mind! You blew me away on more than one occasion, but this love for your people changed the way I treated my support team. In fact we are throwing a “LIM Thank You Dinner” to thank our sponsors from RIDE 2012 and LIM 2014. Better late than never!
Two final questions: What was the highlight of LIM 2014 and will you be participating in LIM 2016 and why?
Roy: Apart from the money raised, the fellowship and encouragement from the different Alliance Churches across the country and with each other was special. We saw God’s work being accomplished.
I will be participating in LIM 2016. This is a way to raise funds for our compassion works across Canada and have fun at the same time. I have done a fair bit of riding on Vancouver Island but the Ride is going to places I have never been. Then I looked at the Alberta route. It goes through a lot of the places that I haven’t been to for 50 years since I was a young Mountie policing in the Peace River country. I just have to go.