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Ken's story: Gravel camp and a church

BaseCamp alumnus Ken Carl shared his experience with his friends at their annual gravel camp and an encounter with the Marion Immanuel United Church of Christ.

The collection plate is really a sharing plate.

I have a gallant group of cycling friends mostly focused on gravel riding: the Gravel Gals and Dudes. We even have our own logo. We also mostly have gravel for brains. Last week we held our annual "gravel camp," a fine weekend of riding, cooking out, and telling tall stories. The area we ride in is call the Driftless area in Illinois and Wisconsin: rolling hills, some silly steep, no traffic, and also few (if any) places to refuel.

Our Saturday 70-mile route had no options to refuel. We contacted this church we saw on the map and asked if we could store some provisions. The pastor was intrigued and curious. She said that 12 bike riders would be twice the number of people who attend Sunday services. With many a "God bless," we were welcomed to leave our provisions with the special bonus of using the facilities. We were concerned about her leaving the church unlocked; her response was that she could not recall the last time she locked the church.

The person holding out the collection plate is our cycling "mayor" Steve. This is not a posed image; Steve came out of the church with the collection plate, much to our amusement and charity. I have to believe the church collected more that Saturday than in a month of Sundays.


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