Calif. Pastor Biking for Bibles

A California pastor is more than half way into a cross-country bicycle trip in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of International Bible Society.

According to the IBS Biking 4 Bibles' live tracking GPS map, 56-year-old Randy Gardner was in Louisville, Ky., Sunday, after traveling more than 2,100 miles in nearly 27 days.

Gardner, who started his 40-day journey from San Pedro, Calif., plans to conclude his trek across the country on May 29 at the historic waterfront of Battery Park in New York – the same area of Manhattan where the New York Bible Society had been launched in December 1809.

"It has been amazing to meet and talk to so many good people from different walks of life," reported Garder after his first week of riding. "Watching the trucks and trains en route alongside us reminds me of the hard work of so many in each community who keep our communities and commerce moving in the right direction."

As he travels across the country, Gardner is raising awareness of and funds for IBS's mission to provide Scripture resources to people worldwide who need the life-changing message of God's love and mercy.

The Southern California Baptist pastor had made a similar journey in April 2003 when he pedaled from Cabrillo Beach to Victory Monument in Yorktown, Virginia, raising awareness for IBS' translation ministry.

This time around, Gardner will average more than 100 miles daily, with one double-century day (200 miles) on his 3,800-mile journey, weather and health permitting.

Accompanied by a support team, Gardner will have cycled through 14 states before his journey's end, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

In one of his more recent reports, dated May 13, Gardner said he and his team have been following tornadoes and 90 mph winds through Kansas and Missouri.

"Also, we're seeing tremendous devastation–hundreds of uprooted trees and downed power poles and lines, crumpled (and missing) silos, leveled buildings and homes, general destruction," he recorded in his Biking for Bibles Blog.

"We'll take necessary precautions (sic), but pray that if the RV is caught up in a tornado it will be blown toward Illinois so we can count the miles!" he joked.

Gardner is associate pastor at Ocean View Baptist Church in San Pedro, Calif., where he also serves as missions pastor. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in San Pedro and have five adult children.