Middlebourne pastor embarking on 1,200-mile bicycle voyage of a lifetime

Photo by Chad Turner Pastor Troy Guild prepares for a 1,200-mile bicycle trip from Middlebourne to Texas.

MIDDLEBOURNE — A Middlebourne preacher is embarking on a cross-country voyage.

Pastor Troy Guild of the Middlebourne Baptist Church on June 4 will ride his bicycle 1,200 miles to Texas.

The thought of such a voyage might make a person’s legs ache, but Guild said God has called him back to the mission field and put it in his heart to bike 1,200 miles to get there.

When Guild leaves, he’ll bike toward Columbus, west to Indianapolis and then south to Texas.

Guild’s family will be taking a different route. They will be staying with friends and family before meeting Guild in Texas, then head to their final destination of Colima, Mexico.

“We love Tyler County and the people have been absolutely wonderful to us,” Guild said.

However, Guild says he has to go where God has directed him. Guild said he couldn’t make the journey without God, who will provide along the way.

Guild has spoken with churches and other people who have agreed to sponsor his trip.

Proceeds will go toward Guild’s mission in Mexico. The nonprofit mission in Mexico is called the Mission to the Children.

Guild hopes to have a large turnout for the send-off on June 4 and he hopes the community will offer its support for his adventure.

Also in the plans is a book about the adventure, “1,200 Miles: A Journey of Faith,” Guild said. He isn’t sure if he will even get the book published, but he will take notes along the way to document his journey.

The weeks ahead will make for a major learning experience, Guild said.

Guild said he will depart Tyler County with $120 and will not be allowed to accept monetary donations along the way, only for food and housing. He will be dependent on God and people to provide housing, food or any other essential items he may need.

Guild said he can accept cash, but only for food. The donation must be used that day so he does not become dependent on savings.

Guild will be traveling alone and will not contact anyone to arrange for places to stay along the journey. He is bringing a tent that will be carried along with other items such as a hammock, clothing and medical supplies, in a pull-along trailer.

Law enforcement will be notified ahead of time that he will be in the area.

“I’m not a writer or a cycler of any kind, so this came way out of left field,” he said. “I haven’t ridden a bike in 10 years.”

Guild also mentioned that he will be out of his comfort zone, because it is not his nature to ask people for help.

“There’s no way I could do this without God,” Guild said.

The goal is to ride 50 miles per day for 24 days, Guild said. He will burn 3,500 to 4,000 calories per day.

“I am afraid and scared, and if you take God out of the picture, it is a crazy, crazy thing for a 50-year-old man — who is not into cycling — to take on this adventure,” he said.