Tour de H2OLast year I participated in my second cycling tour. The difference between a tour and a race is that no one takes a tour seriously, at least not the cycling aspect. Races are for the super competitive. A friend of mine who is a cyclist told me about how winners typically finish those 150+ mile races: they don’t stop. They never get off the bike. They drink water on their bikes. They eat energy bars and gels on their bikes. They do everything on their bikes. They even relieve themselves. Yes, they actually pee themselves. Yeah, that’s pretty messed up!

I didn’t intend to start my post this way, but I suppose I’m seeking some accountability. If ever I get to the point where I intentionally pee myself on my bike, then please speak up. If I ever reach that point, then my helmet would be merely a practice in futility. By the way, I say intentionally because there’s always the possibility of an accidental emptying of the bladder, such as when a large, ferocious dog approaches or when an 18-wheeler passes too closely.

Anyway, what I wanted to announce is my participation in my third cycling tour, which is a repeat of last year’s — the 5th Annual Tour de H2O. (I wrote about this a year ago.) Last year I raised $645, which the event organizers were thrilled about, especially since it was my first year. (Read more about my experience.) I’d like to raise at least as much, maybe push it to $750.

Recording Project

Now, about two weeks ago I began a recording project in an effort to raise funds. It is a collection of hymns that will be titled All Things New. All of the songs are about God as Creator and how he will recreate the earth. The resurrection of Jesus is the key to this renewal, as he is referred to as the firstfruits of the resurrection. I’ll be fleshing this out more. The project is, in a sense, a culmination of my reading, study, and meditation the past few years.

My plan was to get it recorded with just piano, acoustic guitar, and a single vocal track. But the more I’ve worked with the songs, the more creative ideas have sprouted. I’m actually excited about this project. I haven’t particularly enjoyed recording because of the tedium of getting everything just right. I’m far too much of a perfectionist to record something that doesn’t meet my expectations. Of course, what makes this difficult is that I’m not a particularly great guitarist. So, I’m intent on multiple takes until it sounds right.

That being said, I cannot finish this project in time for the tour, which takes place on May 31, less than two weeks from now. But if you’re even slightly interested in hearing the music I’m producing, then you don’t want me to finish quickly. You want me to add in percussion, which I’ve been resistant to do. You want me to record several vocal takes. You want me to rework the piano parts, even though they’re good enough. You definitely want me to rework and rework and rework the acoustic guitar, classical guitar, and mandolin parts. You want me to borrow that ’60s Epiphone a friend of mine has because it’ll add a nice folk sound to a few of the songs. You want me to figure out how to tweak the intonation on my mandolin, because the ‘A’ strings never sound right when they’re fretted any higher than third fret. You want me to make All Things New sound as good as I can make it, and I do too. Recording a live concert would be so much easier. Here it is, this is all I’ve got, one take. But the studio offers the opportunity to make it sound as good as you can do it, even if it means recording the classical lead in bite-size chunks.

Pre-Ordering with a Donation Today

So, here’s the deal … would you be willing to sponsor my ride at, say $10 or more, on good faith? I’ll get you a CD when the project is done, sometime in June. In the meantime, I’ll send you a link to a few demo MP3s.

Here’s the link to make your tax-deductible donation. You can donate anonymously if you’d like, so your name doesn’t appear on the site. If you do so, please fill out the form below so I can send you the link to the demos and put you on the list to receive a CD.

Thanks so much for helping to get clean water to those in Kenya who need it.