Lessons Learned on a Bike Ride | Blog | Mount Carmel Christian Church

Lessons Learned on a Bike Ride

October 1, 2020 | Didi Bacon

This past Saturday, I had the honor of riding fifty miles for a great cause. My friend, John, invited me to join him and a group of eleven other riders on a fundraising event for Cancer Free Kids. Feel free to check out what this wonderful organization is all about at https://cancerfreekids.org

The ride was designed to stretch for one hundred miles, but since I am new to bike riding and was nurturing a 'tweak' on my leg, I chose to ride just fifty. We rode the lovely Loveland Bike trail for fifty miles, from Loveland up to Cedarville. We all ate lunch, the team rode back to Loveland, and I jumped in the car and came home! Here are some things I learned on the trip:
  1. Having the right equipment matters for the success of the journey. In my case, an extra cushion on the seat made a huge difference! I had been using my friend's fantastic road bike to train for this ride. It was the same bike I used to make the ride. It did not take me long to learn that the saddles of racing bikes are not built for comfort. I do believe their design originates from some sort of ancient torture instrument! After one training ride, I invested in those fancy biking shorts that contain padding in the "seat." That helped. But for the ride, my friend purchased a gel-padded seat cover that I got to experience for the first time on our ride. It was like sitting on a cloud of marshmallows! Long rides are like life; having the right equipment always helps in the journey.
  2. Watch out for drivers who hate bike riders!  The Loveland bike trail goes over several roads. We had to stop and look both ways before crossing. I learned quickly that part of my duty as a member of the group was to yell "Clear!" when I crossed the road. If I stopped for a car, I had to shout "car" and point to it. A man was coming by at one of these road crossings, and we were stopped waiting and watching. Some kind drivers would stop and let us pass. Not this dude. He looked like a wild man, with long white hair and a long white beard. He looked more like a wizard than a driver. It looked like he was slowing down to stop for us, so some of my team began to inch forward to cross. Thankfully we all had our eye on the guy. He did not stop. Nor did he look pleased. In fact, he began to spew forth a string of words (maybe a spell?!) that didn't take lip-reading skills to interpret. The entire trip, we had to be on guard and communicate with our team to stay safe. Reminds me of one scripture that reminds us to "be on guard, the enemy is like a lion on the prowl."  
  3. Being in community makes the journey easier. Being with a group made the ride so much easier. I was amazed at how fast our journey seemed to go. But when you are with others, they encourage you, they help you, they push you. My wife was part of the support team that followed us on our journey and met us at our rest stops to provide food, water, and help if needed. They did not ride, but they were with us on the journey. Going together is much better than going alone when it comes to long rides. No wonder God put us together as a community of faith to journey through this world! The numerous "one-another" passages in scripture are there for a reason. Riding in a group makes you realize how the power of community makes us better.
  4. Riding a bike allows me to appreciate the sights. I like to move. In fact, I hate being still. I used to be called "Didi-the-speedy." There are upsides to that, but there are also downsides. The biggest downside is that I miss the beauty and blessings of the journey. I have to force myself to slow down and smell the roses! Riding a bike works out to form an excellent combination for me - I am moving, but I am not moving so fast that I can't enjoy what's around me. There's some beautiful countryside between Loveland and Cedarville. I was able to look around and appreciate God's creativity on the ride. It reminds me that pace of life is a choice. I may be wired to be on the move, but I don't have to be in a rush.  
  5. Finishing is better than starting. The satisfaction of completing my 50-mile ride was a rush. Of course, you can't finish unless you start, but the start's significance can only be found in the finishing. I am good at starting things, I sometimes struggle to finish them. My one word for 2020 is "execute." It is a commitment to do what I say I will do. I once read that a leader is someone who does what he says he will do. A leader is true to her word. That means being mindful of commitments. We often say yes to something that we do not complete because we did not consider what it takes to finish. So I am trying to be mindful of my commitments. Counting the cost as Jesus encouraged us. If you say yes, then fulfill your promise.  
So there it is, lessons learned on a bike ride. I hope you were blessed. Maybe I will see you on the trail - if you are in your car, please be nice!