On What I Learned About Long Distance Biking

There are very few absolutes in this world, so in the interest of sharing wisdom, here are a few things that I have learned while doing long distance training:

Badger State Trail

Badger State Trail

  1. Every hill has a top and eventually, every hill has a downhill. This is true even in the event that someone, someday climbs Mt. Everest on a road bike. (Believe me… it will happen!)
  2. Some days it’s going to rain, some days it’s going to be hot and some days it’s going to be cold. Remember,┬áthere is no such thing as bad weather …. only bad clothes. This holds true not just for cycling but also for hiking and for enduring the long (long) Midwest winters.
  3. While riding, the “music of the spheres” * always trumps the “music of my iPod”.

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Great News … In Balance

So What Shall We Say Then…. Shall We Keep On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? Romans 6:1

The Gospel is great news. Period. Regardless if you believe that — or not — the Gospel is probably the one set of facts in history that has had the most ┬álasting and profound impact on humanity for over 2000 years. It has done more to shape how the human race sees the universe than any other truth ever has.

At the core of this good news (Gospel) is grace – a concept that has been applied to us by God so that we have the opportunity to have a relationship with God our creator even though we, in ourselves, Read the rest of this entry »


Night Time Bicycle

bikelane-nightHow many riders subscribe to the unwritten rule “when the sun goes down, the bicycle goes away”.

I did — until recently.

I became a night-time biker a few months ago when I started teaching a class that ended at 8:30pm. After class, it was ride home as the only option.

The ride from school to home turned into an absolute pleasure. First, there is almost no traffic at 8:30pm and second, the absolute peace as you quietly glide through neighborhoods and dark streets is amazing. The first night, the moon was full, the lake I ride around was perfectly calm and it was just cold enough for a light jacket.

The perfect end to any day.

My only other experience with nighttime rides was when we were living in Vermont. We were on our way home in a car, it was the end of summer, there was a full moon and we were just starting up Terrible Mountain (no kidding … that’s what it’s called and if you have ever biked it, you know why).

Far ahead of us, we saw a pair of blinking red tail lights and as we got closer, the lights turned into two cyclists out for a long nighttime climb. At the time we saw them, I thought they were nuts. But now I understand. There’s an appeal to a quiet nighttime ride.

I am not sure that my rides will ever match a full moon climb up Terrible Mountain, but I’ll take a calm city commute at night as a good substitute!

Haven’t tried an after sundown ride yet? I really suggest that you do.

After all…. every ride is a good ride!

 

photo credit: treehugger.com

The New Wave Nature Walk

Remember (or take my word for it) the “nature walk” that you used to take in elementary school? It was supposed to help you connect and appreciate nature.

I supposed that they still do formal nature walks today but I’m not sure.

I ran into someone this week who is teaching a college level extension course on Global Warming. He related to me how he was having a problem getting the students to have and appreciate some connection to the earth. Things like global warming and rising ocean levels are important, he said, but from a student’s point of view, they are having a hard time bringing these concepts down to something that effects them every day — something that is “in their face” so to speak.

His reasoning (which I believe is sound) for pursuing this matter is his belief that if we first grow to appreciate nature and creation and don’t take it for granted, the act of caring for it will follow. The opposite is also true — we tend to ignore that which we don’t care about. The challenge that this teacher is having is how to get his students to be appreciative; especially in a world where they have lived most of their lives disconnected from the land and nature itself. Read the rest of this entry »