"Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short, as you feel. But ride."
"When you're turning the crankset, you're riding the bike. When you're coasting, you're just along for the ride."
-Ned Overend, Mountain Bike Like a Champion
"There is something uncanny in the noiseless rush of the cyclist, as he comes into view, passes by, and disappears."
-Popular Science, 1891
This morning it rained! I love rain. It seems to have a cleansing effect on everything. I guess the dangers of rain are that we get too little or too much. This morning's rain seemed to be just right! So . . . I went for a ride! After all, I had a new rain jacket and a new portable fender for the rear wheel, why not give them a test?
The ride was good, only ten miles but good nonetheless! I kind of thought I may already be out west when I saw two buffalo in the pasture beside Ruth Jackson Road. I think Mike Power has them there to help me get used to the out west experience of America.
Riding is really good for my brain. It gives me lots of thinking time, something to think about, and sometimes even forces me to think. This morning's thoughts, first of all, helped me evaluate some of my needs for the cross-country ride. From the start I realized I need to wear full-finger gloves when it's raining and cool. My fingers got cold, so did my knees. The gloves won't help my knees but I do have knee warmers that I didn't think I'd need (no pun intended). Next time it's raining, I'll wear them. I also had cold toes mainly because they were in water-filled shoes. I did some thinking about that too but, at this point, there's no answer on the horizon. On the good side, my portable fender was worth every penny of the $14.95 plus tax price tag. Great buy. My rain jacket worked equally as well keeping my windbreaker and cotton t-shirt warm and dry.
I suppose what really prompted me to ride this morning is the fact that riding cross-country will not be a series of rainless days. We will have rain, that's a fact, maybe even some storms. I want to be prepared for whatever drops from the skies and I want to know that what I take with me does the job to keep me protected and dry. Whatever I've bought or whatever I buy really won't be of much value unless I use it as directed and it works. Reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27 when he was speaking to the crowds on a mountainside one day,
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash."
Did you see the key word in there? It's probably not the one you would look for but it's the key word for me: when. Yep, that's it. The key word is when. "When the rains and floods come . . ." Rain will come. Storms will develop. Floods are possible. Get ready!
There will be rain on this ride. That's a given! There will be problems. Another given. So what's a rider to do?
1) Begin with preparation. You can't put on a rain jacket if you haven't got one! Same thing with fenders. You know the rain is coming so prepare for it. Likewise, be prepared for the problems and storms you'll have in everyday living. You know they're coming so batten down the hatch, pull on the slicker, and hang on. Prepare!
2) Read the instructions. With anything you buy you usually find some kind of instructions. Whether you are putting a portable fender on a bike or dealing with a bad day in general, there are instructions to be found. The Bible is a copy of "Life for Dummies" and it contains all the answers you need to know. Read it!
3) Do it! Most Christians know far more of the Bible than they will ever use. Jesus was telling the people, "Hey, I told you how to handle life here. Now you can take it or leave it. You can take what I tell you and live with it or you can take what I tell you and live without it. Do it or don't do it! It's your choice, but when the rains and floods come . . ." Well, you know how that story goes . . . big storm, foundation, strong and secure, big storm, no foundation, gone evermore! Do the Bible!
4) Expect it! You just don't know when those rains are going to hit and when the winds are going to blow but they're headed your way.
James 1:2-4 says, ". . . whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."
When more rain comes . . . I'd like to pedal with joy, faith, endurance, strength, character, and a readiness for anything.