"Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym."
-Bill Nye, the Science Guy. From Lesley Osborn-Scott, A.K.A. Canada
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
-Albert Einstein, from Canada
"The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon."
-Bill Strickland, from Canada
Only one flat today!
We are now in Fort Benton at the Grand Union Hotel. Built in 1882 in the oldest city in Montana. Coming into town we saw signs that made it clear, "Fort Benton! Montana started here." We ate supper at Bob's Riverfront Restaurant. Once again we had great food and too much. There is a Father and Son Fishing Tournament in town this weekend and a bunch of the Harley guys and gals are here as well. I've always wanted to do a t-shirt with this imprint, "Real Bikers Pedal" but I was happy I wasn't wearing one today!
What a great day. This was planned as a rest day so we did some rest and some pedaling. We did take my bike to Knicker Biker, a local bike shop, for some adjustments. I needed the whole drive train cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted. Travis, at the bike shop, said he could have it done by noon, From the bike shop we went to pick up Jonathan at the KOA Campground in Great Falls and returned to Knicker Biker to get my bike. Now the only clean part of my bike is the drive train (chain, derailleurs, cables, cassette, and chain rings). A great thirty dollar investment. After lunch we hopped on our bikes to do a short ride to Fort Benton. 38.85 miles and 2 hours and 40 minutes later we were at our destination. The wind was with us and we made great time even though we did three photo stops and one flat tire.
We are for sure in the prairie now. Flat, flat, flat. I took a photo of a grain elevator and told Jonathan we would be seeing these for a few weeks now.
The Weather Channel has been the only program we have watched on a daily basis. We need to know the weather in which we'll be riding. The meteorologists said last night that the wind today would be blowing southwest. That was not a good report because we rode northeast today. Surprise, surprise. The meteorologists were wrong again! I like to think that maybe they were right, just this once but God was watching over us again. I don't know how he does all this stuff but I can hear a conversation in heaven going something like this:
"Gabriel, do you see those two guys down there pedaling in Montana?"
"Yes, Lord, I do. Are they crazy or something?"
"No, but they could use a little help today. After all, this was planned as a rest day and they are pedaling to Fort Benton, forty miles away," replied the Father.
"Well, that's not much of a rest, pedaling forty miles."
"I agree, let's give them a little push, OK?"
Gabriel then said, "What about those meteorologists and The Weather Channel? They've already given the forecast for today?"
"Well, today they'll just have to be wrong again. Flip that little red switch over there and let's do a one-eighty with the wind down there on the road to Fort Benton," ordered the Father.
And he did . . . and we rode sometimes above twenty mph without pedaling. And the Father smiled. And we did too. At times today I almost heard Lisa Peacock singing one of my favorite songs:
I know the Master of the Wind,
I know the Maker of the Rain,
He can calm the storm
make the sun to shine again.
I know the Master of the Wind.
This is a real illustration of grace to me. I know it's not a big thing but life isn't really a series of big things anyway. Life is made up of little things. To most people a tail wind isn't even worth talking about. To Jonathan and me, it was a big little thing today. It was a gift from the Father. His strength was being made perfect in our weaknesses.
Jesus told the Apostle Paul, "'My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
I don't think we've suffered at all but I do know we've experienced weaknesses on the trip. Today the Father perfected his strength in our weaknesses by grace. He allowed us to cruise along on undeserved strength that certainly was not ours. We didn't do anything to deserve it. He just sent it in the wind. And we were blessed. God is so good. Of course this doesn't mean that everyday will be a tailwind day but headwinds are part of life too. We'll thank him for those as well.
Oh, one more thing . . . this is the last time I will mention this but my knees are doing great. I was reminded by one of the comments that this blog was sounding a little geriatric. Because of that, my knees will no longer be the subject of any more posts. I'm sure I can take care of any future pain anyway. From what I hear there's no pain involved in sitting on the couch, sipping a couple of Dr. Peppers, and watching "Willy Wonka" and/or "Star Wars." Maybe when I get home I'll give it a try!