Journal June 2, 2021: Keeping On
- You must ride your own ride.
- You can only change yourself and work on yourself.
- Our forefathers were pretty rugged and tenacious.
- Rural America is more rural than you think.
- It’s hard to be modest and discreet when your helmet’s red flashing light is on.
How God showed up
- Our entire ride through and across Kansas had ideal weather for us. We were expecting strong 25 mph headwinds that did not materialize. Nor did it rain or the weather force us to take shelter. Instead, we had some overcast and cool mornings. Some days we had tail winds. There were hot days, but we managed to get out early and stop early.
- On one hot stretch, we found someone offering free ice and water to cyclists. On another hot day we found a church doing the same thing except they had snacks too and you could spend the night.
- Meeting other believers on the road while riding.
- Meeting Ronnie, a Vietnam vet, in Girard, KS during breakfast. Someone then picked up the tab for our breakfast.
We extended week 5 into week 6 to finish out Kansas and negotiate a challenging weather forecast. Riding across Kansas was memorable as vast recurring farmlands of nothingness exposed the dedication of rugged farmers and tiny communities who know each other’s names. Impressive. AG, or agriculture, is an amazing industry that is in the hands of some very dedicated, smart, and resilient people. Tom the farmer schooled us on corn, wheat, and cattle.
As we settled into a long week 5, that was very hot, we met more and more cyclists, especially coming from the west, and traveling eastbound. Some were cycling a modified route. Their war stories were frightening in that we wondered if we would experience the same things. Turbulent weather! The heat took its toll on people in different ways. In the end, the route or journey, and the riding conditions can only be managed by the cyclist. Each person must ride their own course. No one can do it for them. Their goal is to finish and finish strong. It is like Hebrews 12:1-3. “Let us all run our course with endurance and set aside those things that easily entangle us.” There is a great deal of self-management here in choosing what you will let distract you from being focused on the course in front of you. So, focus on yourself and change what you need to in order to take on the challenges of each day.
While riding through the countryside one studies the landscape and topography. I can’t help but think what it must have been like when settlers made their way west across the same terrain I was observing except without a paved road. Their ruggedness, determination and faith carried them through against some remarkable odds. I thought the mountains had their challenges; the prairies and high plains have theirs too.
It’s hard to be discreet when you are inadvertently drawing attention to yourself. As the day wears on and you are drinking lots of liquids, it’s only natural for the body to tell you it’s time to find a spot to relieve the pressure on your bladder. With convenience stores far and few most times, it comes down to finding a discreet place along the roadside to take care of business. However, even with the most thoughtful care and planning to find that one perfect place, it does no good when you leave the flashing red light on, on the back of your helmet. It continues to do its job in attracting the passing motorists who willingly honk their horns acknowledging that they see you. Oh well, the lessons we learn on the road!
Blessings and Stand Firm,
To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ