Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Losing Time

Although I've caught up on a few pen and ink letters which needed answering in the past week, this blog has been unattended for over a month now. Rain is falling outside my window, and it looks like I may have a little time to work on a post, so here goes.

I used to wonder if anyone reads these, and then I got this unexpected email last November from a good, strong local rider:

"Thanks, Bruce. I'm riding vicariously through your posts these days, so keep 'em up. And thanks for the prayers.   Darryl"

I'd heard that he was battling cancer and dropped him a note and this was his answer. We lost Darryl a couple of weeks ago, about a year after we lost Tom to an as yet unknown to me respiratory ailment.

I told someone just last week, "I'll be 60 next year," and boy that sounds old. Most people guess my age a few years younger than I am, but as my face gets older looking, that will stop too. I'm coming to a part of my life's route where I'm more aware of losing my "riding buddies" (both those who pedal and those who don't) and sensing that my own pace on the bike is slowing down as well. Both of these are the normal ways of a man, and no different than what everyone else runs up against at some time in life. But right now, it's me running up against it in my own life. The men in my family have not been long lived. My dad died at 67, (Mon at 64.) his brothers at 45 and 54 if I recall correctly. Mom's brother passed away at about 62.  None of these people ate or exercised in a healthy way. My hope is that a return to exercise 10 years ago and decently healthy eating, never smoking or use of excess alcohol will allow me to ride the roads fairly strong until just up to the end. That's my hope anyway.

When I'm called, I am 100% ready to go. The anti-God crowd can try and quibble all around the edges of faith. Did God really create the universe? What about dinosaurs?  Why believe in magic when you can trust science instead? Did God really say you'll die if you eat that fruit? Liberals in general and atheists in particular sneer down their noses at the low brow lack of intellect they assume pervades believers. They're also too lazy to read history. While God treats all persons equally as His creation and shows no partiality based on individual merit (Romans 2:11), there have been plenty of astonishingly brilliant people of faith including many who were great scientists and mathematicians. The high brow and the low brow are all saved from the baggage that appertains to sin the same way I am. By grace through faith. It is a gift and not by working for it. (Genesis 15:6, Ephesians 2:8,9) There is such comfort in knowing that a good place for my soul is prepared. I'm very much excited about that destination, despite apprehension over the dying process necessary to leave this imperfect body behind. Seeing people you know dying brings it into sharp focus for sure.

Segue to rides!  Despite all that has been going on, I've logged about 400 miles since the last post. The local after work week night rides have been a lot of fun and there have some enjoyable Saturday rides too. Most Sundays have had an afternoon social outing as well.

Last Saturday, we planned a 78 miler to end with lunch at a local burger place, Joe Mama's. I went out a little fast and started to gush sweat like a faucet. Just like in Rick Smith's Yehuda Moon comic strip (I am a paid subscriber).
I was clicking along fast until mile 38 when I started to feel weaker. By mile 48 I decided to ask my son who lives a block off the route at that point to give me a lift to the cars. :)  It worked out fine as he needed my help and large cargo ability to carry home a bed frame and headboard purchase. Despite crawling up the last hills and cramped legs, I was at my usual overall average, which means I went out to fast. There were opportunities for breaks though. Like here in Slapout where Chris spent some time changing a flat tube, which went flat so he used a 3rd tube. A stop at the bike shop for resupply was added to the route plan as a result.

Most of the time we enjoyed the lovely rolling roads that surround us. New riders Rae and Neil had a good time and will be back. Neil is a terror on his mountain bike. No trouble at all staying with or passing the roadies. Yikes. You can see it at left in the picture above. Here we are rolling right along.

Anyway, despite my shortcomings on this ride, I felt fine the next day and realized that if I would just ignore everyone else when they speed off and plod along at MY pace, long rides would be no problem. If only! Just need to stop worrying about losing time. Maybe just enjoy it more?

No rides scheduled for me this week, as Sharon is recovering from knee replacement #2. She's out of knees to exchange so this should be it for a little while. Looking forward to hitting the roads again soon though.


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