I’ve been meaning to add this post since I finished this year’s abbreviated MS150 bicycle ride back in April but as is the story of my life… things have gotten in the way.
Better late than never though and so here are some thoughts and pictures from my ride. By the way, (a quick commercial break) I still need a few more bucks to meet my fundraising goal. If you could spare a fiver or two it would be super, muchly appreciated. To donate to my ride click the link with the cycling picture and Texas flag. Thank you. Now on with the show.
So as I sat at the starting line this year it kinda came to me that this ride has parallels to our journey in life (at least for me it does, particularly for my Deist, Buddhist, angels-around-us, i-love-reincarnation view of spirituality that I have) and so it got me to thinking and I came up with an analogy.
I mean we all begin at the starting line, a little confused and somewhat nervous. But we see others just like us… and in the midst of these fellow travelers of this journey, we find a little comfort.
For the most part we all have the same gear. You know… we have a means to get around, something that helps us stop, something that helps keep the damage down in case we fall. But some of us have better equipment than others.
|Some of us opt for speed, hoping that we’ll get through our journey with maximum efficiency. This journey is a race to see as much as quickly as possible for these folks.|
|Some choose a ride that has some flash… you know, maybe to show off what we’ve got as we make our journey.|
|Maybe some of opt for gear that has utility. Being able to carry plenty of water might be important to one traveler.|
|And others… maybe they choose a vehicle that gets through the journey with comfort. They choose the philosophy of “slow and steady the course” to get them to where they want to be at the end.|
And to the journey we go.
It looks familiar yet there are times where it looks bleak and unrecognizable.
It’s strange the isolated, sometimes lonely feeling one can get on this ride despite the fact that there are thousands of fellow riders pedaling along side with an army of thousands of volunteers, supporters and fans who cheer us along as we make our way to the end. It happens sometimes the lonely feeling.
It can feel a little lonely when things break down. But if we’re lucky we have someone right by our side who can help us out.
Sometimes we’re fortunate to be riding right along side someone who seems really official and even wears a shirt that says so. We don’t feel quite so lost with someone like that riding tandem.
And if we’re really lucky, we get a glimpse of a crew of guardian angels traveling up and down the road just in case we need a lift to the next rest stop. Sometimes just knowing they are right there helps get to the next milestone on your own.
The journey can be long, tiring and hot but if you’ve got a group of friends that ride along with you it’s not so bad. It’s good to be part of a team… even a small one. It’s good to have reminders of our teammates, too.
Or maybe you’re an old hat… maybe you’ve done the journey a few times before and this time you’re flying solo. Maybe you know you need to take care of your body as you keep moving forward and making progress. You can’t enjoy the ride if you don’t take care of yourself.
If we’re very lucky we make it to the end unscathed but usually that doesn’t happen. Seems like everyone gets hurt somehow. It just happens… not your fault. Wrong place at the wrong time.
Some of our fellow riders decide they can’t take the journey any longer. Maybe they’re hurting really bad. Maybe the elements are too much and beat them down. Maybe they don’t have enough fuel in the body. So a decision is made to pull the trigger and take a quick ride to the finish line. Some think it’s the easy way out. I don’t think it’s really easier. I think it’s hard to make the decision to bow out of the ride early. But those who are at the finish line to greet you will embrace you and say you did your best… at least you tried.
But for those who stayed in to the bitter end… sweet victory. We come in to hear cheers and singing and hollering that sound like angels announcing our arrival. They say WELCOME! and guide us in to deserved rest. We reunite with our friends and tell tall tales about our time on the ride.