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Ever ridden a bike at night? As a kid, we were fearless and thought nothing about riding our bikes in the dark. Other cars and holes in the road were a challenge to swerve around and not crash and burn. The winner was the one who was still upright with the least amount of bumps and bruises. Oh the days of youth and being able to jump up and get right back at it!!
The bicycle I’ve been riding is about 13 years old. When I decided biking was going to be my source of exercise, I knew my bike needed a good tune up. New tubes, brakes and a chain later, she was ready to go. I was truly excited about this new adventure of cycling. I am, by no means, an expert and distance cyclist. I enjoy being outside and the countryside around me. I stick to back roads and avoid busy highways and country roads. I have a couple of 10 mile countryside loops I like to ride.
My new adventure of cycling started a little over a year ago. I wanted to use what I had and not purchase anything new because I didn’t know how it was going to go. I found one of my kids’ helmets from a local bike ride fundraiser they did several years ago. A water bottle I already had fit perfectly in the water bottle holder on my bike. I did purchase a phone holder that fit on my handlebars.(I jam to my Jesus music when riding.) Over the past year, my confidence has built up. I feel more secure on my bike and I’ve ventured out for short distances on busier roads.
I have a neighbor that I ride with when our schedules allow it. My 10 mile loop is a short ride for her. So, when we ride together, I know it will be a longer ride. An organization in our neighboring town sponsored a nighttime, 18 mile loop, bike ride. My neighbor was planning on riding and asked if I wanted to join her. Let me point out, it’s a night ride that starts at 9 pm. That is rather close to my bedtime! And, it would be my longest distance at 18 miles. With apprehension, I threw my helmet in and said, Why not!
Once the typical pre-race check-in was complete, we watched other riders arrive and gather around the starting line. During that time, I was checking out other bikes. There were some pretty swanky bikes out there. I might have experienced a little bike envy! There was a group of 4 of us that rode the route together. The three I rode with are avid riders and have put in far more miles and are more experienced riders. I felt a little out of my league!
Due to the ride starting at 9 pm and ending at 11 pm, the officers that escorted us set the pace and kept the riders together. At the beginning of the route, a steady pace was set and I was keeping up with ease. Almost halfway through, the pace picked up and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep up. Surprise! Surprise! I kept up. At the halfway point, we all stopped for a snack, drink and to regroup before we took off for the second half of the ride. During the second half, I was separated from our pack of 4 riders.
Let me pause here for a minute and let you in on a little tidbit about myself. I’m near sighted, can’t see well at night and it is now past my bedtime! While the adrenaline kept me awake, my eyes were getting tired.
I was running over sticks before I realized there were sticks in the road.
There were a couple of experienced riders in front of me that pointed out holes and signaled upcoming turns. After a few miles, I was able to meet up with my pack, and we rode the rest of the route together.
Our finish line treat was a well deserved Dilly Bar. Once our Dilly Bars were eaten, bikes strapped down on the car and we shared our experience about the ride, realization sunk in.
I liked it. I really liked it. I had fun on my older bike, riding with my neighbor and meeting new people. The apprehension I felt in the beginning was replaced with a stronger desire to keep riding, extend my distance and challenge myself with new routes. I had something old that helped me experience something new.
People who thrive on experiencing new things intrigue me. “Why not?” seems to be their motto. Try something at least once. Right??
I have a “Bucket List” like most people. What I find interesting is, I have more joy, excitement and pleasure when experiencing something new that is not on my bucket list, something new that was unplanned. Most times fear and anxiety hold us back from doing something new that we hadn’t thought of before.
Riding my bike at night had never entered my mind. Glow sticks wrapped around my wheel spokes and handlebars added some fun and a little bit of light to my new experience. Yet, I still had to dig deeper into myself, into Jesus, and overcome the doubts of being able to ride the distance and the weariness of my eyes and body.
At one point during the ride, I felt anxiety. I was separated from my pack and I couldn’t see very well. I had a “It’s you and me, Jesus. You and me,” moment. I know He is always with me. He will guide and keep me safe. At that moment of peace, I heard my riding buddies come up behind me as we finished the route together. That is so like Jesus to provide exactly what we need when we need it.
Try something new today. Next time I go to Tropical Smoothie I may try the Avocolada instead of my favorite Strawberry Limeade. Venture out and try something new today. It could become your next favorite thing!
Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, experiencing new things, together in Him.
Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time.