Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Racing the Rain & Why I Love Biking
This evening I decided to ride my bike to the gym! It looked like it was going to rain all day, and I heard that there were supposed to be isolated thunderstorms, but I didn’t believe it. I hopped on my bike and took my sweet time getting to the gym. When I arrived, the clouds looked only a little bit darker, so I figured I had enough time to do some quick core and arm exercises. About halfway into my gym session, I lost all enthusiasm to be at the gym. I wanted to go home, and I wanted to ride my bike as fast as I could home. I quickly packed up my things and powerwalked out the door.
As I was riding, I looked to the west and I saw ominous clouds. Needless to say, I decided to pedal my little heart out.As I approached the Root River Parkway, I saw lightning out of the corner of my eye. The lightning became more frequent within moments, and the temperature dropped. I passed runners, walkers, and other bikers who had also (I’m assuming) increased their pace. We were all stealing glances at the approaching storm, and we accepted the challenge to race it.
When I finally reached my front porch it had already began to drizzle. I went inside, shut the door, and sighed. What a relief! As I poured a glass of water, I heard a low rumble of thunder, and within two minutes, literally, the rain began to pour, and strong gusts of wind punished the trees in my front yard. How lucky was I? I can assure you that I wouldn’t have gotten the kind of workout by staying at the gym.
Aside from trusting my gut feeling to leave, I think there is something spiritual and special about biking. I don’t actually bike on the streets most of the time. In fact, I don’t have a road bike, I have a mountain bike. With the exception of riding mostly on the streets today, I have recently been taking my rides to the woods.
I’ll tell you all the things I love about riding. I love the fact that you can’t completely predict the weather, so that can factor into your ride; I love that you can connect with nature by using a manmade contraption that jumps over roots, maneuvers through tight tree-corridors, and makes you fly headfirst over the handle bars when you hit a rock just right. All those things appeal to me.
In the simplest form, I love the way biking makes me feel. I’m able to connect with nature, and I have moments to myself where I can think about what the clouds are saying to me. Biking challenges me physically, but it also challenges me spiritually. Riding makes me pay attention to the storms approaching, and I think God challenged me to a race today. He let me win this time.