Well I did it! I rode 160 miles on Saturday! RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) truly started out as a rain ride. With the threat of thunderstorms all day, there were a lot of long faces early Saturday morning. Lightening was flashing in the sky and there were lots of eyes on the hotel lobby television watching The Weather Channel. Just as we decided to head to the start line (lots of riders had already done so) the sky opened up and the rain fell. We waited, patiently. My friend Kate said we have to use our heads and not let the emotion of wanting to ride interfere w/ our safety. By being patient, we did not end up soaked like many, many riders who had gone out to the start line. We waited half an hour, the sky lightened, the rain lightened and we rode out.
The first part of the ride was wet, but the overcast sky kept me cool. I was quite grimy from the grit of the road, but it didn't matter. By about mile 70 the sun came out, temps rose and so did the humidity. I must tell you, it was hot! But I kept on pedaling. After a long day in the saddle I finished 456th and averaged just under 18 mph. Out of over 1500 that started the ride, only 911 finished. I was right in the middle of the pack - not bad for my first time out.
At about mile 150 there was a steady uphill that was about 3 miles long. With each stroke I was whispering "help me God" all the way up. And help me He did. Let me tell you, He heard from me all day. I talked a lot to Him. And it is to His glory that I finished. I thank each of my sisters who took time to pray for me. Believe me, those prayers were felt! You are all a blessing to me!
Now, let me tell you about the picture. This is a photo of the RAIN Ride Dan Henry. A Dan Henry is a marking in the road that guides the riders along the way. (Dan Henry (born 1913) is a bicycling legend and inventor of directional pavement markings)
These directionals are so important to any organized ride as they guide a cyclist from the start of a ride to the finish. Without these directions a cyclist can get off track, lose his/her way and endure a difficult time getting back on track or lose his/her way completely. I thought about the parallel of a Dan Henry to a cycling event and Holy Scripture to our earthly lives. Scripture is our guide, our marking on the road of life that keeps us on track to the finish! Our Divine Instruction Book.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
~ Psalm 119:105
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
~2 Timothy 4:7
Those markings were my guide along the route of the road - 160 miles - One Day - One Way.
I thought about the words one way - There is only One Way to the finish of our earthly life that gives us the heavenly reward we so long for...
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
~ John: 14:6
Scripture is our Dan Henry, Jesus is our One Way, and the finish - our Heavenly Home!
Almighty Father, I thank you for your Divine protection not just on Saturday, but everyday of my life. I thank you for Your Word that gives us our direction, I thank You for Your Son who gives us salvation! Thank You for the many people who offered up their prayers for my safety this past Saturday. I thank You for giving me the ability to cycle so many miles and the opportunity to see You in all the things I do. Amen