second thoughts

I took my first bike ride in Indianola. Before my program on Tuesday, my dad brought up my bike (well, brought down, as he came from the north) and today I took the sunshine and open schedule as an opportunity to play bike-tune-up-lady for a while and give it a shot. This is the bike that ruined Santa Claus for me (my general music teacher moon-lighted at the local hardware store where the bike was sold, evidently not to Santa)…which makes it more than 13 years old. Ha!

Anyway, after using WD-40 to degrease the chain and some oil to lube the chain, I took the bike over to Casey’s across the street to get the tires pumped up. The foot-pump I have was successful in deflating 20 psi in about 3 seconds flat on the front tire, so I walked the bike carefully to the gas station (so as not to damage the bike by riding it on such flat tires). After that, I strapped on my helmet, took my letters to send (the mail man appeared to have already come, though he was just coming when I got back…oh well) and headed first to HyVee to drop off the letters.

We have a very nice, paved bike path that goes all the way to Carlisle. I’ve been running on it lately, though I’ve never gone past about the 2 mile mark on the trail because that’s definitely time to turn around and head home on foot :). I reflected on some things I could have thought through better.

1. Hydration
I didn’t count on this being a long ride, so I brought no water with me. I wasn’t absolutely parched by the end, but even stopping for a water break might have alleviated my fatigue.

2. The run I already took today
I ate a banana and drank plenty of water afterward, but I was already recently made tired by my last week 4 run (it was actually the 4th instead of the 3rd, but there was nearly a week between 3 and 4…and I didn’t actually finish 3).

3. The direction of the wind
It was with me on the way out of town. Definitely put the pedal to the metal (well, not accurate…but I was pushing myself). When I went around Summerset Lake (or Lake Summerset? It’s tragically only about 32% as beautiful as Ada Hayden) I noticed the effect of the wind as I headed south and dreaded the ride back.

4. The slope of the path
Recall how I pushed myself on the way out of town? Didn’t hurt that the slope was slightly, but assuredly downhill as I went north. Going south, uphill and into the wind after being kind of tired (see pt 2) was tough.

5. The sun
I confess I did not expect to need sunscreen today. That’s dumb. The sun was even out. I got some color on my arms. Farmer’s tan 2011, officially started.

6. The condition of my bike
There were definitely some interesting grindy/clicky/squeaky noises coming from my bike. I tried shifting gears and it didn’t help. I think it was more effective than my panting or a bell to let people know I was coming.

Despite these things, I think it was a 12+ mile bike ride (if the painted mile markers on the trail are accurate), not to mention the loop around the lake (if you can call it that) and the extra trip out to Hy-Vee, which is admittedly not far from the path. For being forecast as a stormy day, today was quite sunny.

Besides the bike riding part of my weekend, I’ve been wrestling with some bad news this weekend. I’m glad to report it’s turning me to scripture because I don’t have answers even for myself (no one else has really asked me for answers…so perhaps I’m misconstruing that), but I’m taking away a reminder that life is fragile and the Gospel is urgent. I am praying for God to be glorified in multiple situations that royally stink so that hearts would be transformed, knees would bow, and lives would be lived to the fullest extent.

Peace to you,

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