Sunday, August 26, 2012

1,000 miles

Well, I hit my 1,000 mile mark last night on Wilma.  I hadn't planned for that before riding, but as I rode, I saw how close it was was WORTH riding past dark to hit that mark.  

There is of course nothing inherently special about the number 1,000, any more than there is anything inherently special about the new year or my birthday or any other numbered item.  But I am definitely a person who stops to reflect when they hit, nonetheless.  

(I can almost HEAR Lulu pining, "What about ME?  What about MY miles?"  So...reminder...there were A LOT of Lulu miles in the same time frame as Wilma's 1,000.  Wilma's just the lucky bike that gets a speedometer.  LOL)

So what has happened in the 1,000 miles Wilma and I have done in 10 months minus winter?  

I have learned to love the hilly parts of the bike trail and learned to hold my own on one of the meanest streets in Rock Island.  Conquered steeps I thought were insurmountable.  Wiped countless bugs out of my eyes, snorted them out of my nose, and swallowed them without number.  Scared beavers, had showdowns with territorial hissing geese, and felt my heart jump in close encounters with deer.  Lost pounds and inches that I still won't bother quantifying.  Built leg muscles that I love to watch work.  Got my mind blown as God completely healed my life-long terror of heights.  Been laughed at, yelled at, cheered on, screamed at, honked at, and propositioned.  Battled carpal tunnel hands, an arthritic foot, and uhh saddle pain.  Gone from being passed by everyone on the trail to mostly holding my own position.  Gloried in standing on the pedals down hills and grunted while standing on the pedals up hills.  Soaked sweat clean through all the hair on my head and every stitch of clothing I had on too many times to count.  Fought headwinds for hours at a time.  Giggled like a child in the driving rain.  Talked to myself, silently and aloud.  Sung to myself, sometimes at the top of my lungs.  Talked to God, silently and aloud.  Laughed and joked and occasionally cried with Him.  Even rode with a friend a time or two.  Witnessed fights and lovers and drug deals and pranks and friendships.  Experienced the "thin places" where the barrier between physical and spiritual is almost not there at all.  Breathed so hard it made my throat sore.  Rode so hard it made my body sore.  Meandered at a pace barely moving.  Sat beside water and listened.  Smiled at passers by.  Got smiled at by passers by.  Got glared at by passers by.  Got stared thru as if invisible by passers by.  Felt judged by riders slicker than me.  Judged riders slicker than me.  Silently cheered fellow non-athletic types as I encountered them.  Prayed for what I saw in the natural and in the spirit for others along the way.  Watched seasons come and go.  Remembered long long ago.  Fought fantasies.  Made plans.  Abandoned plans.  Rewrote plans.  Surrendered my right to plan.  Dreamed of far far ahead.  Drifted in peace.  

Oh, there's more, but really how long am I gonna go on about how great it is to ride a bike?

If you don't have something this awesome in your life, whether it is riding a bike or something prayer for you is that THIS is the year it opens up. 

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