I’d like to start by saying I love my bike! Anyways, in the beginning of January a friend and I started riding on the bike path from Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica, approximately 26/27 miles roundtrip.
The first time we cruised to Santa Monica in a little under two hours. Not so bad except for the fact we had to be back in Manhattan by 5pm. *Heavy sigh* we planned horribly! 5pm?! Yea, it was totally 3:45pm by the time we started heading back. Do you see the problem? So much for cruising home.
As we raced the clock and the sunset I had time to think. 1st thought—Why in the world did I work out before coming on this almost 30mile trek? The rest of my thoughts? Ok, since you asked:
1. Lack of planning is downright stressful and can be a complete inconvenience
Nine times out of ten careless planning will negatively affect someone or something else as it did in our case. We knew it would take about four hours roundtrip but didn’t factor in time for rest, snacks, or crowds. At this point my friend was still renting her bike and we needed to be back before they closed the shop. From the moment we made it to Santa Monica we knew we didn’t have long.
We sat down to rest and eat for a few minutes before racing back. Not only were we going to be late regardless of how fast we pedaled, but we still had to press harder than ever to get back by our new deadline. We had no other options. Our poor choice not only affected us but at least 3 other people who were waiting for us to return.
2. When the road you’re on starts feeling like a climb you have to keep pushing!
Have you ever tried going up a steady incline without moving your feet? Yeah, it’s pretty much impossible. You must continuously press down and push up hill no matter how hard it gets or find you’ll yourself right back down at the bottom where you started. Or worse, stuck midway super close to the top of the hill but unable to reach it.
3. While you push, stay in tune with your source
Communication with God is important during these times. It keeps us calm, motivated, and empowered to move forward. Believe me I was promising and praying to get help through some of those hills! (Lol please don’t make promises you don’t plan to keep) After a while, the smaller inclines didn’t seem so bad because I already tackled something greater. Praise God for stamina and endurance taught on the rough road!
4. Praise God for the downhill moments
I could have complained and missed out on the obvious benefits of going downhill. It is easier to do than you think. Sometimes we get caught up in how unpleasant the rough road was and fail to move forward into the new season and journey. But for me it was my favorite part of the ride home by far. What relief!
We have to praise him for these moments and take advantage of them. Sometimes just being willing to move forward is all you need to do and God will handle the rest! I would ride the declines as far as I could without having to pedal allowing the momentum to propel me up another small hill. Well, unless I pumped my breaks out of fear.
5. Pumping your own breaks isn’t always a good thing
Yes, being convicted and stopping yourself from doing something wrong is awesome! But in times when God has you on a path of straight sailing pumping your own breaks can lead to extra work and possibilities of falling all the way off track! It’s like Peter stepping out to walk on water then getting scared and sinking. Don’t force yourself to pedal harder when you don’t have to.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be obstacles that will cause you to want to or have to pump your breaks. There were other cyclist, skateboarders, roller-bladers, people walking, cars, stoplights, dogs, and omg sand!
6. Watch out for the sand traps!
When the road gets a little bit easier we become vulnerable. We have the tendency to let our guards down, taking our eyes off the road becoming over involved in the scenery. Oh how the enemy loves this! You know, you fall off your prayer and word game, you may even stop going to church because you have it all under control. In my case, gazing at the waves, sunset, or birds for too long. Uuupppp, let me tell you what happens on these bikes when they meet a mound of unexpected sand lol…
It doesn’t matter if you're on flat land, going uphill or coming down, when those tires hit a heavy patch you will Tokyo drift your butt right onto that ground and while down might get ran over by other cyclists! I can’t tell you how many times I had that ugly ‘I’m freaked out cuz I’m about to fall face’ after hitting one of those sand mounds the wrong way. BTW, I never actually fell! Best believe I watched out for them, but didn’t let them hinder my progress! (side note, don’t be so worried about the bumps in the road that it immobilizes your ability to move forward).
Point is, enjoy your journey but keep your eyes on the road ahead!
Part II will be posted soon to share about the rest of the journey don't forget to check back in!
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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