Today’s ride reminded me of Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I enjoy riding in the hills of Kentucky. Yesterday was difficult because my left knee was very sore from a prior meniscus tear and surgical repair in January of this year in addition to issues with my saddle sores. For some reason I didn’t suffer from these problems today which allowed me to enjoy the ride today. Perhaps I felt as good as I did today because I knew when to stop yesterday. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed riding the hills today.
As I think about it, my experiences throughout this trip have prepared me to enjoy the hills in Kentucky. The first day was a very difficult ride of over 100 miles in extreme heat. When I awakened on the second day to ride another 100 miles I had serious doubts that I could do it. In fact I questioned my ability to complete this ride until I sat on top of Lolo Pass near the end of that first week. It was at that moment I realized I could really make it! I then enjoyed the challenge of each mountain pass and the increased fitness level they brought to me even though fatigue and pain often accompanied each ride. And then there were the steep hills in Missouri with their multiple 15-16% gradients. I had a difficult time enjoying the beauty because the rides were so painful. However, without the mountaintop experiences in the west and the extreme challenges of the hills of Missouri I would not have been able to enjoy the hills of Kentucky with their 8-10% gradients.
I have gained strength, confidence, and fitness as I have biked from Washington to Kentucky. Likewise, I am learning to be thankful for the difficult spiritual climbs to reach the mountaintops and overcome the everyday hills of life. These work together to make me a stronger, more confident and fit follower of Jesus. Fitness always comes at a price. My advice to all those wanting to be strong, confident, fit spiritual warriors is to never avoid a mountain pass or an everyday hill because they all work together for good for those who love God.
Ride Stats: Total Miles- 10.5 Elevation Gain- 4,692 ft Avg Speed- 14 mph Avg HR- 117