As I have been in Wichita for over 24 hours, I have been reminded of how easy it is to form opinions prematurely. I have never been in Kansas until this trip. Without ever being here I had judged that it was not a place worth my time to check out. In fact, when I lived in Rockford, Illinois I knew a person who was thinking about transitioning from Wichita to Rockford. This person chose to stay in Wichita. I thought he was crazy. After all, who would want to stay in a place like Wichita when he could move to Rockford? Well, I should have visited Wichita 15 years ago and I would have understood his choice. Wichita is a bustling, vibrant city with a very Midwest feel to it. Some of the appeal includes excellent roads making it easy to get to the downtown which is being revitalized, wonderful neighborhoods, an abundance of shopping and restaurants, a zoo, lots of parks and cyclists, and friendly people.
In the Richland Church, this is the year of connection. This means we are focusing on connecting with others. When I desire to connect I am willing to walk in their shoes, understand their point of view, and am quick to love while slow to judge. It’s one think to dismiss a city to visit, it’s quite another to dismiss a child of God because of a bias I may have. I am thankful for this lesson once again in my life. I challenge you to examine your biases that may be preventing you from connecting with others. I will be examining my own biases this week. I thank God for this reminder.
Trip Stats: Total Miles- 1,881.4 Elevation Gain- 55,760 ft Hours- 163 Pedal Strokes (Wk 5)- 129,263
As everyone knows by now, Usain Bolt from Jamaica won his fourth gold medal yesterday by winning the 200 meter sprint. He has now won the 100 m and 200 m sprints at the Beijing and London Olympics. Bolt had this to say about his accomplishment, ““I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live.” Really? The greatest athlete to ever live?
Yesterday I described the ride as “brutal” pronouncing the wind to be the most difficult variable to overcome in cycling. As I began what I thought we be a fast, easy ride to Cassaday today, I found a very challenging road surface. It was so bumpy that I had to slow down just to navigate the road. After 5 miles of this kind of surface I then encountered a fresh chip seal surface for the next 5 miles. Just as I got through the bad road surface a direct headwind developed. This is when I had the thought, “This is the worst day ever!” Road conditions can be worse than a headwind! And then I thought of Bolt’s statement concerning himself. I realized I had been stricken by the “Bolt Syndrome.” This would be the syndrome where I am at the center of my universe. In this syndrome, my problems are more severe than anyone else’s. When I develop Bolt Syndrome, I think the state or county needs to reassess their road to make them cycling friendly no matter the cost. As I encountered my last hill of the day (there had been a dozen or more 3% climbs) I realized it was only an overpass for the interstate. I had the thought they should have made an overpass for the county road and then I wouldn’t have to make this last climb of the day – Bolt Syndrome.
How often do you have Bolt Syndrome? How often do you fail to see the bigger picture? How often do you get upset when others don’t do exactly what you desire? It’s easy for us to think Usain Bolt is egotistical, but truth be told we all suffer from this syndrome from time to time. I realized today that I need to seek God’s guidance for the bigger picture. I need patience and love to accept the challenges of life and make them into opportunities in His work.
Ride Stats: Total Miles- 37.2 Avg Speed- 12.9 mph Avg HR- 112 Avg Cadence- 79 Pedal Strokes- 11,352