Tales of a Century

It’s better with friends!  That’s really all there is to it.  Doing a century with my friends this weekend I laughed more, rode harder and enjoyed a great deal more than I did on my solo century ride a week ago!


On our way out, we took attendance and attempted to explain where we thought everyone was and what they were up to.  Mostly, we wondered why the rest of the group wimped out, knowing we were going big this week!  We also laughed quite a bit about the various baseball loyalties we each have, and how poorly our teams are playing!  


We were riding Gary’s Ride.  This is a ride to honor Officer Gary Dudley who died in 2006 while on a police benefit ride for fallen officers.  Perhaps you remember that accident in the news.  A careless driver ran into their support van and that van ran over two officers.  Gary was one of those.  Funds raised from this ride go to a scholarship for kids of fallen officers.  Our route would take us to that ride, completing 62 of the ride course, then return home for right about 100 miles.


The laughs continued right out of the start of Gary’s Ride.  We passed several women riders- one of which had a bright pink bike.  That was all Tim needed.  He called out, “Hey Todd!  Isn’t that your bike!?!”  We all broke out in laughter!  You see, Todd is a really strong guy.  He’s nice looking and muscular; so we have a particular affinity to joking with him about his feminine side!  


Laughter is hard to manifest when you are riding a century by yourself; but when you are all out there together, suffering the same and putting out the same effort and investment, it is easy for the bonds of riding friendships to turn those struggles into streams of laughter!  


I am certain that camaraderie is just as important in cycling long distance as it is in any endeavor.  It’s what they lacked in the deserts of the Exodus- togetherness, unity, common allegiance.  It’s what Jesus begged for in the garden while praying, but his disciples kept falling asleep.  It is a natural longing in our hearts- to enjoy another and share common experiences. 


I wonder where church life meets this need and I wonder where church life truly misses the mark.


We made it!  96+ miles together, before some of us broke off into our neighborhoods to complete the 100 miles.  For me- it was 12 or so laps around a round-about, before heading home.  It was there that I pondered this essential and joy of the group!

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