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Preparing For The Next Ride

May 5, 2016

For many of us cyclists and back-country adventurers, much of our enjoyment comes from the thoughtful preparation and anticipation of the next big ride. That ride might be a three-day backcountry camping trip or a quick ride on the local trails after work. In either case, there is preparation that must be done to ensure that our valuable time away from the responsibilities of adult life is well spent. Trailside bike maintenance is never fun. And bikes that make unpleasant noises tend to remind us of how better planning for the ride would have been good.


Sometimes, the time demands of life require us to scrap a good ride to spend some time preparing for the next adventure. I had just such an evening last week. My lights were charged, I threw on a clean jersey, and the adrenaline was already kicking in. Yeah! Time to ride!


Then as I swung a leg over the saddle and hopped on my favorite full-suspension rig, I was greeted with a horrendous squeaking noise, and then a popping sound as the suspension compressed. The diagnosis was immediate: main pivot overhaul needed. Like a Service Engine light, I probably could have hit the trail and tried to tune out the terrible sound that would undoubtedly drown out the sound of owls, coyotes, and the gentle breeze. Man, I just want to ride.  But, since this was to be a solo ride, the self-disciplined part of me won out.


The thrill of setting out for a fast ride turned into a sinking feeling as I’d now be confined to my garage to perform a job that I didn’t feel all that interesting in doing. Time to break out the toolbox. Grease gun, torque wrench, Allen wrench, owners’ manual.


Of course, most of my bike maintenance never goes as planned. A knuckle gets bloodied. A bolt gets stripped. Hours pass by. But at the end of the frustrating time of doing a tune-up came the satisfaction that my rig was ready for the next adventure. The ride will not be plagued by squeaks or anything less than the optimal performance that the engineers had in mind for the bike.


This is a great analogy. Sometimes, we just need to scrap the ‘ride’ to tend to some repair work in order to make sure that we are ready for the next adventure. In the Christian life, before we dive into our busy agenda for the day; it’s necessary to spend some time in proverbial garage. That means prayer. That means reading God’s Word. That means aligning our mind with the mind of Christ. Here is a great verse to think on during your next pre-ride spiritual tune-up:


I Peter 1:13-15 ESV Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct…



Blogger Bio: Matthew Allen and his wife of 18 years live with their 3 sons in San Diego, California. The Allen family  recently returned to Southern California after nearly five years serving with Iglesia Cristiana El Camino de La Vida in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In addition to training pastors and elders, Matthew launched CabraRides.com to promote adventure cycling and eco-tourism in Honduras. Matthew is a board member of Fully Packed Adventure Ministries and is a student of Scripture with a passion for the Old Testament.




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