i believe a bicycle gives you more than exercise

Ronald Cecil - Spartanburg, South Carolina
Entered on January 5, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe a bicycle gives you more than exercise. I March 1993 I found myself without transportation to and from work. My only available transportation was by asking my daughter or wife to take me. It was out of their way and would cause them to have to get up earlier than normal and would put additional miles on their vehicles. So I came up with the bright idea of commuting via my bicycle. The distance was nine miles each way and I felt like I could handle it. My goal was to ride until Christmas and then I knew I could not stand the cold temperatures of January and February. However when I made it till Christmas I felt I needed to push on through the winter. Why? Because I wanted to see if I could do it! And, guess what? I did it. Now let me tell you what I’ve learned by commuting my 18 mile round trip.

(1) It is possible to be over 40 and still be able to prove to yourself that you can accomplish the impossible if you just try.

(2) Every now and then I will run across somebody who gives me a hard time such as hollering bad names at me, giving me the “bird”, etc. But most people I have encountered love to see me keep going. As I said I started riding in March through the summer so people woh travel this same route everyday were seeing me just as I was seeing them. As the summer ended and fall and winter drew closer these people did not see me quit. They saw me equip my bike with dual headlights, enough flashing lights on helmer, frame and seat that I look like something out of star wars at night, wool tights and heavy gloves and they saw me continue on my “mission”. Yes, it was my “mission” to get to work, but it was more than that. I was a true pioneer, out there at 6:30 am or at the end of a 12-14 hour workday at 7-8 pm in temperatures as cold as 5 degrees through rain and snow and sleet. People started waving and tooting a good morning to me. As a whole, people in general love to see you do good. This has restored my faith in mankind. Now as summer and warm weather is back these “regulars” are very anxious to take to me, to find out something about this nutty guy who rides a bike daily even in the worst of conditions and I truly believe a lot of them are out there with me as they see me whiz by. So much in the world today seems negative but this situation shows me that people do care about each other. When I first started riding this route I felt so alone and thought, “What happens if I have a flat or some sort of mechanical breakdown?” I now have no doubt that someone would stop to help me based on the attitude of these “regulars” I have encountered.

(3) My Christianity through all this is much stronger. I think God has used this as a way of telling me he will care for me under bad conditions. In an uncertain world he has said in an unspoken voice, “I will carry you through the clouds, the rain, the wind and storms if you will continue to rely on me and have faith in me.” Many times I’ve been in a pouring rain, or been challenging a headwind or facing some sort of adversity and God would put a sweet smell of honeysuckle, or a friendly wave from a passing motorist, or a pretty sunrise or sunset in front of me to remind me everything will be OK if I will continue on my “mission” and not give up on myself and always give God the credit for my safety and diligence.