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Where Credit is Due

August 1, 2022

Where Credit Is Due

The other day, I had forgotten to check the air in the bike tires. I try to keep them around 60 psi. At the end of the ride, they were near 20 psi. It had been a slow exhausting day on the bike. I attributed to soft tires. The next day, with the proper pressure, we averaged 13.5 mph. The day before, it had only been 11.2. Our average on the trip had been around 12 mph. So, I knew I needed to keep the tires up to pressure.

The two following days were long, tiring rides. Part of why I haven’t had a blog post in a week. I was just worn out. I was beginning to think it was time to throw in the towel. My miles per hour dropped to 11.8 the next day. Then, only 10.1 yesterday. One of the slowest days of the trip. The tires were up to pressure each day. The gears weren’t shifting exactly right, but that wasn’t the problem.

The problem was the wind. Today, we had a nice tail wind from Wall, South Dakota to Rapid City. It was similar mileage and elevation. Yet, we averaged 12.3 mph. We got into Rapid City a full hour faster than yesterday. And, because we skipped the “Hotel Breakfast” at a restaurant, we were on the road 90 minutes earlier in the day. We made it to Rapid City before the temperature reached 90+.

As we went up and down the rollers, enjoying a pleasant day on the bike, I realized that it wasn’t the tire pressure, it wasn’t that I was getting tired. It was simply fighting the wind. Then, when the ride lasted longer, fighting the wind and the heat.

All too often, we are looking at the wrong things, or the wrong people for the problems that we are facing. We look at the hills in front of us and wonder why this is happening to me. We might even complain to God, wondering whether he is all loving. If God really loved us, wouldn’t we always have a tail wind and coast downhill. At the worst, ride on the level ground with a slight headwind.

Then, we start tinkering with things. We adjust our relationships. We buy something that will inspire us. We change our routine. In the end, we still have days that seem like headwinds and going up hills.

Today, as we were riding the rollers, Janet referred to them as “Isaiah Rollers.” Isaiah prophesied that every mountain will be made low and every valley lifted up. This does not refer to our daily struggles. It refers to what God is doing to be in relationship with us. Whether we are fighting a headwind, or struggling with mountain, God has come to be in relationship with us.

Again, as we were on the rollers, we were running within view of the freeway. There, the engineers had filled in many of the valleys and leveled the small hills. Cars and semitrucks were flying down the freeway getting from one place to another without much effort. I am not on this journey across America to get from one point to another. I am on the journey to experience each moment. To journey with God along with Janet. Together we experience the highs and the lows. The struggles and the enjoyment of simply riding a bike and seeing America. Along the way, we are seeing more and experiencing more than those who are on Interstate.

Tomorrow the journey continues as we enter the Black Hills to see Mt. Rushmore. Jess will be joining us tomorrow evening to be our sag wagon. We will be able to ride with our bags in the car and enjoy our evenings and day off the bike with her. May we experience God’s blessings in this simple pleasure.


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