July 14, 2015
I’m sitting in Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow, MT, where the BTUSFMS team is spending the night. This is my last night with the team. Tomorrow, we have a 70-mile ride to Malta, MT, where my wife, Elizabeth, will be waiting. We’ll load my bike into the car and drive home so I can be back at work on Monday.
I’m looking forward to seeing and holding Elizabeth again, but it’s with some sadness that I’ll be saying good-bye to the team, to the open road, and to the elemental simplicity of the last two weeks.
Today was an easy 50-mile ride from Wolf Point. With very few exceptions, the terrain was flat, the wind was little more than a breeze, and there was a cloud cover so the temperatures stayed moderate. After the challenges of the 105-mile ride yesterday, I think everyone’s body heaved a collective sigh of relief.
Brian, Chelsea, and I again rode as a team, but with the shorter distance didn’t leave till 6:00 am. We rolled into Glasgow around 11:00, after stopping a few times along the way—a leisurely ride.
Sometimes on a journey like this there can be a tendency to push, push, push as if the goal was always to reach the end first, or at least as early as possible.
But the body has other ideas, rhythms, and reserves, and one of the most profound lessons and reminders on this trip has been to listen to the body first. It has wisdom that we are often oblivious to or reluctant to acknowledge.
Bicycling across the country is an excellent way to rekindle our forgotten or neglected body/heart/mind/spirit connection The physical demands insist that we put aside pride and arrogance, fear and trepidation and let our body tell us what it can do and when it has to stop. It occasionally disappoints us, but in my experience, it much more often surprises and delights us.
If I can remember to remember this more consistently, my experience over the last two weeks will indeed prove invaluable…