Well, he did it. Hubby got his second century ride in the books.
This was a whole ‘nother experience, having to go to another town where he’d never ridden before, had not practiced on any of the route at all, et cetera. You don’t realize how much comfort there is in being familiar with the road and the terrain! Hmph…that’s a whole other post-slash-sermon right there, though, isn’t it?? Ha!
But yes, we left the pup with Mom for the night and drove about 2 hours away for this ride. It was beautiful country and I even survived with my trusty GPS getting to the places I needed to be all on my own. God sure has been stretching me in the area of traveling by myself in unfamiliar territory. I can’t lie…that scares me thinking of what He might be preparing me for, ya know?
Anyway, I’m really proud of the hubby… he is such a go-gitter and is already counting down the twenty-some days til the next 100-miler in Frankfort. (yes, I know, this last ride went through Frankfort, but the next one starts there & goes…I don’t even know where all it goes!)
I spent most of Ride Day at the 93 mile rest stop. It was hot and boring. I have to plan better next time. It was hard not knowing exactly where the stops were. All I had to go on were road names listed in the cue sheet. That’s a turn-by-turn ‘map’ of sorts the cyclists can use. It just lists road names, though…so all I’d know was that a particular rest stop was on “this” road, not exactly WHERE on the road it was. That was unnerving to me, but I made it to both the stops I went to without any incident.
The worst thing was thinking “I’ll grab a bite somewhere on the way” then finding there really wasn’t any where nearby to get food!! I literally went from 6 a.m. til after 6 p.m. without anything to eat or drink! Well, wait… I did eat a small bag of chips that one of Hubby’s rider friends had gotten then didn’t want and half of a Payday candy bar that Hubby couldn’t eat. Yes, I was at rest stops with tons of food, but I wasn’t about to even think of eating any of the food that was for the cyclists, even though the thought of asking to have some water did cross my mind several times. I just toughed it out. I honestly thought for sure I would pass a fast food place on the way to that second rest stop, but I didn’t, and then I thought I’d run back out to pick up something real quick before time for Hubby to be there, but there were routes coming in both directions into the stop and it was way out in the country, so it would have taken a lot longer to drive out and back. And then I’d have to drive through cyclists too, which isn’t fun for them or me. Sigh. Next time I am packing a cooler for myself! And a chair and an air mattress maybe. Ha!
There was a terrible tragedy that happened during the ride that has left me shaken, though. A drunk driver hit and killed one of the cyclists. I had no clue, but when they made the announcement at the closing ceremony, Hubby informed me that he’d ridden past it shortly after it happened. He wasn’t sure at the time if there’d been a fatality or even that it did involve a bike rider, but my core was shaken at that news.
Of course, we never know which breath will be our last, but I had not even entertained the thought that this hobby could get my Hubby, or even me, killed! I have fought with the fear and the thoughts of wanting him to NOT do the next rides. I have tried to rationalize the fact that just getting out of bed in the morning can be potentially deadly. Shoot, LAYING in the bed can be deadly, ya know? Any of us could die just as easily no matter where we are.
That’s when it dawned on me that it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do. When God says it’s our time, we are going, no matter what we do to try and “stay safe”. I guess, just that sudden, crushing realization that it could have just as easily been Hubby who had been killed shook me. I suddenly wanted him to NOT ride, to not do anything dangerous, to be safe. But who of us can ever be truly safe and from what are we being “safe” anyway? If we live in fear of dying, we won’t truly live. We will become obsessed with preserving our lives while frittering away all the excitement, joy and fun there is in living. We will miss opportunities to spend time with those we love, enjoying life with them. Simply put, we will miss out. On life, on love, on fun…on everything!
My mother is one of the biggest worry warts I know. I try to cut her some slack because God knows with both her children having chronic diseases, that kinda dictates that she be a worrier, right? But she can really take it to the extreme. She doesn’t know about the accident and hopefully she won’t til at least after the next ride Hubby does. If she finds out, she will fret about it and nag me to death that I should make him NOT ride. Yes, she’ll insist that I MAKE him not do the next ride. That’s just mom. We’ve all learned to deal with her neuroses the best we can and sometimes that means keeping certain info from her. I haven’t posted about the accident on Facebook or anywhere or mentioned it to anyone except the kids. Neither of my parents have Facebook, but they have friends who do, so I don’t want any of that stuff getting back to them if I can help it!
Anyway, all that to say, I could feel my Mom’s panic rising in me and I could step to the other side of it, and feel the futility of it as well. I don’t want to feel like she does. I don’t want to worry away my life. I don’t want to give my appreciation of life away to fear.
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.