ANOTHER BIKER IN ONE OF THOSE RIDICULOUS OUTFITS
There goes another one of those bikers hogging the road. Who do they think they are? And what’s up with those ridiculous clothes? Neon jersey, skin tight padded shorts, fingerless gloves. You wouldn’t catch me in such a ridiculous outfit. I just don’t get my friend Ron either. Who takes a week of vacation to ride a bike in RAGBRAI? He and I certainly have different ideas about what a vacation should be like.
That was four years ago. Shortly after that I decided I needed to get fit and get a bike, but I certainly was still not going to get one of those bikes with the knife edge seat, skinny tires, and curly handlebars, and there was no way I was going to get a set of those ridiculous clothes.
In some ways, I was right. I don’t just have one bike I have two; and only one of them matches the description in the previous paragraph. I don’t have a set of those ridiculous clothes, I have lots of sets. I can’t wait to go on RAGBRAI next year, and one of my favorite things to do when we travel is explore on a bike. I think I’m going to be in the market for an indoor trainer so I can ride this winter.
If you happen to see me out there, please, none of those obscene gestures, don’t throw your Coke at me, and don’t drive too close; I’m on a designated bike path. We’re supposed to share the road. That hole in the road won’t bother you, but it could flip me. Have you ever felt a semi pass you 3’ away going four times your speed while you’re on a bike? It’s not the thrill I was seeking when I got into biking.
It’s funny how walking in someone else’s shoes (and in my case, they’re the ones that clip onto your pedals) can sure change your perspective. I know over the years I’ve been quick to judge people who had different political views, dressed differently, or in other ways didn’t measure up.
In Luke chapter 7, we hear about a Centurion who would have not been well liked, or thought of in Jewish Society. Yet we hear that though the Centurions all wore the same uniform they were not all cut from the same cloth.
There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”
I recently traveled with someone who had a very different upbringing then me, and a very different perspective that they were very bold in sharing. While I didn’t always agree, I was not disagreeable. By the end of the trip, I discovered I really liked this person, and enjoyed our conversations. I’m trying more to realize I’m not always right, and different isn’t the same as bad. I’m going to travel this life with people in different clothes and different ideas (on my bike).