Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bicycling Across America

Ian has decided to preserve his physical resources and drive across the "desert" of America (across Missouri, all the way to Oregon, all being exceptionally hot this time of year). His trip was postponed in the take-off phase, and he has experienced multiple equipment failures that caused further delays through the eastern states. So the drive was a disappointment for him, and now he finds himself on the western shore, ready to embark on what may be the most beautiful route in the entire country.

The only problem may be that the route is also extremely perilous for bicyclists. This is my old stomping grounds and I used to ride my bike up and down the coast. Riding south is definitely easier than riding north, due to the winds. But the roads are curvy and narrow and riding south means he will be on the cliff side of the road (perched above the ocean), sharing the road with drivers (including RV's!) that are not always patient and kind toward cyclists, especially those they cannot see. And Ian is riding a low-profile recumbent trike which sits low but also takes up more of the shoulder than a standard recumbent. In other words, I'm afraid Ian might be in for more danger than he realizes. He doesn't have a comment board at his site, but I'm sure he could use some prayers to help him arrive safely at his destination, both physically and emotionally. You can tell from his latest post that he is beginning to uncover the fact that his internal joy is not necessarily a product of his external circumstances. We should all be so wise. But can we really demand Joy? Or do we simply embrace it?

Eric has also written a nice post on Ian's quest, over at Fire Ant Gazette.


At 7:52 AM, July 18, 2006, Blogger Foo said...

I embrace my joy every evening when I return home from work. And in the morning before I leave. And at odd moments when I just feel like it.

I embrace the cats too, because I like the sound they make. Kind of a grunt that says "Okay, Bub. Just about 3 more psi, and you're going to be retrieving an eyeball from under the refrigerator."

Where was I? Oh yes... joy is one thing, but my parts drew up when I pondered the mental image you painted of Ian pedaling at thigh level with a sheer drop at his side and a RV full of half-blind geriatrics bearing down on him from behind, oblivious.

Pray for him? You betcha.

At 11:01 AM, July 18, 2006, Blogger Gwynne said...

Heh. :-) I wondered why Bitsy is so little. ;-)

And you are dead on (oops, bad choice of words), you are correct in your assessment of the drivers of those big white elephants, and they proliferate in July! I bid Ian Godspeed!

At 11:16 AM, July 18, 2006, Blogger beth said...

I think we can demand joy from ourselves since, ultimately, I believe joy is a choice. Thus we can demand that we make the decision to choose joy. This is, of course, much harder to do in some circumstances than in others, but ultimately it's still our choice to rise above and choose joy.

That said, I only recommend squeezing cats if they're declawed or very docile by nature.

At 11:33 AM, July 18, 2006, Blogger Gwynne said...

Beth, that's kind of what I am inferring. Why demand something that God has already provided? We can either choose to embrace and accept what He offers or we can choose to look elsewhere (to external circumstances, possessions, experiences, whatever) and be forever frustrated. I'm not sure that's the same thing you are saying, but I think so. ;-)


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