How cycling is like faith

Cycling is solitary sport that permits time to think and reflect on all manner of things

Some months back I had a birthday that struck me as a bit … substantial. I was tempted to search out my birth certificate just to be sure. The number was right, however, and I decided that I would not go gentle into that good night (thank you,  Dylan Thomas). I was going to take a definite stand against the march of time.

I resolved to renew an interest in cycling — a most noble pastime that I’d abandoned some years back — and with the aid of a new bike optimistically provided by a supportive family, I sped out onto the highways and byways of Oceanside.

Some of the things I have learned include:

• The majority of motorists are thoughtful and courteous in responding to cyclists, and a few are not so charitable. God bless them all. I need to be vigilant, but not paranoid.

• It is an all-weather activity and even riding in the rain has its charms.

• Cycling is solitary sport that permits time to think and reflect on all manner of things. It is you, your bike, and your environment.

• On the other hand, joining together with other cyclists has all sorts of benefits. Riding together encourages and there are always tips and tricks to learn and pass on.

• Riding without a light at night without a light is utterly idiotic. Who knew that deer didn’t have something better to do than stroll down roads? You really need a light.

• All ages can play, but different ages and abilities might need to play a bit differently (A slight aside: there is a notable comradeship amongst cyclists. A good many wave as they pass each other, though there are some who seem to be so focused on the task that you might wonder if they are actually enjoying themselves. I also have a nagging suspicion that some of my younger kin wave at me because they are in the “still” position. By that I mean, “Isn’t it amazing that he can still cycle at his age?” But maybe I’m being overly sensitive).

• The rules of the road are applicable to people on bikes, too. They are not there to oppress or suck the fun out of the ride. They are there to sustain my life and the lives of others.

• Stopping can be difficult. You lose momentum when signs, lights, and traffic eventually demand stopping. This can be especially challenging if your feet are “clipped in” to the pedals, though it seems that some experienced cyclists learn to stop and balance their bikes without having to put their feet on the ground. I admit to suffering from a small amount of balancing envy.

On the other hand, sitting still on a bike really isn’t the point, is it? Cycling is about moving forward.

Come to think of it, cycling is pretty much like faith.

 

Rev. Phil Spencer is a pastor at St. Stephen’s United Church, Qualicum Beach

 

 

Just Posted

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre has embarked on a fundraising campaign, seeking to raise $1 million for establishment of an independent urban Indigenous school. Pictured here, Tsawalk Learning Centre students at an Orange Shirt Day event in September. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre looks to raise $1 million for urban Indigenous school

Centre says independent school would be first of its kind in B.C.

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Most Read