I love biking.
Well, I guess, some would call it cycling.
Regardless, I love it.
But I don’t want to bike across Iowa, I want to speed down the rolling hills in this corner of the state.
I love the mobility that being on the bike gives me. I love that I can bike a mile in less than 5 minutes.
I love that I can bike to my job in the summer unless there is a threat of storms.
I like that I can make a quick grocery run without having to start up my car.
I adore that the combination of living in a small town, owning a bike, and desiring an active lifestyle gives me the freedom to bike anywhere within the town I live without too much trouble.
But I had an issue present itself recently: I accepted a position as a worship coordinator at a church in a town 15 miles away. And although the commute is not long in a car, it is still more than a non-distance cyclist would want to do twice in one day.
But I came up with a fast solution; I can take my bike with me!
So every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Sylvia (my bike) and I rest for the 15 miles in (or on) my car on our way to the church.
Once I’ve finished working for the day, I gingerly remove Sylvia from her rack and bike towards the trails that are conveniently located only about a mile and a quarter from where I work. Although I have to bike on the highway, it is worth it; it is almost exclusively downhill all the way to the trail and it takes me only about 3 minutes to get there if I don’t have to stop for the stop light. Once I get to the trail, I usually do some exploring and 5 miles later I head back up the hill to the church.
But as I was saying, I love to bike.
There are so many things I love about biking, but my favorite are the hills.
I love a good climb.
I love the skill that it takes.
I love that as I climb the hill back to church, my quads are screaming at me to rest.
I also like the skill and knowledge it takes to know when to shift through the gears for the most effective climb.
In short, I like the challenge of the climb (cue Miley Cyrus here).
But more than the climb, I like the rush of the downhill.
And no, I don’t mean the coast.
I mean, I like knowing a hill is coming and biking as aggressively as I can up to and half-way down the hill. I like to get the speed. And although the trails around here are not super long, I regularly get close to 25 miles per hour making my way down them.
I love that the only thing I hear as I race down the hill is the rush of wind that comes from both sides of my face, as if it is pushing its way through my brain.
I love that I can close my eyes so tight for a millisecond.
I love that for that one moment, as I coast down the rest of the hill, I can’t remember a single thing. I’m not thinking about what happened at work or what I need to get done; I’m not thinking about my roommate or my family or my friends; I’m not thinking about any sin in my life or any negative thought that so easily pushes through; I’m not thinking about what a plus-sized woman looks like on a bike or whether or not my shirt is riding up.
I’m literally thinking about nothing.
In that one moment, there is peace. It is almost as if I pick up enough speed, I will literally take off and start flying with the angels in heaven.
In that single moment, that millisecond, there is nothing but peace.
I love that by the time I get down the hill there is water coming from my eyes and that I am never quite sure whether it is from the beauty of God or from the wind.
In that moment, I feel as if God and I are together without distraction, almost as if I am one with the angels.
This is what I imagine it will feel like in the new heaven and new earth; that this moment will someday last forever.
Someday I won’t have to exert myself to feel that kind of peace, but it will be gifted to me by a God who loves me more than I can imagine.
 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI)
 This depends on whether or not I’m working against the wind or how many times I have to come to a dead stop.
 With the help, of course, of my bike rack and handy bag that hangs off the back of it.
 His name is Ted.
 relatively dangerous in my neck of the woods
 As you can image, it takes me a bit longer to go up the hill
 Or give up…
 It’s amazing to me that 25 miles per hour feels slow in a car, but so fast on a bike.
 Real cyclist with laugh at this. I have a friend who has gotten well above 50 with his small-tired road bike