I suppose when you contemplate an old guy (me) trying to bike up a mountain that can be somewhat inspirational for some folks. That we are old does not mean we are not able. And I suppose that when you think of an old, fat guy (me) losing a lot of weight, that also can be somewhat inspirational. Just because we are ancient that does not mean we cannot drop a pound or two.
But all is not well.
I train for this Mt. Washington ride (debacle?) by going to Mt. Ascutney which is the only tarmac around here which is of the same steepness. Usually the ride up Ascutney takes everything out of me. In fact, I cannot remember a time when I did not think about whether I would make it. I go very slowly but it as fast as I can go. You know – old, heavy, no genetic inheritance which might be an assist of sorts.
So I fell. I was going so slow that I swerved, was going parallel to the road, which is narrow, could not turn because I was going so slow. Down I went. I learned – never, ever take a hand off the handlebars. That is something of a problem when it comes to grabbing a water bottle or an energy packet.
Then I fell a second time. The chain came off the gear. Down I went. Two falls. I set about to make the adjustments to the chain set up, but it does erode any confidence as I thought it was set up fine before.
Two rides up Ascutney. Two falls.
I did not get hurt. A few scrapes. And the bike did not get too damaged. So I cling to that good. Thankfully this was not the event.
I am constantly reminded that despite our best wisdom and plans, matters do not pan out as we hope. We constantly adjust. And we live by hope. I hope I do not fall, that the bike does not have issues, that I can figure out a way to ingest water…
I think of all this as a metaphor for life. Never get too comfortable or complacent with the way things are. Always be prepared to make adaptions. And since we cannot anticipate all the adaptions – have faith that God will show us a path forward.