The Cycling Computer

June 8, 2009

I found myself nearly falling asleep this afternoon, but I have been sleeping in excess lately, so I chose a bike ride over a nap.  I started by riding to the bike store, to ask about clipless petals and helmet-mounted mirrors.  After that I wound a largely residential path, aimed loosely at reaching the bike trails at Legacy Park.  I never made it, but it was not a bad ride, overall.

There is something about biking that detaches me from the concerns of my life, and when I ride I am left with nothing but God, the bicycle, and the beauty around me.  In its ideal form, riding my bike is like meditation or prayer.  Today, however, I messed it up.

I have a cycling computer mounted on my handlebars.  It measures and reports my current speed, my average speed, my distance traveled, and various other bits of information.  Today’s ride would have been better had I just left it off.

Somehow, the measurements consumed me.  I was constantly checking my speed, hoping to improve my average.  I tried to climb each hill in the highest gear possible.  I spent nearly the entire ride thinking about how far I’d go, and thinking about how to tell people how far I rode without revealing what a biking wimp I am.

Today there was God, the bicycle, the beauty around me, and a cycling computer.  My problem was that I only ever saw the cycling computer.

I wonder how God felt about that.  Here He’d finally gotten me to go on a bike ride with Him, and I was so preoccupied with my data that I forgot He was there.