Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fasting


Our 151 kilometer ride today started without breakfast. We rode into the town of Sully, 30 km out of camp, where we were served a delicious breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit, and orange juice quickly filled up my belly. Yet again Iowa proved to be anything but flat. I figured, given the humongous meal I ate last night, that I would not be hungry this morning. But, despite the two plates of food and bowl of fruit loops I ingested for supper, the growling of my stomach accompanied on my first 30 kilometers today. Dealing with the constant hills didn't help my empty belly any.

While riding, I couldn't help but remember my time in Africa last summer. I was reminded of my students who often did not eat breakfast or supper- their only meal was the lunch they were given at school. How did they work on an empty stomach or concentrate on schoolwork? I don't know if I could have gotten up to ride today if I had not been promised a large meal shortly after beginning. How did those children get up and do a full day's work ... without food in their belly? I had a hard enough time making it to breakfast without food or water in my belly, let alone the whole day! I now have a small understanding of the plight of my students.

I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast and departed for the next 120 km to camp in Coralville, IA. A strong north wind had developed and the already cool morning became even cooler. I was so grateful that we were headed east for most of the day. In fact, I found the north wind often giving me a small push along. I was able to find energy I didn't know I possessed and I flew along those roads. Perhaps the hills were less up and down than they have been, perhaps that bacon really gave me energy. Whatever it was, I cruised through the day. Sure, my legs are still tired. Sure, I couldn't turn my head by the end of the day. Sure, I was more than happy to get of that bike seat. But I loved today! 

My bike odometer died early on, so I spent most of my ride not knowing the time, or distance or speed. And I found this all quite comforting. It was nice to loose those small distractions and just focus on biking and the surroundings. I spent a good part of my afternoon cleaning my bike and stripping off the zipties holding the odometer to my frame. A new odometer is on my list, but I'm not going to go out of my way to buy one at this point. 

Today the tour welcomed 24 new cyclists. I was asked to help orientate them to the gear truck and make sure they were situated with their laundry baskets and shelves. I really enjoyed that and getting to knew these new recruits. I can't imagine how hard it must be to join in the middle of such a tour! Prayers for their smooth integration would be appreciated.

I also have to say that I am so grateful for all of you. Since sharing about my uncle both on my blog and during peloton last night, I have received much support from cyclists and strangers alike. So thank you for your prayers and help! We pray that he is fine and simply off the grid exploring a new culture. I am always amazed and so grateful for such a strong community of believers. This is what the church should be like and I thank you for your support. I will keep you up to date. Blessings!

Skits during peloton. Laughter truly is good medicine!

Our skit: Reminiscing about Sea to Sea in the old age home. Such fun!

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