Chris and I ran away from home today.
We packed our bags and headed north for an overnight stay that just might extend to two overnights. We’ve got a lot of grown up people living in our house this summer and we knew that we needed a little escape from all the action.
We stopped in Huntsville, the largest city in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada. We had brought our two broken bikes so that we could visit a bike store and get Chris’ tire fixed, as well as buy a new pair of cycling shoes and pedals for me, since I’ve been wearing the same ones since the day I started cycling, which was about fifteen years ago.
To make a long story short, over a couple of hours, Chris and I made a carefully thought through decision to trade in our well used bikes and buy two high performance hybrid bikes. My sore back has been beckoning me to find a bike on which I don’t have to sit in such an aggressive forward position. Chris had finally come to the conclusion that Beaverton was not a mountain-biking kinda’ place, that maybe a hybrid was the best bet for trying to keep up with me (good luck with that) and the price was right all around. We took the bikes out into a back parking lot for a test spin, so that we could get a good sense of the feel and fit.
I’ve spent the last fourteen years pedalling thousands of kilometres on a road bike, which, as I was about to discover, had somewhat narrower handlebars than this brand new hybrid. For some unknown reason, I decided to steer my way between two parked cars and, before I knew it, I clipped one of the cars’ rearview mirrors, toppled over the handlebars and landed, sprawled all over the parking lot. I was so embarrassed, I just wanted to hide under the car. Chris couldn’t believe what I had just done and he could only look at me with this stunned expression. Normally, he’s more helpful in these situations but he couldn’t fathom why I had decided to manoeuvre my way through such a narrow space between closely parked cars. Also in the back of his mind, he had a hard time believing that I had had my first wreck on my new bike (yet to be paid for) in less that the first 200 metres of riding it.
Humiliated as I was, I knew I had to own up to the damage I had done so I went into the nearby building and started asking around for someone with a silver Volkswagen Golf. I found the owner and explained the situation. We went out to look at the car and well… she was grace personified.
“It’s just a scrape. It’s just a car. I appreciate your honesty for letting me know.”
I now have a brand new bike with scrape marks across the top of the handlebars to visually remind me of :
a) how dumb my decision was (Chris’ thought)
b) how useless Chris was in rescuing me (my thought)
c) how gracious people can be when you do the right thing
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love. Ephesians 4.1,2