Shakeout Ride

Rode 32 miles off-road with 41 pounds of gear at North Shore on Lake Grapevine. I laid out all the gear the night before…

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I loaded up all the water I could hold, so can most likely eliminate about 6 pounds by packing less water. Still need to fine-tune gear to reduce weight and bulk.

This was a “shakeout ride” to test all my equipment. I learned much – some gear is better stored in specific places due to its weight, bulk, or due to the need to access the gear during a ride (solar panel, phone, sunscreen, and food). I spent the first hour of the ride fiddling with gear placement and securing the gear well to protect against  the shake, rattle, and roll of off-road riding. Bungee cords and caribiners come in handy for attaching gear and making sure it does not fall by the wayside (nothing worse than having gear fall off and not realizing it is gone – especially gear loaded on the back of the bike).

The Goal Zero solar panel worked well – I rode with it it open and secured on top of the handlebar bag on the front of my bike. It was a sunny day, and so the panel charged the battery in about 4 hours. When my phone got low on power, I plugged it into the full battery and the phone charged up quickly.

Good ride to test all the gear and to learn what works well for the upcoming week-long bikepacking trip. By the end of the ride I was fairly well “spent” from a physical standpoint, but felt better  after some R&R (rest and refuel).

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Blessed and Thankful

The sun was setting yesterday and my 100 foot shadow made me seem gigantic.  I was riding to train for an upcoming mountain bikepacking adventure in the Oregon Cascades. And I was talking to God. I do that sometimes when riding. When I am out on the woods and see God’s creative handwork, I thank him for his creation. When I have completed a ride and am loose and relaxed, I thank him for the healthy body which he has given me. And when I am slogging out hill repeats, I ask him for endurance to get me to the top of that next hill. Whew!!!

I feel blessed that God chose to grant me health. I do not take a heathy body for granted, or view it as an entitlement. Many people my age (50+) have chronic, or debilitating issues that prevent them from riding a bike, traveling, or enjoying various forms of recreation.

So I thank God for my health, recognizing that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). Our bodies are intricately made and filled with complexity – ask any physician. I give God the thanks and praise for all he has done in my life. And I ride on, standing in God’s grace and affirming his blessing on me.