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Carolyn M. Soto Jackson and Carolyn Marie Photography

Houston, TX

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Testimony Tuesday - Love Through the Miles

August 8, 2017

I am oblivious to what it is about cycling but it seems to makes everything better. 

 

Growing up, my bikes were always used and a little abused, but they rolled me about, giggling with family and friends. 

 

During my rebellious teenage years, I took a hiatus which eventually rolled into to being many years. Nine months ago my husband and I found a beautiful, entry level road bike. To be honest, I had not ever placed one foot on a road bike but when my hands wrapped around that smooth, black bar tape, it was over. 

 

A week later I found myself registering for my first MS150, a bike ride from Houston to Austin. This journey encompasses between one hundred and sixty miles to one hundred and eighty miles, depending the routes you take.

 

As usual, the Houston weather did not cooperate; it rained December through the end of January. The holidays and birthdays came and went and my rear was not in the saddle nearly the time it need to be. I spent the remaining months from February to April mashing out miles, building up what I believed to be training.

 

Being a Houstonian, other than time in the saddle, it is not training for the hills in Austin. I trained alone. It gave me time to pray, reflect and learn what I was about to do. Daniel volunteered and supported me the agonizing two days of what I call, "extremely bipolar weather." I rolled 170 miles in two days, and held up my bike above my head like everyone else. It was such a wonderful feeling to follow through and check something off my bucket list. 

 

Upon arrival back in Houston, I did not talk to my baby girl "Liv," for four days. In fact, I did not want to ride or even see my bike. I vowed right then, "I will not ever ride the MS150 again." 

 

Less than a week, I was back on the saddle. This time I began riding for fun, not training. At first Daniel came along, then another friend and another. Over the course of a few months, it now has become seven to eight little shadows. We bike for tacos, we bike for milkshakes and most importantly we bike for fun and fellowship. Though I fought for a couple of weeks of 'not' becoming a team (because I knew what was to come), they swayed me and now we have a team name as well. We call ourselves "Slowspokes."

 

Another couple of weeks flew by and the big question was brought up. 

 

"Do you know anything about the MS150? I'm thinking about riding it. I've always wanted to..."

 

This question did not come from one person, but three. I could not help but laugh sarcastically as I remembered when I voiced my opinion of never riding in that dreadful 102-degree sun only to ride in the rainy 42 degree weather the following morning. 

 

I kindly told them how ridiculous of an idea they came up with but of the three, ZERO decided to change their minds. 

 

"You are going to ride with us, right?"

 

The exact question I knew was a coming sooner rather than later. And it did, and I succumbed to eating my words and as I tasted the copper of my blood riched tongue, I said, "Of course." 

 

So here we are, three months after the MS150, with a new team, designing logos and wondering how in the world I got here. 

 

Well, it is quite easy. I stand before you, with greased stained calves by the grace of God and His endless love. He provided a family, new friends, and a beautiful bike. Therefore, instead of complaining about the frivolous weather, ludicrously steep and narrow hills, I might as well suck it up and love through the miles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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