Weekly cycling

Eddie Barkla | Bendigo Weekly | 05-Apr-2012

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You might well ask what does Easter and cycling have in common?
For my thinking there is much that can be pondered on.
The Easter icons signify this special time in our calendar.
The hot cross bun is a taste not known any other time of the year, the mixed fruits and spices that, when warmed up, fill the heart with a special fragrance.  
The Easter egg made with  chocolate that has a taste all of its own wrapped in bright coloured foils.
Both are a great source of energy that can be used for fuelling a rider before and after a ride.
Cycling and good food go hand in hand and it is one of the many pleasures cyclists enjoy as a reward for their exercise.
The wrapping of the Easter egg reminds me of the colourful Lycra and branding of the team colours of their sponsors that are made to stand out and catch the eye of the beholder.  
These colours signify fresh beginnings, new hope in partnership, a new journey for riders and sponsors alike.
For many cyclists, the whole cycling experience can be a spiritual awakening, as we have shared many times, that brings freedom, albeit of a temporary nature, from many burdens and anxieties.
In other ways cycling could be seen as similar to that of monastic spiritual communities where there are disciplined life-long commitments and daily rituals.
There are community gatherings where riders share their lives in a very open manner for training, recreation, competition rides and that of connecting networks of families and friends.
There are times where riders embrace solitude, almost a meditative time to develop their mindset and strength of character.
In group riding, whether racing or recreational, there is a time where you can be a leader and a follower, watching out for the safety of the flock.
The strongest looking after the weakest, trying to make sure that others are given the best opportunity to get to the end.
While riders can’t ride for others they can create a shelter and a resting place by facing the wind longer, making a way for the weaker riders to remain in contact.
Each rider, however, must exercise and be accountable for their own preparation, strength, fitness and preparedness for what may lay ahead.
There is the joy of being surrounded by like-minded riders all wanting to reach their goal and win the prize against the odds.
How does the Easter message relate?
The death of Christ brings freedom, an opportunity for a new life by faith.
The cross is the sign of Christ’s selfless life given to serve others, paying the price for our sin, dying our death into the tomb of darkness.
Then the empty tomb, rising, set free from death into new life and light.
Believers are invited to the Lords banqueting table where they are lavished with the wonderful provision and fragrances that sustain life in abundance.
May you find the Easter blessings in your cycling experience.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon, God willing.

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