Faith Like a Child

I was able to take Saturday off from work and enjoy Peter’s basketball game. He is a defensive dynamo. What is more important, he is having a ball! Peter, unlike his elder brother, could care less about the score (In Up-Ward k-2nd Grade, they do not keep score). He just enjoys the running, jumping, shooting and passing. He also enjoyed blocking shots this weekend. Faith of a child…….

After the game, I was able to arrange a road ride with a friend. We met at the park and headed south on Mann road. The first hill past the golf course and I was loosing contact with Eric. I stopped at the top to check my tire for a flat, or maybe my brake was dragging. No such luck! It was me, my legs were cooked and I was not able to keep up! Eric noticed I feel off like a rock and circled back for me….Our training ride quickly became a social ride.

I was embarrassed, angry and disappointed. The dark clouds above us mirrored the dark clouds in brewing in my head. As I sit here today examining Saturday’s events, it reminds me of my walk with God. So often I find my self not following and having to trace my steps back to My Lord. The whole journey back to my Savior, I am rationalizing, arguing, hurting and weeping. I am embarrassed, angry and disappointed. I fear facing my Savior, even though I know what His response will be.

I think many people have been here before, face to face with their Creator knowing they have sinned! We hesitate and question ...Some get angry and refuse to take the final steps into His arms, others run the opposite direction because they have never known such Love. Some have so much pride; they think they should be able to fix their sin themselves before retuning to Him.

What ever the circumstance is behind our hesitation, we have no reason to worry! The price has been paid already! We are already forgiven; He only wants to pull us closer, for there we will find peace! God is not keeping score, he only wants us to run, jump, shoot and pass the ball! He wants us to enjoy His creation and His Love. God knows we are going to step out of bounds. He knows we are going to foul each other, its part of the game. He is only concerned with our Hearts!

So the next time you find yourself off His path, don’t stop and think, just turn and run all the way back to His arms and rest in His Peace and Love. There is Joy in this, This is called faith like a child.


Sram XX

I finally pulled the trigger and up graded my Trek Fuel. I added some select Sram XX products. My goal was to move to a 2x10

drive train, reduce the Q-actor and save a little weight. The Sram XX was just the ticket…….

The components have a great look and add to the over all eye appeal of the bike.

Love the matchmaker clamp. Allows me to clean up the dash board.

Race wheels with new components bring my endurance rig down to 25.5 lbs.


Spring, Embrocation, Evil Temptress and The Razor's Edge

Last entry to this little corner of the cycling world was focused on sickness and setbacks! This entry could easily continue that theme, but I refuse to give in! Like Jens Voigt, I am a head banger and must always be pushing forward, attacking.

In the midst of all the negative news and circumstances today, there is much to be joyful about and rest assured the biggest event is the Good News, which we are reminded of each spring! The next big good news is the assurance that warmer and more enjoyable riding time is moving closer!

I was first introduced to cycling by an older kid, who lived across the street from me in Evansville. It was 1985 that Mike told me about a bicycle race in France, where the fittest rider was not the winner. He was forced to wait for his team leader. I was confused, but captured by the concept! It would be another two years before I ever ventured out on a ride with Mike.

I tell you this story to help you understand that I have been seriously pretending to be a serious bicycle race for well over 20 years! In that time I have developed some spring time rituals!

  1. Early spring rides are to be epic! These are the rides we share at the coffee shop with our friends. They include words like cold, punishing, bonk, suffer fest and ridiculously steep! These stories bond all cyclists of all levels together. We all suffer on our bikes, our passion for the two wheels hurts at times and no cyclist can escape this fact!
  2. It is hard to explain, but at some point during the spring, the switch comes on and I decided to shave the legs. To be quite honest, it is a pain to keep up…But this act of converting hairy, coarse legs into smooth, pedaling pistons just fires me up and mentally prepares me for war! It also allows for easier application of embrocation.
  3. Embrocation is a ritual I learned later in my cycling life. Now if the temps are below 55, I can’t imagine starting a ride without it! Again, it is a ritual of cycling that is passes from master to journeyman. It is potent, just the smell of it makes my twitch with anticipation of a ride!

So there you have it, James’ spring cycling rituals. No great wisdom, but plenty to share at the next coffee shop stop. One last thing, mostly a warning about the evil temptress that lurks around this time of year. She made her self know this weekend at our home….Samoas….need I say more? Sorry Allison, shouldn't have left me home alone with an open box!



Ok, I have been under the weather since Friday night. Just some light stomach flu and fatigue. Because of this, I have not done any training. It is so early in the season, I can take this time off and not feel too guilty. (Repeat this line three times)

As I spoke about in a past post, it is difficult for us athletes to handle the various interruptions that life sends us! I new friend was telling me about some injuries that happen just before big races and he had to make the call not to race. As he spoke, I felt that dreaded knot in the pit of my stomach too. No athlete likes to cancel a race or important training ride due to illness, injury or other life happening. Yet, it is here we can set an example to our love ones.

1. As Christ followers, we should be at peace. I know that none of us are perfect, and I am a very poor example of peacefully accepting set backs. However, with prayer, I also know I can overcome my very goal orientated nature.

2. As Christ followers, we know how our true worth is measured. My worth is not based on race results or local training ride status.

3. As Christ followers, we must be ready to lay done our nets and follow. Our set backs may be an opportunity to do other Kingdom building.

One last thought today, It is February. March will be roaring in soon! My motivation is high and I am itching to get to riding outside again. This transition from winter training to spring riding is very precious to me! In the 24 years I have been riding, I have developed some traditions! My next post will focus on these!


IC3 Planned Rides

Here is a list of rides I have planned to date. These are on my personal training calendar, so they were created to meet my racing goals for the year. These rides will be challenging, so feel free to attend, but be prepared to hurt.

July 1 Brown County Gentleman’s Race #1– Start at the Brown County State Park trail head near pool, ride to camp ground via trails. Ride the road down to horseman camp and out to 135 and ride pavement to Nebo Ridge. (We will have a car at Nebo staging area for water and food.) We will then ride Nebo ridge and trace the trail and gravel roads of Hickory Ridge area (Similar to Gravel Grovel Course). We will then return to the trail head at Brown County State Park, where we started. This will be a 75-100 mile day/ 10-12 hrs of riding.

July 31 – Ride from my home to Allison’s parents in Wheatfield, IN. I have no idea of mileage, hoping to be around 150….

July 15 – 100 miles before I go to work at 11am. Leave my home around 6am and arrive at BGI South by 11am.

August 26th Brown County Gentleman’s Race #2 – Same as the 1st!

September 16 - 100 miles before I go to work at 11am. Leave my home around 6am and arrive at BGI South by 11am.

Let me know if you are game to participate. We will organize a few easier more social rides closer to summer. If you have an idea, please let me know…..