Archive for October, 2010

Cyclists Breathe

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on October 29, 2010 by bethleasure

11“I think the asthma medicine has helped my time drop just this last week b/c my breathing has improved so much. Today I was NEVER wheezing and that hasn’t happened ever this season. I give God and the coaches all of the credit!” Marshal Hartley, Junior Cyclist

Air Helmet may be a little extreme

Marshal improved despite Exercise-Induced Asthma, EIA. Inhaler relief complemented learning to relax during races. EIA can result in decreased exhalation, discomfort, and distraction.

Asthma is long-term inflammation of the lung’s breathing passages and its attacks can be mild as well as life-threatening. While 12only a small percentage of Sudden Cardiac Deaths are related to asthma, 13mortality rates per 100,000 are 1-3 people per year. In an attack, airways swell and secrete large amounts of mucous. This leads to shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness. Attacks may be caused by a number of factors, such as: air quality, respiratory infections, allergens in air, extremes of temperature and humidity, emotional stress, and exercise intensity.

Those with EIA are 14unusually sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Continuous, hard cycling is a more likely scenario for an attack than short bursts interspersed with breaks. Cyclists can control EIA through purposeful warm-ups and cool-downs and meds. EIA prescriptions are a class of drugs related to the hormone, adrenaline, requiring a standard Therapeutic Use Exemption by WADA. However, research is 15“overwhelmingly on the side that in otherwise healthy individuals, taking a beta-2 (β2) agonist will not help performance even if it helps pulmonary function (studies are mixed on the latter).” Therefore, breathing for the asthmatic improves but there is no 16ergogenic potential of inhaled β2 agonists in non-asthmatic athletes.

With treatment, elite athletes with EIA are not hindered to perform but may still cope with stress related to the condition, and an attack may be a scary, exhausting experience. Whether you suffer this yourself or see it in another in the peloton, enlist an asthma/allergy expert for help.

Prayer re: Exercise-Induced Asthma

My strength is gone, and it is hard for me to breathe….He said…‘Don’t be afraid. God loves you very much. Peace be with you. Be strong now; be courageous.’” 17Revelation 10:17, 19

We ask for easy breathing, the proper approval for prescription inhalers and complete 18healing if You will it.

Ponder Do I seek God for all that ails me? Affirm I surrender to peace when fear tries to grip me. Watch God meet you in every struggle.

11Conversations with Marshal Hartley, Junior Cyclist with EIA

12“Sudden Death in Young Athletes,” presented by John Vitarello MD F.A.C.C. on November 8, 2007 as a USA Cycling webinar.

13“Asthma” listed on Center for Disease Control website Figures vary depending on region and ethnicity.

14“Exercise-Induced Asthma,” posted on

15Conversation with Sam Callan, USA Cycling Science & Education on April 10, 2008. This is not necessarily an official USAC opinion. Sam himself has EIA.

16“Inhaled beta-2 (ß2) agonists and performance in competitive athletes,” by W Kindermann and T Meyer published in British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006; 40 (Supplement 1) Copyright © 2006 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

17The Holy Bible, New Century Version® Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

18Asthma is reversible through medical treatment in some cases. See the following book for an Asthma anecdote from a spiritual perspective in conjunction with medical treatment, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen Copyright © 2006 Lifestream Ministries published by Windblown Media Moorpark, CA

Praise for Renewed Cooperation

Posted in Victory Lap on October 26, 2010 by bethleasure

Fellowship Resumes

36“We are acknowledging that some things could have been handled differently. The athletes brought that to our attention in a very constructive way and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that something like this does not happen again.”  US Olympic Committee apology to American track cyclists

Bono likes cooperation...and bikes.


Few things act like balm upon an angry war-torn spirit like an apology. A brave and responsible few came forward this season and said they were sorry. Though many conflicts remain unresolved among disagreeing parties within and without the peloton, we have witnessed some resumption of relationships this season. We praise cooperation!

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We’re still building
Then burning down love, burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you…
(its all I can do)

38Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
our mutual burdens bear;
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.

Praise for Renewed Cooperation

 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” 39Psalm 133:1

We recognize sometimes it’s important to stand one’s ground and fight for one’s cause. Thanks to those who came together to cooperate – who parleyed problems into peace.

Ponder In what situations did I cooperate this year? Affirm I’m so relieved that — was resolved! Watch how pleasant it is to be around formerly uncomfortable scenarios when cooperation resumes.

36“U.S.O.C. Apologises,” First Edition Cycling News, September 16, 2008 edited by Paul Verkuylen & Les Clarke  on

37Where the Streets Have No Name lyrics by U2

38Blest Be the Tie That Binds words by John Fawcett 1740-1817, and music by Johann G. Nageli, 1768-1836; arr. by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872

39The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Praise for Off-Season

Posted in Victory Lap on October 19, 2010 by bethleasure

Finish Line

44“And as an everyday cyclist, I’m assured that I’ll always be able to find my way home – even if home is a hotel room in a distant city.” Christian Vande Velde, Pro Cyclist on navigational technology 

Rest even if the bike's not far away...

Each racing season ends with an off-season. Or viewed another way, each new season begins with an off-season. The next weeks, take time to evaluate what’s past in order to prepare for what’s to be. Review highlights and touch points for you. By doing so, you may discover some navigational clues for renewed direction and new preparation.

Include some contemplation for rest; or expand on evaluating beyond what your season meant in results and about what it meant to your character. Supplement your daily time with additional inspirational readings.

Take stock. Take time to fellowship and worship God now off the bike with others– perhaps in a pew of a church or in a parlor for group study. Find your way home!

The self-renewal process must balance renewal in all four dimensions of our nature:

The Spiritual – Value Clarification and Commitment, Study and Meditation

The Mental – Reading, Visualizing, Planning, Writing

The Physical – Exercise, Nutrition, Stress Management [and now rest]

The Social/Emotional – Service, Empathy, Synergy, Intrinsic Security   45Stephen R. Covey 

46Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.


Praise for Off-Season

 “…their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming!”  47Romans 11:13

We praise God for times of refreshment and for homecomings.

Ponder About what am I most praiseworthy going into off-season? Affirm Spent as I am, I am excited to come home so it can start all over again! Watch how reflection times help you feel God’s pleasure.

44“Team Garmin edition Edge 705 now available!” Author: admin posted Sept 23, 08 on Slipstream Sports blog home  Eugene H. Peterson

457 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey Running Press Copyright © 1989 Stephen R. Covey

46Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing words by Ro­bert Ro­bin­son, 1758 A Col­lect­ion of Hymns used by the Church of Christ in Angel Al­ley, Bi­shop­gate, 1759. Music by Net­tle­ton, Wyeth’s Re­po­si­to­ry of Sac­red Mu­sic, Part Se­cond, by John Wy­eth 1813

47The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by

Cyclists Pray: Pray for Cyclists

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on October 9, 2010 by bethleasure

Cyclists Pray

23“Tomorrow is a rest day, thank God.”  Steve Cummings, Pro Cyclist, on finishing Giro d’Italia

Where at least two agree, God can work


With normal race season all about over, we near the end of our annual journey together. We’ve raced through many topics, pondered many issues, and prayed for many things all year. None of them has been more important than the prayers prayed for each one in the cycling community.

Some of you, I’ve prayed for by name and hope to know specific requests in the future. I may be a fan of yours or I may struggle thinking fondly of you because I’m not a saint without a full range of emotions. All of it, from love to hatred, awe to disappointment, and happiness to hurt – is put aside in the prayer closet to bring what I know of your needs and desires and what’s best for all of us – before God. You have me as a prayer partner and are mentioned as beloved in my quiet petitions before God!

I see answers to some of these prayers immediately. I praise God for other things and ask more fervently awaiting some answers. Know this: all of cyclingdom has been covered in prayer regardless of my limitations. If you’re reading this, I’ve prayed specifically for your spiritual growth, cycling success, financial stability, emotional wholeness, mental prowess, and relational fulfillment.

I’m watching change in our sport amazed by transformation wrought by new developments. I’m experiencing change and transforming personally. Sometimes the biggest mountains we have to move are not one another but ourselves…closer to God’s viewpoint. God has moved me many times this year as a privilege in prayer for you. For this, I thank you greatly. Join me in prayer. Pray for me and all of us as we keep riding!

Prayer for Us, The Cycling Community

“If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center…”  242 Corinthians 5:13-14

I confess my imperfection and am glad that You give me new perspective on everyone in the cycling community because You love all of us. Bless us all, O Lord.

Ponder Has prayer changed you? Affirm I pray until I see you through eyes of love; because of my limitations, I must keep praying! Watch God change our sport one heart at a time.

23“Eyes on the road: The Steve Cummings Giro diary 2007,” Monday, May 28, 2007 “Ready to have a go” posted on

24The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Praise for Accomplishments

Posted in Victory Lap on October 5, 2010 by bethleasure

For Our Deeds

25“I was praying, waiting, hoping…I don’t have any words – I am so excited, so happy. I can’t speak right now, I don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true.” Amber Neben, World TT Champion

Hooray we as cyclists did something right this year!

Deeds that fulfill dreams leave us speechless. Sometimes a melody captures our delight better than words. Capping a season with a gold medal is one way to end the year’s racing on a high note.

Whether you won at World’s or not, remember and be thankful for your top-step experiences this season. List praises for all that went well. Think of wins, podiums or better placings. Think of improvements and positive changes.

Remember your deeds and see them in light of God being there with you. Contemplate surprising ways your needs were met and see God’s provision there. He cares for you and He showed it this year! Sing your particular high notes to acknowledge your thanks!

Lord, let the treasures of my heart
The work of humble hands
Be an offering to You        
26Praise Song 

27Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


Praise for Accomplishments

 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.”  28Psalm 107:8

We are glad when hard work and wise living pay off in achievements. We are astounded when we can see God doubling our efforts with unexpected, supernatural, miraculous deeds. Every day we see Your provision on earth awakened by light and fresh mornings. Remind me of these same consistent blessings You brought specifically to me this year so I can be grateful for what we’ve accomplished.

Ponder What contributed to this year’s accomplishments? Affirm I am speechless when rewarded with unexpected successes! Watch for ways that God loves you, and when these works sink in, praise Him!

25“75th World Championships – CM Varese, Italy, September 23-28, 2008 Race 2 – September 24: Women’s time trial, 25.15km ‘Neben knocks out favourites for gold Soeder and Arndt take second and third’ By Bjorn Haake, with additional reporting from Hedwig Kröner and Gregor Brown in Varese

26Everything To You by Rhesa Siregar, Paul Gentry, Dave Cooley and Elton Smith CCLI Number: 4182902

27Great Is Thy Faithfulness words by Thom­as O. Chis­holm and music by William M. Run­yan 1923

28The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Lifetime Cycling

Posted in Autumn Glory on October 1, 2010 by bethleasure

Golden Years

65“Some 75-year-olds like to ride rocking chairs, but Charlotte Hamlin prefers a bicycle. ‘A healthy lifestyle can set you free,’ she says. Following these simple principles literally keeps her conquering mountains, showing the world what one woman walking with God can do while riding a bike.” Article about Charlotte Hamlin, Bicyclist & Senior Citizen

Ride for life and have fun with it

In this colorful season, we emphasize riding in the golden years. Instead of becoming elderly, an active bicyclist flaunts endurance into “old” age. Our subculture embraces not just a sport but a way of life. We can pursue this way of life, Lord willin’ until our end of days.

One dream that I had to let-go-and-let-God was cycling greatness through competitiveness in the bigger tours. While participation was a reality, winning stages of these events was for me – fantasy cycling. By the numbers, I did not lack the talent or the strategic insight. I simply lacked time and resources. It took five years for me to get the legs and five more to know how to use them. I was in my early forties by then. While Longo was setting new hour records, I was floundering. I had a few good rides but was unable to gain a stable opportunity. At my age, teams were picking up superstars with experience and lots of palmarès. By comparison, I didn’t measure up.

I’m not a legendary bike racer. This conclusion was reached painfully, but its final realization didn’t devastate me. I have other contributions to make to the sport. Masters racing has categories as old as available participants, but it’s not even racing that is the appeal for a lifetime. I was enormously comforted by a moment of acceptance when I realized my passion for riding was meant to be pursued for as long as I have breath. What happened to me was an encounter with a pair of beautiful legs that passed me swiftly. Until I caught him, he was just another rider having some afternoon tempo. Turns out he was eighty years young; and while his face was a bit lined and his hair a bit silvery, his legs were like any other young cyclist’s – and so was the light in his eyes.


Prayer for Lifetime Cycling

  “They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful, even when they are old. And they will say about you, ‘The LORD always does right! God is our mighty rock.’” 66Psalm 92:14-15

We admire greatness. We confess only a few leave a racing legacy but we all leave some legacy. We pray to ride for life for life to ride.

Ponder What is my very long-term view of cycling? Affirm I want to ride my whole life and be that geezer who makes a younger rider breathe a little harder. Watch my body age but still my legs and lungs live strong.

65“Charlotte Hamlin – 75 year-old long-distance cyclist – Aging Gracefully,” by Pam Mellskog published in Vibrant Life  Nov-Dec-1994

66The Bible, Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society