Cycling & Birthdays

Green Balloons

Canadian Cyclist posts birthdays of notable riders on its website.

One way to be celebrated!

That’s one way to let people know they’re loved! Cyclists sometimes commemorate birthdays by doing special rides or by racing especially motivated. A sweet piece of birthday cake is iced by time-on-the-podium.

In younger days, my special day fell amidst tough spring tours on opposite shores from family and close friends. I had host housing but my housemates were away and teammates were stationed elsewhere. Not that it’s going to kill anyone to be alone; it’s just that birthdays spent in isolation on the road are poignant reminders of the loneliness that sometimes characterizes a cycling lifestyle. Too tired to do much, I began to feel sorry for myself – desolate, glycogen-depleted, and depressed.

However, I was in sunny California in a house with a beautiful private courtyard. I went to the garden and prayed. I’d had many parties in the past that made me feel like queen for the day. Now I was focused on being Queen of the Mountain – and this was any other race day. While contemplating this, a green balloon on a string, evidently losing air from another’s party, floated into that garden. Green has meaning as a symbol of happiness, blessing, life, and rebirth. It was God’s gift to me, a message of blessing symbolizing greener pastures with fresh legs and more friends ahead. Someone came to the garden Who was listening. I was being celebrated!

As riders who get lonely, look for surprising symbols of life that let you know God made you special! You are celebrated even in solitude and isolation.

Prayer for a Happy Birthday

“God answered and spoke to his people, ‘Look, listen—I’m sending a gift…Be glad and celebrate!’ The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul.” 50Job 2:18-22


We are glad that we are each unique and made for special 51purposes, which only we can fulfill. We confess our doubts and self-pity when facing tough predicaments, especially when fatigued, in failure, or without friends. We ask blessing on the birthdays of every cyclist and that some symbol of caring be given when it’s most needed.

Ponder Have I asked God to show me that I matter? Affirm I ask God to show Me His love so I show love to others with a heart-full. Watch for your “green balloon.”

50The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society 

51Purpose-Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren published by Zondervan, 2002

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