Ab und Zu On and Off
41“I missed cycling while I was away from it. I had to put it in right order in my priorities. I returned to cycling convinced that it was God’s plan for me.” Klaus Jesse, German Cyclist, Team Director
Germany has been a country of two histories. My preferred Germany is not the notorious nation in world history; it’s the land of forces central to important issues and the spirit of total resolve in a fight. Known for emotional reserve, German unrelenting passions sometimes burst spilling over into a world pressed to respond. From the 42theses atWittenberg to the Berlin Wall, we take notice. A line is drawn and meant to be crossed.
This public pendulum – its syncopated rhythm is not unlike my best German cycling memories. All my riding time there came after Colorado winters endured by long miles at one speed on the bike. A March group ride inGermanyshocks you into geardom, its on-and-off pace marked by extremes of intensity. There are many quaint German villages announced by charming town signs – all sprint lines in the minds of German cyclists. I surged more on a Saxon ride than I did all race-long in a cowboy criterium back home.
Talk about snap, witness the decisive action of a pro like Jens Voigt who 43once bragged that he’d race like three men. I can attest it takes three pairs of legs for the uninitiated to hang with the German form of attacking. That the blitz against doping is full on in Germany fits with a cultural bent to switch gears decisively. Remember at one time there were two Germany’s whose decisive action toward unity inspired walls of division to fall in its own nation and in others. German reaction and single-mindedness about clean cycling is an inspiration, doping nein danke.
Prayer for German Cycling
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” 44James 1:8
We are thankful that each nation has unique strengths that can be emulated in life and sport. We confess we sometimes misuse our strengths and seek wisdom for its proper uses. We pray that German dedication to ideals bear a positive world influence and ask blessing upon our German cycling friends.
Ponder Is there any time when I speak or act inconsistently? How can I shore up unstable areas in my life? Affirm I make a decision and stick with it and if not a good one, I can switch gears. Watch well thought-out single minded resolve be a barrier to defeat.
41Conversations with Klaus Jesse, whose authentically-lived faith in God and racing abilities inspired an international movement and several new organizations to merge spiritual life with love of cycling, such as International Christian Cycling Club. This faith came with a struggle to sacrifice, if necessary, his dreams of cycling for what was best. Many are pleased about his determination to keep cycling second to his values. Klaus has worked with many athletes, clubs, and teams, including the German national team and Team Nurnberger.
42The posting of 95 Theses by Martin Luther atWittenberg catalyzed the Protestant Reformation. The tearing down by its citizens of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of The Cold War. The Iron Curtain melted by many warming trends including forces of unity between West and East Germany, gave all of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics access to one another and the west after decades of division. German contribution was significant to this occurring.
43Jens Voigt explaining his plan for that day in the 2004 Tour de France, Team CSC’s documentary directed by Tómas Gislason, “Overcoming.” Voigt’s plucky optimism and oft-successful attack style make him a favorite to watch.
44Holy Bible, King James Version, public domain