3“bike wrecks make sure i know my place in this big screwy world…i’ve just had a small dose of my own mortality. i ride on, seemingly undaunted by the blood trickling down my leg or the pain in my shoulder, but a lot is going through my mind.
the psychological effect is what is good for me in a bike wreck. i need this reminder from time to time. the physical pain is also good in its own way – it’s refreshing. it lets me know i’m alive…it’s better that i listened to what the bike wreck had to tell me.” Jethro Bodine, Bicycle Impact Survivor
Going splat against the pavement has a way of re-sensitizing us to violence, human suffering, and gratitude. Glad to walk away or be carried, we are still thankful to talk about it.
My worst crash I cannot remember as it involved a head injury with face plant. My most painful crash required multiple stitches in a French clinic. My scariest crash was caused by attack dogs. My angriest crash intersected an errant motorist. All these impacts and others left consequences beyond the body. My soul was searched in order to heal my body through these unplanned encounters with vulnerability, mortality, and philosophy.
It’s not a question of if but of when and how often riding your bike will result in a crash. Bike riding can be dangerous. One aggressive europro questioned about his superior descending skills said he never took risks in training. Yet cautious riding still leads to injury, and a few of my hardest impacts came at a snail’s pace. Sometimes those impacts come from moving obstacles – cars, wild animals, chasing dogs, tumbleweeds. Even gusts of wind can throw-down. It’s not safe out there.
Crash courses teach tuck and roll – something which may not be at all useful depending on the circumstances. Yet I recommend practicing this maneuver, doing skills work, gaining knowledge of traffic laws and gravitational forces, and using safety equipment. The best curriculum, however, is acceptance – working out your salvation energetically before God prepared and ready for what comes at you…hopefully fast, smooth, steady finish lines!
Prayer for Safety
“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.” 4Psalm 16:1
We acknowledge cycling’s risks. We pray for preservation and salvation beyond the consequences of crashing.
Ponder Have I worked out my beliefs about destiny and eternity? Affirm I trust God with my cycling. Watch and be aware of dangers, yet ride with abandonment secure that your soul is in Greater Hands.
3“Bicycle Wrecks Are Good for Me,” by Jethro Bodine posted 10-26-2000 www.everything2.com
4Holy Bible, King James Version public domain