Archive for the May-Day Category

Cycling & Broken Bones

Posted in May-Day on October 6, 2011 by bethleasure


9“Thought I could just ‘shake it off’… X-ray confirmed a very clean 90 degree break through the right clavicle…I have to get up and practice dentistry in the morning.”  Dick the Cycling Dentist gets drilled

Skint couldn't understand why dogs liked him more than other riders.

After breaking a bone, just how long one is away must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Most breaks have to be kept immobilized and time to movement can vary. Choose a medical team including doctor and physical therapist who understands your active lifestyle for advice about when to return to movement and pressure.


Famous past incidents of professionals racing on these breaks are bad examples of premature and possibly supplemented overeagerness. Most riders must readjust expectations and set new goals. Some pros are able to return within weeks with a mindset accustomed to overcoming and willingness to risk re-injury, as well as access to the most contemporary specific treatments. Some are able to mount a trainer within days; others must wait weeks because the break cannot be vibrated. Risking re-injury through prematurely re-entering competition isn’t a good choice for most.


Calcification to knit bones back together takes many weeks. Cycling’s most vulnerable bone-break must be the fractured clavicle or broken collarbone, wing in a sling, away from the racing fray. When the ol’ tuck ‘n roll snuck up quickly, the shoulder’s vulnerable protrusion must break the fall and snap, crackle, pop.


The first days after are misery, no avoiding it. Make yourself as comfortable as possible and wait through the relief that will come. Expect areas near the break to be tender and in need of re-strengthening and flexibility. A coating of multicolored bruising will emerge that probably looks worse than it feels but it is tender. Ribs, femurs, tibias, the pelvis and other bones can take months to heal, changing the course of a season and even a career. When able to ride on a trainer, put it outside and ride strong focused sessions in the sun. Count yourself fortunate to have life and new reasons to ride.


Prayer for Bones

“Can these bones live? The bones moved and came together, bone to bone.” 10Ezekiel 37:3, 8

We are glad that bones knit back together with proper care. We pray for wisdom to know the difference between time to heal and suffering through some discomfort to minimize loss of fitness.


Ponder Can I leave behind what’s missed and rediscover new incentive? Affirm I will readjust my time-frame and event selection. Watch X-rays as time knits a break like a loom spinning strong weave.



9“Chad’s Broken Collarbone Report,” by Chad Crocker, posting by Dick on June 10, 2006 on

10The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


Bike Crashes

Posted in May-Day on June 10, 2011 by bethleasure

Crash Course

3bike 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.

i am not invincible.
i bleed just like anyone else.
there are a million things out here that could kill me.
i am never promised a tomorrow.

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


Now that's an endo!

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

4Holy Bible, King James Version public domain


Cycling & Emergency Personnel

Posted in May-Day on June 3, 2011 by bethleasure

Cycling’s Samaritans

7“I love marshaling bike races, hours of sitting with something to really watch.”  Police Officer marshaling the district criterium championship

Some of our protectors like speed too

Hanging out at a bike race in any official capacity to monitor and manage safety is an interesting vigilance. Official government and civic community support is essential. From funding road infrastructure to medical assistance, our ability to ride depends on the interest and activities of many behind-the-scenes professionals and volunteers.


From ensuring pedestrians don’t walk in front of riders to ministering medical assistance, the calls for help are heard in every event and answered by these hidden Samaritans. Often these are the people we look through as riders. Until they’re needed, we don’t really want to see them: certainly not misdirecting a sprinting pack or stopping short on a moto. Yet these guardians are often our first comforters in any incident. Examples include: a cycling doctor chose emergency medicine to have more ride time and relevant experience as a team doc; a marshal previews courses to sweep for debris and survey potential hazards; a hospital arranges for an extra helicopter on call while a major race comes through town; an ambulance crew sits by hoping nothing more is needed than some water as they wait.


Like the Good Samaritan who crossed the road despite inconvenience, we are humbled by their care so we can ride. Once a French fan pressed a few francs into my palm as I moaned on the road cradling a bashed elbow full of grit. I’d crashed just across the street from him, and his energy to cross and sympathize was much appreciated.


Prayer for Emergency Personnel

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds….made him comfortable.” 8Luke 10:30-37


We are grateful for caring and competent support. We confess we take these services for granted. We ask blessing upon all officials and emergency personnel whose aim is to ensure safe riding and rapid response. Bless those who comfort us while monitoring our safety.

Ponder Do I extend the same mercy to others that is given to me? Affirm I give behind-the-scenes thanks and offer hidden care.  Watch when you’re off your bike at an event, all the people somewhat surreptitiously in place ensuring your care.


7Conversations with a course policeman. Actually it was I who offered him a donut. I was so happy about winning, I wanted to share it with everyone. So I tried to thank everyone on my victory lap.

8The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Special Olympic Cycling

Posted in May-Day on May 3, 2011 by bethleasure

See Our Smiles

19“Did you see that? Did you see that? Oh that was great, that was great, that was great. Did you see that? I’m so happy! I’m so happy!”  Sid Lea, Cyclist/Special Olympian and 5-time Gold Medalist

Exuberance for cycling is Special!

I sought help from a sport psychologist during a period of discouraging performances. I talked about a rider I admired but also envied. This rider raced with seeming abandonment and his uninhibited risks sometimes paid off in triumph. We discussed that his emotional style was his forté; passion and enjoyment contributed to his success as much as his considerable talent and hard work.

The psychologist advised me to watch the Special Olympics to understand the simplicity of this great strength. The oath of Special Olympics is: 20Let me WIN. But if I cannot win, let me be BRAVE in the attempt.

A Special Olympics goal is to “experience joy” and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and the community. Special Olympics (SO) is the world’s largest training and athletic competition program, serving millions of children and adults in 180 countries with intellectual disability. SO cyclists compete in short road races and time trials. A unified category pairs an SO athlete with a non-impaired tandem partner.

Intellectual disability may impair tactical awareness but it doesn’t preclude the inner qualities of fierce resolve and fearless rejoicing in competition. We know highly tactical bike racing takes thought, but at some level, great performances come instinctively and are released and unleashed from the soul as much as the legs and the mind. Winners allow themselves to be vulnerable. They put all of themselves out there not so much thinking of the result but finding enjoyment in the experience even in suffering.

So when enduring hard times in your riding either as a result of injury or some other impairment, remember your attitude can still have a positive and powerful sphere of influence. Send your own SOS and smile.

Prayer for Special Olympic Cycling

“’I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile.” 21Job 9:27


We are glad for examples of simplicity in athletic attitude. We confess we are so focused on where our names list in results that we minimize our impact. We pray that when circumstances cause complaint, we can respond as winners.   

Ponder How can I be braver? Affirm I change my world and it starts with my countenance. Watch for things that bring a smile.

19Conversations with Sid Lea. Sid does get discouraged, angry, loud and even occasionally feisty. But if he does remotely well in a race, he is the happiest guy on a bike and his smile radiates to everyone. This attitude sometimes humbles his non-intellectually “disabled by dissatisfaction” competitors.

21The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Emergency Preparedness

Posted in May-Day on April 22, 2011 by bethleasure

Justin Williams - alive and well

5“I don’t want to stay awake, and my name is Justin not Dustin!”   Justin Williams, Junior National Champion, feisty even while losing consciousness and blood

 As cyclists, chances are high for our involvement in a crisis. We must know basic first aid as its use could save a life. Even my squeamish self had to come through when the situation called for it. As the first responder to a high-speed crash, I leaped over a guardrail to be with Justin Williams. I could see from the cliff above him that blood was gushing out of his leg, and my first thought wasn’t so much in saving his life but in not leaving him alone to suffer. So many riders were down in this crash and Justin’s position so precarious, someone had to get down there and support him.

I called quickly for a towel from the gathering crowd and was handed a white hooded jacket instead. Trembling and faint myself, I wrapped Justin’s thigh and held pressure around it with my hands while calling up the cliff for the emergency people. Instead I became an emergency responder. The bank was wet and so steep I threw off my sandals and dug toes into dirt to keep from sliding. The white hoodie became red, his blood streaming steadily. I was nearly falling and fainting but keeping Justin awake was my focus.

Finally I was joined by real medics, and Justin was airlifted to a hospital. I later learned that his hamstring had detached from the bone and an artery was punctured by the guardrail he’d hit to avoid downed riders in front of him. Time was of the essence, they said, for his blood loss was great and my primitive compression reduced its flow, sparing his life.

I keep those crimson-stained clothes as a reminder that life is in the blood, precious, spilling easily. Blood-soaked hands shook but squeezed to guard a life prolonged through swift actions. Don’t delay to find First Aid classes or to help a person in need.

Prayer for Emergency Preparedness

“I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!” 6Isaiah 38:14


We are glad for quick techniques of response in emergencies. We ask foremost for safety in cycling. If circumstances arise, we pray for knowledge of first aid and swift knowledgeable responders.     

Ponder Have I faith enough to cope with any situation? Affirm I am ready for an emergency. Watch for the help of experts and the hand of God in meeting any crisis.

5Conversations with Justin Williams. This incident occurred at the Junior National Championships at Seven Springs Resort,Pennsylvania in 2007. A high-speed crash on a mountainside led to dozens of fallen riders. Thankfully, everyone lived to tell about it.

6The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Cycling & Radio Communication

Posted in May-Day on April 19, 2011 by bethleasure

Give Us A Break

22Radios add an extra tactical layer to what you can do in a race, but I don’t think they profoundly change the excitement of an event…[while they] add a little bit of insurance to your strategies…help to form more cohesive and timely team efforts.”  Kirk Willett, Pro, Team Director

NASCAR spotters influence strategy, safety and sponsorship


When there is an immediate threat to life or property, radio operators use ▪ ▪ ▪ – – – ▪ ▪ ▪ SOS or MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY. BREAK is the term used to interrupt any messages on any frequency for this purpose and all other radio uses cease. Priority is given to the emergency.

Bike racing uses radios to handle emergencies. Most events are run with the use of two-way communication technology. Since big money pays for bandwidth and resells it to the consumer, we are fortunate to have free air space set aside. This is expensive airwave real estate carved up by international treaty for various uses.

Competitive cycling uses either basic citizen band frequencies or mode restricted sub-bands on high frequencies, dual-band amateur radio for marshalling and operations, police and emergency bands, and general mobile bands propagated by small antennas so shorter waves can bounce while moving along at high-speed. Some frequencies require special licensing.

The use of team radios among riders and staff in competition gives intelligence that influences results and potentially alters strategy. This point is what has been brought under scrutiny. A Directeur Sportif who is a brilliant strategist can assist a rider to capitalize on the thinking part of cycling. However, in order to capitalize that rider cannot be a donkey – or lack racehorse ability to act upon the information. Neither can a racehorse with a lobotomy win races. Even WITH a strategy in your ear from a brilliant strategist, a talented rider must also THINK and WATCH and ACT with appropriate timing. Without this strategy in one’s ear, a talented rider must THINK, WATCH, and ACT to win races. Do the radio detractors think that riders, teams and organizations who are less radio-savvy are suddenly going to “be competitive?” Not likely since savoir faire – knowing how – is what makes bike racing so elegantly challenging and beautiful.

Then there’s the issue of safety. Providing information to riders about upcoming course features and directions makes safer racing. That more races are finishing in bigger packs is a reflection of more parity not communication technology. Information about training is wide-spread and no longer held by the elite, for example. Bigger packs may make it more tactical not less. With radio directions, there’s a better chance for a safer ride.

These communication technologies educate everyone, including the spectator. Imagine football without several coaches calling plays from a press box and you have a great retro game, but is that more exciting than now? Television coverage of this has expanded to hearing what players and coaches are saying and provide a richer spectator experience. These technologies make the strategy more available and perhaps more interesting to our audience. Without the audience, no one is going to be talking about or within sponsored cycling; it will be retro.

Prayer for Radio Communications

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” 23Proverbs 19:20


We are glad that part of the excitement of sport is in appreciating its key grooves by its successful movers and shakers. We ask for continual discretion and developments in the use of communication devices. We ask for more dialogue about radio talk between governing authorities and end-users.

Ponder What are the insights I’ve learned from radio transmissions? Affirm I use instinct and information to act decisively. Watch and listen to the races to gain strategic insight and clarity about teamwork.

22“Kirk Willett Weighs in on the Use of Radios in Cycling,” Toyota Life. Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team. Pro News. July, 2007

23The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Bike Theft

Posted in May-Day on June 25, 2010 by bethleasure


27“Cycling is a small family and it’s normal for teams to help each other out, but I have never seen a team act with such generosity on such short notice.”  Kris Westwood, Canadian Team Manager thanking Team Gerolsteiner for loaner bikes due to theft

This ain't no 'crosser - more like double-crosser

Imagine your anticipation and preparation for a world championship being hampered by your bike being stolen while far from home. This is what faced the Canadians when team equipment was stolen from a locked vehicle at the venue prior to this important event.

Bike theft and crimes against cyclists are on the rise. Pilfered frames generally affect those whose use is the greatest: messengers, students, and commuters. Racers are not immune. Headlines are rife with violent crimes, including muggings and assaults on bike paths, armed robberies against riders, and drive-by shootings.

Strong locks and avoiding certain areas only work so far in crime prevention against cyclists. While riding in a swank resort area known for mountainous terrain, some hoodlums thought it would be fun to stick a gun in my face from their gangsta sedan, financed by the meth use of rich youth from the “good” neighborhood. I’ve also ridden in notorious inner city ‘hoods and got no more trouble than respect and good directions. The determined criminal looks for opportunity and can find it in daylight in wide open spaces or busy places.

The worst incident I know occurred in the Boulder prairie – one of cycling’s meccas – where an angry driver did multiple U-turns trying to mow down a small group of pros on a typical training route. No one was seriously injured, but the driver served hard time for attempted vehicular manslaughter.

Recently I heartening story about a detective pulling a woman out of a burning house when he went to the neighbor’s to return a stolen bike. Talk about making good from a bad situation.

While cycling does much good, it’s not insulated from the bad that’s out there. Fortunately for the Canadians, another team came through replacing their stolen bikes for the event. This sort of neighborhood watch and rapid response is an example of how to pray against crime breaking in on the property and peace of the cycling community.

Prayer against Bike Theft/Crime

“Thou shalt not murder…Thou shalt not steal.” 28Exodus 20:13, 15

We are glad for law enforcement and for kind community reparations as a result of crime. We pray for protection against criminal activity in cycling. We ask punishment and justice for proven offenders.

Ponder Am I locking up, taking precautions against crime? Affirm I follow my instincts sensing criminal activity. Watch your cycling neighborhood; report and seek help for suspicious behavior.

One good source for prevention and detection is  The site is designed to leverage social media to alert, not just anyone, but like-minded people who truly understand the impact of losing your bike to theft. 

27“Canadian Team Bikes Stolen in Stuttgart, Gerolsteiner steps in with Replacements,” Courtesy Kris Westwood, CCa posted September 24, 2007 on

28Holy Bible, King James Version public domain