Lessons from the Road #2

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IMG_9391 This morning I had the opportunity to ride with a group of eight riders; coincidentally our pace line was half African-American, half Anglo, but that is a story for another day.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to ride in a group it can be a great deal of fun but it can also be a bit stressful. Good communication is key. The riders in the front need to communicate effectively to the rest of the body what is ahead, where we are going and what hazards might be in front of us. Sound like something we might use in our own lives?

When we ride together we are able to ride longer, farther and faster because we are working together. Some of us take turns at the front, while other riders can bicycle behind us with an easier ride because of drafting off the riders in front. We each take turns at the front and in the body and rotate the experience so that some folks lead and other folks follow. Riders also have different gifts, some can climb better, others are smoother on the flats, some are stronger and others need encouragement. The most fit riders sometimes circle back to make sure that folks lagging on the climb are doing OK, not unlike a shepherd. When we pay attention to the ‘body as a whole’ we are able to better things together on our ride. Sound like something we might use in our own lives?

For those independent souls out there, working together does not mean conforming, it just means that we perhaps set aside some of the things that define us so that we might work with others for a greater good than we could produce on our own. It is this intentional communal effort that produces some amazing things, and it is a lot of fun to accomplish something together that reflects well on all members of the group. Sound like something we might use in our own lives?

IMG_9407As we rode together this morning I realized that we can embrace these insights on the Tour and in our communities. In ‘The Trafficked Life’ Phil Gazley talks about how ‘Lone Rangers’ never really accomplish anything on their own in working to end human trafficking. It is only working together that we can affect change in our communities, state and the world.

I can testify that only with an amazing team effort could we have debuted the film in Bakersfield as had 500+ people show up to watch a short documentary about human trafficking. It is only with a team effort will we show the film up and down the valley. It is only with a team effort will we accomplish riding these 750 miles to raise awareness and funds to work to end human trafficking.

Please understand that this is just the first step. The lessons that we as individuals, groups, churches, and organizations learn on the Tour can be utilized in other places. Once we accomplish this, I look forward to what the next audacious idea for us to work on will be, and I will happily sit back in the peloton (the main field or group of cyclists in a race, French in origin) and let other lead and draft off of their efforts. Even as my legs are a little tired this morning, I look forward to applying what I learned today on my next ride.