Wednesday, March 31, 2010

bike brightz

what everyone needs for their night on the town - bike brightz!

bottom buster

needed a nice easy recovery ride after this morning's time trial attempt. kind of bummed that i got the start date wrong on that one. the challenge starts tomorrow, so my 19.9mph finish won't even be a part of that. oh, well. there'll be another before the may 1 end date.

it's been awhile since i headed south on a ride. i had forgotten how bumpy the road is in that direction. with my tires aired up to time trial pressure, it wasn't exactly fun hitting the dips and cracks. it was a real bottom buster.

didn't push at all on this ride. relaxed spinning out and back. back was pretty fun. riding along at or above 20mph with little effort. i even hit a relaxed 32.5mph cruising down tracy hill.

the weather was almost perfect. 67 degrees when i left. 74 when i got back. first time i put on sunscreen this year. first time i hit bugs. only the third or fourth time i rode with shorts only and a short sleeved jersey.

i'm done for the day. intervals again tomorrow if i'm up to it. 20 miles with my friend, bruce, the rubber chicken. see the "foolish 4x5" challenge for more on that. (13.14 miles @ 15.3mph)

Humble yourself in prayer...

Since a week ago Tuesday, I’ve been trying something new in my prayer life. Every time I pray, I’ve been purposefully getting down on my knees. Okay, I don’t do it when I’m driving or any other time it might be difficult or hazardous to my health. But even then I choose a physical act. I place my hand on my knee.

I’m not doing these things because I believe God will listen more intently to my pleas for mercy and grace in a kneeling position. He hears and answers every cry of his children’s hearts. I’m doing it because of what it does in my heart. The act of physically kneeling to pray – instead of propping my feet up on my desk or lying in bed or whatever – creates a humble spirit within me. It reminds me that God is God and I am not.

The result, believe it or not, is that I feel like praying more not less. My joy has increased. I’m more at peace. I’m filled with a sense of anticipation. I’m more satisfied today in my relationship with my Father than I was before. I feel more intimately connected to God than I have in I don’t know how long.

I have more than once struggled in my spiritual life over the years. Pastors are not exempt from dry times. What you experience from time to time, I experience too.

So today I’m thankful for the refreshing God is giving me every day as I pray and dig into his Word. The verse that I’ve been constantly reminded of this week is James 4:10. This wise man, an early leader in the church, tells the church what to do to find joy in their relationship with God. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (KJV)

Peter, the crazy, impulsive apostle whose early relationship with Jesus reminds me so much of my own, wrote these similar words in 1 Peter 5:5-6. Listen to the Spirit who speaks through his words. “‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (NIV)

You think maybe Peter and James were inspired by the same good God to write what they wrote?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)

You can certainly see that truth at play in the continuity of message in these two passages. These men wrote separately and yet give the same charge to the church. “Humble yourselves before God and he will lift you up.” Are you listening to the Holy Spirit? Hear and obey the Word of the Lord!

So how is your prayer life? Do you feel connected to God? I hope you do. Those times when God is close are so precious. Praise him if you’re in that state. And praise him if you’re not. God is worthy of praise because he’s God. Try humbling yourself before him in worship. Do whatever it takes to deal the death blow to your pride in God’s presence. Kneeling may do it for you or it may be something else. I just urge you to go after God with all the humility you can muster. If you will humble yourself, he will lift you up. You have his word on it.

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crazy song! love it!

time trial torture

woke up this morning around 4:30. i thought to myself, "do i want to reach my 800th mile for the month now or go back to sleep and get it later." i only needed eight miles to get it. i decided that i'd check the weather and if the wind was going to be a lot worse later, i'd get dressed and ride. "otherwise," i told myself, "i'm going back to bed." i checked the weather. 57 degrees with a 9mph southwesterly breeze. the wind was going to be a little bit stronger around noon, so i got dressed to ride.

my plan was to get a good hard ride in to start the world 20K time trial challenge out right. so from the first stroke until the last, i was pushing hard. my quads had that mildly painful LT burn to them the entire 42 minutes. it was worse at times than others, but it was always there. i just set my jaw and worked it out.

i did not gain any advantage from large descents. i gained nothing from semis offering a draft. in fact, only two semis passed me the entire time and they both were going the opposite direction and their wake nearly knocked me off the road. less than ten vehicles of any kind passed in either direction.

when i got back and the clock was stopped, i had to ride for several minutes to keep my quads from seizing. i spun in a low gear and recovered before pulling into the garage and parking. since my cateye had decided to take a vacation on this ride, i had to wait until i got inside, mapped my route and added in the time to see that i'd missed 20mph by just a tic. my 22mph goal is going to take a herculean effort and the perfect conditions. i have to keep telling myself that interval training is going to do it. it had better because this pain can't be for nothing. (13.96 miles @ 19.9mph)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

interval ladder

didn't have a lot of time today, so i warmed up for a bit, then started in on intervals. i rode hard for 1 minute, rested for a minute, rode hard for 2 minutes, rested for a minute, hard for 3, rest for 1, hard for 4, rest for 1, hard for 3, rest for 1, hard for 4, rest for 1, hard for 3, rest for 1, hard for 2, rest for 1, hard for 1, rest for 1, hard for 1. and that's when i pulled in the driveway. and i'm off to a track meet. (12.83 miles @ 18.2mph)

Monday, March 29, 2010


"zip-a-dee-doo-dah! zip-a-dee-ay! my, oh my, what a wonderful day? plenty of sunshine headin' my way! zip-a-dee-doo-dah! zip-a-dee-ay!"

no bluebirds on my shoulders, but a great ride! everything felt right. i pushed hard the whole way, keeping my head down and my legs a'pumpin'. felt like i could go for hours. wish every day felt as good. (18.10 miles @ 18.7mph)

through danville fair

"through danville fair"
(to the tune of "the animal fair")

i rode through danville fair.
mr. booker and boese were there.
they slept in their rooms
while i by the moon
was pedaling my two-wheeled chair.
mr. booker he'd have thunk
if he saw me that i was drunk.
but to ride outside in the moolight so bright
is the ultimate fun for this hunk,
this hunk, this hunk, this hunk, this hunk.
(21.93 miles @ 16.7mph)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

riding with cato

got my work done with a few minutes to spare before going on call tonight, so i suited up and headed to the garage intending to ride floyd a few times around town. but when i got there cato insisted on going out. he didn't want the wind to think that it had won this morning. since cato is a bike trained to attack me in my sleep, i listened to him.

we headed out and had to fight hard against the wind to make the first quarter mile north in less than two minutes. we turned east and rode out three miles before turning around. cato had chosen the wrong direction. the wind was in our face for return journey. but we showed the wind what we were made of. we rode hard.

we got back to town and had a few minutes to spare, so we rode on to the west, turning around at blackstone road. we raced home, pulling in with just a minute and a half to spare.

so i'm nine miles closer to my new goal for the month - 800 miles. sixty-one to go! (8.94 miles @ 15.7mph)

light in the darkness

the sky was inky black. the wind howled as it bent the trees. children awakened by the nightmarish sounds of the storm, cowered under their bed covers. outside, truck drivers struggled to keep their rigs upright. flags stood out straight, their edges snapping and popping in the gale. the apocalypse?

then, in the darkest hour, that hour that comes just before dawn, a light! small, but bright, it came slowly into view. it wavered a little with the gusting of the wind, but it kept creeping forward. a savior?

no. a cyclist, head down, legs churning, will undaunted by the fury of nature. with each turn of his cranks, the storm grew less fearsome. a wailing baby was quieted by the whirring of the passing cyclist's chain. a mother laughed for joy at the faint, soft click of a gear shift. a bearded man shed a single tear at the sound of rubber tires rolling over tarmac.

then lightning brightened the sky. not an innocent cloud-to-cloud flash, but a jagged bolt of energy streaking earthward. the cyclist spun his bike around and headed home. the wind had not defeated him. the darkness had not stopped his outward trek. only the threat of 300 kilovolts of electricity coursing through his body caused him to turn. he flew over the road. up and down hills he sped. lightning pierced the darkness more and more frequently. each time he saw it, the cyclist pushed all the harder.

rounding the final corner, he raced into his driveway, opened his garage door and stabled his trusty steed. they had survived. they would ride again another day.

let others fear the wind. let them stay indoors when the rain begins to fall. the cyclist will ride. (16.47 miles @ 15.4mph)

Friday, March 26, 2010

sneaking into the wind

got home from work and asked my youngest if she'd like to go for a ride around town. she'd done that with me a few weeks ago so she was ready to go.

we headed south, "sneaking" into the wind, zigzagging block by block to avoid a constant headwind. please understand that the wind is gale force this afternoon - 10-20mph with gust up over 30mph. we zigged over to see a friend of hers and then finished up the loop.

when we rode back past the house, she turned off and i took another longer loop. i ended up riding down the the river and back and returning via the new housing development on the north side of town. floyd and i hadn't ridden that fast in years.

made it in the house right at 6:00 when i went on call. whew! (9.04 miles @ 11.9mph)

lights' maiden voyage

tried out my new headlights for the first this morning. they're amazing! i could see the road and even my speed on the cyclometer. it was great.

i didn't have much time to ride, so i rode hard, pushing big gears. i rode to milan road and back, the same route i took for my recovery ride last night, and finished the same distance almost five minutes quicker!

riding in the dark. riding when the wind is low. riding fast. what more could a guy ask for? more time! (10.28 miles @ 17.7mph)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

recovering from my run

i came upstairs after my "zombie" run and said to myself, "i'm already sweaty, might as well ride." so i did. i rode nice and easy, never pushing hard, so i could recover. felt great. pushed all the lactic acid from the intervals and the run out of my legs. as an added bonus, this ride put me over the top on the "final fifteen" challenge i started to replace the "metric millenium". wish i had time for an extra 10 miles every day. (10.16 miles @ 15.5mph)

zombie run

i am NOT a runner, but i ran exactly one mile on my wife's nordictrack treadmill this afternoon. i ended up dripping with sweat. i didn't remember that i had a fan to cool me until i'd run a half mile. silly me. i did all this for michael b on who, for some reason, believes zombies may soon attack the US. if they do, i'm grabbing my bike. i'll never outrun them. (1 mile @ 6mph)

"invisible hill" intervals

'invisible hill' intervals were as painful today as i imagined them before hand. i warmed up for 10 minutes and then started in on the first of three sets of 3 x 2 min on/2 min off intervals. the first and second sets were on the way out. the third set on the way back. i rested for six minutes between sets.

after the final set of 3 x 2 min on/2 min off intervals, i decided to do one set of 4 x 3 min on/1 min off. let's just say that wasn't my best idea of the day. my legs are toast! (20.05 miles @ 16.6mph)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

clocked at 18mph

funny thing happened to me on my ride today! as i dropped down black dog hill, i noticed a small dark-colored car pulled off at osborn. as i approached it, i noticed the low-profile light bar on the top. a highway patrolman checking folks' speed as they came over the crest of nine-mile hill! just before i came alongside of his car, i noted his open window and passing shouted, "how fast am i going?" about twenty meters later, i heard him over his PA, "18mph!" i gave him a thumbs up. that was exactly what my computer read at the moment. pretty crazy, huh?

now for the ride itself. after riding intervals yesterday, i decided a medium to hard sustained effort was in order, so i tried my best to maintain a steady push on the pedals throughout. there were times when my legs argued. i just channeled jens and said, "shut up legs!" occasionally i had to stand - mostly to stretch my quads - but most of the time i remained seated and gutted it out.

my pace outbound was around 16.8mph. turning, i gained just a little speed from the wind. i ended at 17.3mph. i waved at the officer as i came back by him. as i climbed back up black dog hill, a glance over my shoulder revealed red and blue christmas lights flashing for a car that had stumbled into his trap.

best thing about today: i didn't get wet! with a 70% chance of rain predicted, i'm pretty happy about that. here's hoping tomorrow's 50% chance doesn't get me. (22.01 miles @ 17.3mph)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

killing myself for speed

intervals are not fun. just needed to say that. after a week or so off, i got back to interval training today, riding 2x10 (1 min on/2 min off). my heart and lungs will thank me later, i suppose, but they weren't very happy about what i put them through against the wind and up hills. sure hope this improves my speed over time. i'd hate to kill myself for nothing.

on the bright side, it was 54 degrees when i left and 59 when i got back. no shoe covers. fingerless gloves. only two layers top and bottom. spring! (19.97 miles @ 16.8mph)

Monday, March 22, 2010

march millenium done

finally! a warmish ride! the sun was shining today. the temps were still a bit cool, but the radiant heat felt good on my back. my legs were happy to be pumping without interruption again. no flats! with a slightly different wind, i would've had better speed. it was just a bit too "in your face" on the way out to maximize velocity. the distance, i'm sure you noticed, was much shorter than any day last week. i got in what i could in the middle of a double shift on ems. i'll probably only get in 100 miles or so this week. need to rest up a bit. thankfully today's ride worked out the aches and pains from friday's 81-miler. feel much better now. AND...drumroll please! i completed my 1000Km for march today. 622 total miles. yippee! (17.91 miles @ 17.6mph)

snow time!

i'm behind. this is march 20th's report...

in case anyone was wondering, it is about 3.23 miles around the outermost boundaries of argonia. i looped it twice this morning on floyd, my mountain bike. floyd loved pushing ahead against the howling north wind, plowing through banks of drifted snow and fishtailing now and again. his rider wasn't so sure.

wanted to push my mileage over 300 for the week, but i'm not doing 29 miles in this stuff. taking a break. i'll be back at it monday. won't be on top of the leaderboard next week. i'm taking it easy after this week. (6.46 miles @ 10.1mph)

81 miles! 13 flats!

i'm a few days behind. this is my report for march 19...

i intended to ride my first solo century of the year today. i got up early and enjoyed a beautiful ride from my in-laws' house in south wichita east down macarthur boulevard to kansas 15 and then south through derby and mulvane, turning around at greenwich and riding back. the weather was perfect. the wind calm. all was right.

i stopped for what was supposed to be a short breakfast. ate three pancakes with natural peanut butter smothered in syrup. delicious! saw my wife and daughter off to the crown uptown theater and prepared to ride again.

my plan was to ride west to cheney and then south to argonia. that would give me approximately 60 more miles and all i'd need to do is grab an extra seven miles. that was the plan.

things did not go as planned. i took my bike out of their garage and felt the sickening thump, thump, thump of a flat. i was glad it happened there rather than on the highway, so i popped back in the garage, patched the hole and reseated the tire. i was good to go...again.

i rolled out of the driveway and headed south to 33rd street, a right hand turn took me out to seneca and a left put me on this busy street. everything was good and right with the world. i cruised down to macarthur and took it west. i stopped somewhere between west and meridian to take off a layer or two. that was the last good thing that happened.

i decided when i reached kansas 42, to take it home rather than go through cheney, so i turned southwest and rode on.

i don't know when it first happened, but somewhere after clonmel, i felt that thump, thump, thump again. my rear tire was soft. i aired it up and rode on. four miles later i had to air it up again. for the next i don't know how many miles i had to stop and air up every four to five miles. it was not pleasant.

i limped home and fixed the flat. then i went out to ride a bit more. i didn't even make it a mile and a half. thump, thump, thump. deciding this was not my day, i rode back to the garage and parked my bike.

i will ride again another day. (81.52 miles @ 15.6mph)

Sno-cones for Jesus?

My wife and I took in the Winter Jam concert at the new Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita on March 21. We had a great time. Enjoyed the music, the atmosphere, the message that everyone shared: “Jesus loves you and you need him in order to be saved!”

During the concert,
Tony Nolan spoke briefly with the crowd. He made a clear gospel presentation, speaking the truth about sin and what Jesus did to take care of it. While he was speaking, a vendor walked by our seats. "Sno-cones!" he called out. "Sno-cones!" Over and over he offered his tasty treats while Tony was preaching.

It struck me as odd. Selling flavored ice for $5 while the incredible good news is preached? How strange! How distracting! How likely is that to happen?

Pretty likely evidently. Jesus told a story about a farmer who planted seeds. Some of the seeds fell on a path. Others on rocky ground. Still more among thorns. Only a few fell on good soil.

Jesus later explained this parable to his followers. When he got to the seed that fell among thorns he said that these seeds represented those who hear the good news and are distracted by worldly concerns. They get distracted and never really get around to following Jesus.

Following Jesus requires just a simple affirmation of faith. It requires your whole being. If you want to grow in your faith, you have to give yourself, lock, stock and barrel to your Savior, making him Lord of your life.

Are you distracted? Ask God today to take those things out of your life that keep you from producing fruit in your life.

To receive my once or twice weekly message via email, send a blank email to Past messages are available at

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ironman scouting report

i finally got it done. i rode the ironman kansas 70.3 bike route today. couldn't have picked a better day. it was significantly warmer than it has been and the southwest wind helped push me back toward the finish when i was at my tiredest.

my most important discovery of the day was that there are dogs at two of the turn arounds. when you get to shawnee heights road, there's a dog that will come out on the road and bark. not much of a problem. just an annoyance. but just before the turn around at n. 500 road on county road 1029 there are four dogs, one of which is a pit bull. they will chase a cyclist to n. 500 road where you're somehow supposed to turn around without being knocked over or bitten. someone needs to let the organizers know about this. it's going to be a serious problem on race day if they don't.

that said, let me back up and give a proper scouting report. having never done a triathlon, i may make comments that won't be all that helpful since i'm making assumptions that may be off base. you're getting a pure cyclist's view. remember that!

as soon as you exit the water at clinton lake and hop on your bike, you'll leave the boat ramp parking lot and round a curve. just out of sight as you approach this bend is a short, but steep little hill. before you leave the state park there are two other such hills. these will be especially difficult since you won't likely have your bike legs under you yet. the last of these is just before you leave the park at turn onto e. 900th.

e. 900th is a mixed bag. almost immediately after you turn onto it, you'll dive into a short downhill followed by a not-so-steep uphill onto the dam that makes clinton lake a lake. the dam is a wonderful flat ride that will allow you to get your legs warmed up. on the far side of the dam where the route map shows a slight curve, you'll have to climb up a bit before descending to the turn onto county road 458. the descent is really fun if you don't think about the fact that you're going to have to climb back up it after you've ridden almost 50 miles.

the next few miles are fairly flat and you can't miss a turn. it's all the same road even though there are name changes - e. 1000th road becomes n. 1000th becomes e. 850th becomes n. 950th.

as soon as you round the corner onto n. 950th and see the sign for county road 1039, you can think of me. it's right there that the 20-year-olds accelerated and left me in the dust back in november. a pox upon them all!

just past this intersection, the road tilts upward. shift down! it's a steeper and longer hill than it looks. you'll keep climbing a bit after the "summit" you can see. once you crest, you'll ride a series of rollers and then encounter a long slight slope up to and just past county road 1029.

just past 1029, you'll start the curve that angles toward 1023. the curve climbs just a bit and then plunges down to the bridge over a small finger of the lake. then you climb and climb up to the intersection. you'll see a steepening of the hill ahead. don't panic! your turn off is before that section.

turning southwest onto 1023, you'll climb a short distance and then enjoy a long, shallow descent into a flat valley bottom. enjoy it while it lasts, because the hill on the other side of the valley is a difficult one. i don't claim to be a great climber, but i'll warn you, riding up it this morning i dropped down below 10mph. it's over a mile long.

now a bit of info that i think is helpful. all the road changes shown on the map - from n 851st diagonal road to n. 850th to e. 100th - are just that. name changes. you're on the same road the whole time. just follow the corners and you'll make it to n. 700th road where you actually have to make a 90-degree right turn.

i would recommend shifting down before you make the turn because you will immediately begin a slow, steady ascent that lasts for over a mile and crosses into the next county. remember this ascent. it will be a blessing when you return.

you'll pass several crossroads as you travel n. 700th toward the shawnee heights road turn around. you'll encounter several rollers, a couple of which will be a bit of a challenge to climb. you'll keep thinking you're coming to the turn around, but it will not come. when you pass an old schoolhouse on the right, you're getting close. you'll pass it and then soon see a steep downhill followed by a steep uphill. you have to climb up to the turn around. you can start cursing the ironman organizers now, because this is not a pleasant ascent. trust me. and, as i reported before, there's a dog right at the top of the hill.

a small aside here...i've developed a new murphy's law for cycling. it goes like this. a dog willing to risk life and limb to chase you, lives at the top of every difficult climb. played out twice today and once on tuesday. must be true.

turning around, you'll descend quickly and then have to climb back up the hill you bombed down just minutes before. this hill is steeper, but shorter than the one that you climbed to reach the turn around, so don't despair. shift down and get out of the saddle and it'll be a piece of cake.

from the top of this rise, you'll encounter the same rollers as on the way out. they will be easier than before because the general trend of the road going east is downward.

at the bottom of the descent, shift down as you prepare to turn back onto e. 100th. there is a short climb immediately after you corner and you don't want to be caught off guard. you have been warned.

the rest of the journey back to n. 950th is pretty pleasant. that monster hill you hated on the way out will suddenly turn friendly. the hard climbs are on the outbound trek.

so now, you've complete your first out and back, you've bombed down the hill and over the bridge, you've crept up the hill that was so fun on the way out and you're approaching county road 1029. say your prayers. 1029 is not fun! as i was riding it, i kept thinking, 'how do i describe this section of the race?' here's what i settled on. there are four SIGNIFICANT hills on this southbound road. the first hill is the hill i set me personal fastest max speed on last year - 45mph. that was going down. climbing up, i dropped below 8mph. it hurts. the next three hills are either steep or long or both. and the fourth one is the one with the four dogs. note this: when you crest on one of the early hills, i don't remember which, you'll see a blue water tower in the distance. you will not have to ride that far. be glad. there are more significant climbs if you keep going south. i know because i rode past the turn around to avoid the dogs. from the top of hill 4, i could see another long, torturous ascent. i stopped and rested there today. rested until i saw a car coming from the north. then i clicked in and rode hard toward the dogs' house. i timed it perfectly. the dogs saw me, prepared to give chase and i wizzed past them just as the car was approaching. the car had to slam on its brakes and honk to avoid the stupid mutts. the honking stopped them in their tracks and i rode on, laughing evilly to myself.

two climbs later, i turned onto n. 750th. this road was my favorite. it was almost all downhill to county road 1. wish more of the route was like it.

after turning onto route 1, i was on familiar turf. this is a part of the route i have ridden numerous times with the lawrence bicycle club. if you turn right instead of left as the map indicates, you'll end up at lone star lake. that's info only. don't do it. turn left and follow the generally flat, curving road into a small town and then turn left onto n. 661 diagonal (aka county road 1039). a few curves later, you'll be back on n. 950th headed back to the state park. the next few miles are blessedly flat. push as hard as you can without depleting your reserves. there are still two climbs to go before you reenter the state park. the first of these is the curving climb back up and around the corner to the descent onto the dam. this was the hardest climb of the day for me. it is long and steep and you'll be tired. don't say you weren't warned. as soon as you can see the lake again, it's safe to breathe a sigh of relief. you'll get a brief respite as you cruise across the dam. on the other side, you'll have to climb up to the state park entrance again and then negotiate the two short, but steep climbs inside the park before a final descent to the half marathon transition area.

and there you have it - a fairly complete scouting report. hope it helps those of you who will be racing in june. if you're coming from another state and think kansas is flat, put that out of your head now. this route is the work of some devilish people. its climbs are not alpine, but, i said it earlier, significant. (57.12 miles @ 16.1mph)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

top ten update

second place this morning! caught jamie, but kris snuck in a few extra miles and stayed ahead of me. and i said it would NEVER happen again. maybe i'll get first place tomorrow after the ironman route. only if kris stays home and eats bon bons.

a long ride out and back

the forecast lied. it said rain. the radar backed it up. liars! it didn't rain at all and i put off doing the ironman route because of it. i hate liars! i loved my ride, however.

i knew i was going to have a great day today. i woke up at 4:00am and my legs felt great. they were ready to go. i told them to wait and went back to sleep. when i woke up again a little after 6:00am, they were still pumped, ready to ride.

i dressed slowly and took off around 7:30am with plans to ride north to tonganoxie or mclouth, turning around after the promised sprinkles started. i had mapped the distances on dailymile and knew approximate distances. for some reason, those distances were way off. tongie was supposed to be only 12 miles away. it was 14. mclouth was only 14 away on the dailymile map. it was 24 miles.

since it never rained, i just kept riding right on through mclouth. i made it all the way to oskaloosa's jefferson street before turning to come back.

the wind was perfect for the ride. pretty puny and out of the northwest. it was never directly in my face for long, so i was able to maintain 15mph on the way out.

the hills were a bit of a challenge however. the most memorable among them was the first hill out of tonganoxie headed west on kansas highway 16. when i made the left hand turn onto the highway and looked ahead, i smiled. i don't know why, but that was my reaction to seeing the road rise before me. 'now that's a hill,' i thought. i don't know what the hill's grade was, but it was long enough and steep enough that i was near my redline as i neared the summit. i just sat tight and kept turning the cranks. i was glad when i crested that there weren't more of the same following it. the descent of this hill was memorable too. i hit my highest speed of the year, 41.7mph, dropping down to main street. i caught and passed a fellow rider just around the corner headed south. he was chatting on his cell, so i just waved and rode on by. total elevation gain over the nearly 63-mile ride was 1089 feet.

i stopped only twice this morning. once in mcclouth on the way home to eat a granola bar. once at the junction of the road that leaves eudora and highway 32 for the same purpose. the energy from those two bars and two bottles of gatorade kept me going the whole way.

the only thing that could've made the ride better was a friend to share it. wish you were here! (62.93 miles @ 16.7mph)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

zig-zagging around

the best laid plans of mice and mike go awry!

i got up and headed to lawrence with every intention of riding the ironman kansas bike route this morning. i weaved in and out of traffic in my van, hurrying toward my destination. i arrived, opened the hatch and discovered that someone (probably me) had unloaded the bag that held my helmet, gloves, skull cap, etc. i thought for a moment about riding without these things, but it was really cold and windy and i'm not really keen on leaving my head unprotected, so i closed the trunk and headed back to my mom and dad's place.

i no longer had time to ride the ironman route, so i found my helmet bag and, fully dressed, set out.

normally when i'm in eudora, i ride one of a few loops that take me either to lawrence and back or somewhere close to that. i was not in the mood for a simple circle today, so i planned out in my head a zig-zagging route that would add miles and keep my interest.

i took the biggest, nastiest uphill as early as i could in the ride and then meandered about the countryside, taking a small dip into lawrence once and through eudora twice. rather than describe every twist and turn, i'll map it for you.

i arrived safely home and am ready to eat lunch and then head to olathe to watch 'alice in wonderland' in IMAX 3-D! (39.22 miles @ 16.2mph)

top ten news

it will NEVER happen again, so i've got to show it now. today i am temporarily in third place on my dailymile leaderboard and i am ahead of kris r who's in fifth!

Monday, March 15, 2010

blasted wind!

because of the blasted wind, the first 8.5 miles of today's ride took me 45 minutes. i was grinding it out in my small ring and barely maintaining 9mph at times. it was brutal.

when i turned east, things got much better. i covered the next seven miles or so in about 27 minutes. it was the cold that got to me on this stretch. my left hand's fingers were "burning" by the time i made it to conway springs.

when i reached main street and turned south, every bit of pain was forgotten. i was quickly up and over 20mph with the wind at my back. i pushed harder and harder as my legs recovered. for more than three miles i maintained over 30mph. i covered these eight miles in 17 minutes.

the final leg of my journey, the ride west, wasn't too bad. the wind threatened to push me into traffic. my legs tried cramping a bit. but i made it back to the house in about 25 minutes. i gained my final tenth of a mile per hour in the final quarter mile, pulling my average up from 11.2mph at the end of the first leg to 16.0mph at ride's end. (30.59 miles @ 16.0mph)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

my daughter, my friend

i only ride on sundays when i have a friend to ride with. today my friend was my youngest daughter, bri. we needed to get in 30 minutes of exercise for our walk kansas team, so we took our bikes and rode down to the river park south of town. it was a little nippy with the wind blowing, but we had caps on under our helmets, so we didn't lose any ears. i let bri lead most of the time. she did a great job. we had lessons in cornering and drafting. nothing terribly complicated, but worth learning earlier rather than later. it was fun. when we got back near the house, bri was ready to quit, but i insisted we get at least a half hour, so we circled around the north side of town and made our goal. she complained a bit about her legs hurting, but she survived. a good recovery ride for me. fun! (5.03 miles @ 9.2mph)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ho hum

after yesterday's ride in hays, i feel kind of funny even mentioning the wind today. but i have to. the northwesterly "breeze" was pretty strong. it kept my outbound pace near 14mph. and it wasn't all that helpful coming back. i'm not complaining. just saying.

not much to report other than that. the thermometer read 45, but it felt colder. so i rode easy. hopefully next week, i'll get in an interval ride or two. didn't get my second one in this week. ho hum. (19.93 miles @ 15.8mph)

Friday, March 12, 2010

wind, dirt and snow

i rode today in honor of the lady raiders' second round win and in anticipation of victory in this evening's championship game. i hope their game goes better than my ride did.

the wind. what can i say? it was horrendous! the weather channel had it at 19mph sustained. i'd say it was more like 40mph! i exaggerate sometimes, but it was bad.

i rode into that wind for mile after torturous mile. pushing the pedals as hard as i could, i struggled to maintain 11mph. it was awful! about 3.5 miles into the ride i was not so pleasantly surprised by dirt. the road i scouted online before coming to hays was a dirt road. i didn't know any other route to take, so i rode on. for three miles i weaved in and out avoiding pot holes and washboards and puddles. if the temps had been a bit warmer than 36, i probably would've had trouble slipping and sliding, but the dirt was hard and i rode at about the same pace as i had on the paved roads. not very fast!

after the dirt, i got a short one-mile reprieve from the wind. riding south and east was wonderful! then i turned northwest again on old highway 40. the wind and the hills conspired against me. i pushed painfully on, willing myself to stay upright. at times my speed dipped below 9mph.

i finally decided enough was enough. i had planned to ride to elllis, but i was done. since my cyclometer was having trouble, i looked for a marked road that i could turn around at. i wanted to be able to track my miles and knew i couldn't rely on the cateye for accurate info.

a mile or more up the highway, i spotted a small green sign. 160th it read. i flipped around and headed back. best decision i'd made since breakfast in the hotel lobby. i cruised up to 17mph quickly and when the downhill came, i was up over 21mph. train tracks ran along the highway and a long train hauling tons and tons of coal came up alongside me. the draft off of it was amazing. i stopped pedaling and it pulled me along at over 20mph. the rest was great!

a short stint into the wind getting back to the dirt road and the rest of the ride was smooth sailing. i turned on to the 183 bypass and flew down the hill. i leaned into the turn onto 41st street and then the snow began to fall. i spent the last two miles dodging flakes, glad i was almost "home" for the day.

i rolled to a stop in the parking lot, packed up my bike and climbed the stairs to our room. just after i had stripped down to my base layers, my family came back from breakfast. they'd enjoyed waffles and bagels while i suffered happily over broken pavement and rutted hard pack. wouldn't have it any other way. (21.54 miles @ 13.5mph)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

beating kandappa

i had one goal in mind as i rolled down my driveway this morning: beat my dailymile friend kandappa. sorry, kandappa, but it's the truth. i decided when i got my work done early that a strong finish to the 'first to 500 miles' challenge would do me good. so i put my interval training on hold and set out to ride the 50 miles i needed to finish.

the first 25 miles were almost unbearable. the wind was almost directly out of the west and it was all i could do to get up to 14.2mph before the turn around. the brief respite from the wind, a three-mile trek south, helped restore some energy before the final six miles to my u-turn.

as soon as i turned, the day suddenly became the best day ever. the wind was ever so friendly and i was up to 15.1mph before i turned north for a short three-mile suffer fest. i didn't lose a tenth on that stretch and once i turned east again in harper, there was no turning back.

about eleven miles from home, i realized that if i could keep my speed over 22mph, i could make it back in less than three hours. so i pushed hard and maintained well over 22mph. the only time my speed dipped below 22mph was when i approached my driveway again. my brakes brought me back down to earth.

(as an added bonus, i discovered that this ride moved me up in a coupld of dailymile challenges. i completed the '200 cycling miles in march' challenge and moved into second place in the 'most miles by the giro d'italia' race. i'm less than 20 miles behind kris!)

i'm happy with my performance, pace and distance. can't wait to ride again tomorrow. go lady raiders! win state! (50.20 miles @ 17.0mph)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

sore thumbs

my thumbs are sore. i rubbed them raw trying to get a new tire on my rear rim. after yesterday's flat, i looked over my tire and found some nearly bald spots and decided it was time for a change. so i wrestled and fought with the new tire until it was on. then i had a pinch flat. grrrr.

when i finally had a good tube and tire on, i headed out the door. my legs were pretty much toast from yesterday's hard rides, so i took it easy. i spun on the hills and pushed only when my quads said it was okay. that wasn't very often.

the wind was a bit of a factor again this morning. it was from the northeast and a bit cold. but warmer weather is becoming more and more the norm, so i'm not complaining. my average temp for the year - 31.62 degrees - is actually nearing the freezing point!

my daughter plays in the state basketball tournament tonight, so i won't be getting in an afternoon ride today. if they win tonight, afternoon rides are out for the rest of the week. but next week is vaction. lots of miles are coming! can't wait! (20.10 miles @ 16.6mph)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

just a few more

just had to add a few miles this afternoon. it was a hard fight out against a super strong west wind, but when i turned around, i flew home. not much else to report. (12.12 miles @ 16.7mph)

painful workout

tuesdays and thursdays are painful workout days. today the pain came in the form of an interval ladder.

after a five-minute warm up, i started at a quarter mile push followed by the same distance rest and worked up to a mile and a half push followed by the same distance rest. on the down side of the ladder, i added in an extra step up. after i'd gotten down to a mile, i went up to a mile and a quarter and then all the way down to a quarter mile. some where in there, about six and half miles from home, i flatted and had a bit longer rest than planned. all in all a good ride.

i felt stronger and ended with a higher average speed than on my mile ladder last week. thursday will be timed intervals. (25.01 miles @ 18.2mph)

Monday, March 8, 2010

wet and wild

"it was the best of rides. it was the worst of rides." - the gears of wrath

i was awakened by the shrill tones of my ems pager at 4:45am, fifteen minutes before i had planned to get up for my ride. since i was up and i wasn't on call, i got dressed and headed out the door.

the weather radar did not show any rain, but it was raining. a light misty mess greeted me as i rode out to the highway and turned east. the damp surface road glistened as the beam of my redneck headlight hit it. (well, that's not quite true. my attempt to make the light stable pointed it off toward the tops of the trees on the opposite side of the road. a bit more tweaking and i'll get it right.)

the ride itself was enjoyable enough. yeah, i was wet, but i was riding. my only complaint was the folks going the opposite direction who thought it was helpful to leave their brights on. high-beam headlights in your eyes make it hard to see the edge of the road. thankfully, i didn't end up in the ditch while trying to spot the road through the brilliant light.

there was a bit of a scary moment once. i was adjusting the position of my headlight about seven miles out of town and accidently hit the off button. i couldn't see anything but the vague impression of a white line to my left. i slowed gradually and then when i was sure i was ready to stop, clicked out. i was going faster than i thought and nearly fell over. i fumbled around and found the switch. light! and i was off again. riding as if nothing had happened. hope that kind of thing doesn't become a regular occurrence. (20.10 miles @ 16.3mph)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"walk" kansas

my family and i (with our next door neighbor) are on a "walk kansas" team together. starting today, march 7, all five of us have to average 30 minutes of exercise a day through may 1. the goal is to collectively "walk" across the state. (every 15 minutes of exercise counts as a mile. there are credits for eating delicious fruits and vegetables and whole grains too.)

so i think i've got this figured out. when i "need" to ride an extra hour or two my wife won't complain, right?

"i'm helping the team!" i'll say. "think of the miles! think of the kids!"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

o'dark hundred

no one should be allowed to have as much fun as i did at o'dark hundred this morning. i got up at 5:00am and was out the door and on the road before 5:15am. my redneck headlight worked well...for the most part. unanticipated problems included the pivot on the head dropping to two feet in front of me on the bumpy streets of argonia, the light shining up into the trees early on, the rubberband breaking somewhere around halfway through the ride and having to hold on the the flashlight from time to time. other than that, it worked like a charm. better than some commercial headlights, i'm sure.

the riding itself was really enjoyable. traffic was light this morning. i was passed by five cars in nine miles on the way out and seven on the way back. (no, i am not going to trade anyone traffic patterns.) i couldn't obsess over speed or time or anything since i couldn't see my cyclometer. so i just enjoyed looking around at the farmyard lights and staring at the pavement as it moved into view. the weather was perfect too. 51 degrees with a windchill of 50. the wind was strong, but not as bad as it will be later in the day. (17.82 miles @ 16.4mph)

trike racing

these guys are crazy. looks like loads of fun. go trek U23!

Friday, March 5, 2010

redneck headlights

can't go riding tomorrow unless it's really early, so i rigged up this headlight for my bike using a flashlight, an old belt and a rubberband. didn't want to muck up my bar tape or i would have used duct tape. i have real lights ordered, but they're not here yet.
so i'll be up at 5:00 to ride before heading to udall, ks, for a drama and speech event that my daughters are in. hope the light works as well as i imagine.

hang on to your helmet

it's a good thing my helmet was securely fastened today. the warm wind could've taken it right off if it was strapless. other than the wind, the day was beautiful - 61 degrees, sunny, a few fluffy clouds dotting the blue expanse above. compared to what i've been used to...perfect. but there was that wind. grrr.

i fought my way out to osborn road, a little dirt track that runs south to no where in particular, then turned around. the wind helped a bit going back, but not as much as you'd think. though it was southeasterly in direction, it was more south that east, so i was constantly wobbling as gusts hit me, blowing me toward the ditch.

it's supposed to be windy and warm again tomorrow. unfortunately, riding is kind of iffy right now. i don't know if i'm going to have time between my daughters' forensics meet which i'm judging and the girls' sub-state basketball game. i'm taking my bike with me in hopes. if i don't ride, it will be my first "miss" of the year. grrr. (16.45 miles @ 16.7mph)

wooden bikes

discovered renovo bikes while browsing the bicycling mag buyer's guide today. more beautiful bikes made of wood at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We must connect...

In the early days of my ministry in Indiana, I often struggled to get a sermon written each week. I’d try to start, but nothing would come. I’d write a sentence or two and wad up the page and toss it in the trash. I wasted tons of paper. (Didn’t have a computer then.)

One particular week, I remember having a terrible time. I didn’t even have an idea on Friday. I was frustrated. I was panicked. People expected me to have something to say come Sunday morning. What would happen if I didn’t have a message?

At some point that Friday, I got up from my desk and headed outside. I was determined to meet with God, to give him a piece of my mind. I stormed through the cemetery that sat behind our house. I climbed the fence that marked its back boundary. I walked into the cornfield beyond. There among the browning stalks, I cried out my fears to God. I told him of my frustration. Then I began to worship him, screaming out my praise. I did not feel like honoring God, but I knew he was worthy of all the blessing I could give him. I kept singing and shouting until the Holy Spirit granted me his peace that passes understanding.

I returned to my office confident that God was with me no matter what happened. If he did not give a message, I would trust him to lead in the service two days away. I don’t recall the topic of the message I finally wrote and preached that week, but I do remember the lesson I learned. I can do nothing without God’s help.

The same is true for every one of you. Not one of you can do anything of eternal value without God. Your good deeds will be worthless. You will accomplish little if anything. Jesus said it would be like this for his disciples.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1-5, NIV)

You and I must remain connected to God. We are dependent upon his power to save us. We are dependent upon his power to overcome every temptation we face. We are dependent upon his power to do the good he created us to do.

I know all this, and yet, in the busyness of my day or my week, I sometimes neglect my time with God in prayer. The fact that I’m easily distracted doesn’t help much. I can sit down to pray and soon find myself occupied in some other aspect of work or, worse, preoccupied with some silly thing. God help me! God help us all!

We will never accomplish what God wants us to accomplish until we get this right. So let’s get it right. Will you join me in making sure that, on a daily basis, you are connecting with God? Will you pray every day? Will you read God’s word? Will you ask for strength to say no to that repetitive sin? Will you seek God’s power to do all he has for you to do?

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infernal intervals

if there was a way to reach across the internet and slap someone...

i followed bernard's instructions (he's a friend on dailymile) on interval training today. i warmed up for five minutes and then started the first of four sets of intervals. the first three one-minute-pushing-two-minutes-resting sections of the first set were not too bad. beginning with the fourth section, the pain began. thankfully there were only two more efforts before the first longer break between sets. i rested the regular two minutes and then another five before starting another set.

the second, third and fourth sets of five hard efforts were full of suffering. i would barely get my breathing and heartrate under control and it would be time to push again. the worst part was most of my max efforts, all but one or two of the twenty, began somewhere in the middle of a climb. i know everyone is going to say, "perfect! that's the way it should be!"

if there was a way to reach across the internet and slap someone...

anyway, i finished four sets and did not die. i will retract my earlier "thank you" to bernard and give it to him again if i ever break the 22mph mark. (22.02 miles @ 16.9mph)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

i couldn't resist

i couldn't resist. it was too nice out this afternoon. i had to ride again. so i called a friend and fellow emt to cover for me and then headed out on the highway. my legs, warmed by the sun, pushed my speed up easily to 18+mph before i turned to head home. with just a little effort, i cruised to a 19.1mph ending average. far from the 22mph goal i've set for myself, but respectable this early in the season. can't wait till it's even warmer than today's 51 degrees! (18.04 miles @ 19.1mph)

Saved to do good...

When I was a junior in high school, I prayed a very dangerous prayer. I offered my life to Jesus to do with as he pleased. “Whatever you want, Lord. I’ll do it.”

I had no idea at the time that he would call me to preach. If I had known that, I might have been less rash with my words. But I loved Jesus and wanted to serve him. I wanted to follow him wherever he led me. I still do.

One of my biggest concerns over the years has been the tendency of those who claim Christ to ignore his teachings, to disobey while claiming salvation. Many people say, “I believe in Jesus,” but don’t do what he says.

James asks the obvious questions concerning such “faith”. “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” (James 2:14, NIV) He then states the answer to these questions. Without backing down one bit, he says: “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17, NIV)

There is no such thing as faith that isn’t lived out. If you are saved, you will act on that faith. You will do good works. You will follow Jesus.

Again the Bible is clear.

Jesus told this story. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NIV)

Is it not obvious that Jesus wants us to do what he says? It’s not enough to say, “I believe.” You have to live, “I believe.” To not live out your faith, to not obey your Lord, is foolishness. Those are Jesus’ words, not mine.

So saying you love Jesus while willfully choosing disobedience in some area of life is crazy! Asking God if it’s okay with him if you do something he’s said is wrong is nuts! Expecting blessings while practicing evil of any kind…insanity!

I could get into specifics here, but I don’t think that’s necessary. The Holy Spirit is able to convict you of any area you need to make changes in. I’m going to trust him to do that. Listen to his voice. If there is sin that needs to repented of, do it!

Paul in Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us something important about the works we’re to do after we’ve been saved. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

The purpose God had in saving you is spelled out here. God created you anew in Christ Jesus to do good. He even had in mind the good things he had for you to do. He had them prepared for you to do before you were saved.

Isn’t it amazing? God had plans for your life before you believed. He knew the good you could do for his kingdom. He invited you to faith so you could do what he’d prepared for you to do.

So the question is: are you looking for opportunities to do that good which God created you to do? The good you were prepared to do will fit you, your personality, your skills, your gifts. You are uniquely suited to perform specific acts that will bless your brothers and sisters. What you were created in Christ Jesus to do will be relatively easy for you? Others will struggle to do what you do happily. You will find joy in God’s “specially designed for you” work.

So be alert to the little things you can do or say that will make a difference in another’s life. Do the good God created you to do.

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cato and me

My next door neighbor - she happens to be our church's youth pastor's wife - took some shots of me and my road bike, Cato, the other day. The results were fantastic. Check my photo album out!

a nice easy spin

after yesterday's hammer fest, i decided a nice easy spin was in order, so this morning i shifted down and kept a nice high cadence for the entire ride. i stood only occasionally and only to stretch out my quads. no heart pounding, lung heaving efforts, just easy aerobic exercise at recovery pace. (23.98 miles @ 16.5mph)

Cato and me...

My next door neighbor - she happens to be our church's youth pastor's wife - took some shots of me and my road bike, Cato, the other day. The results were fantastic. Check my photo album out!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ktrak conquers the snow

for those of you stuck indoors due to the snow!

flying to harper

i worked today like i hadn't worked in ages. my legs were pistons from the first stroke until the last, keeping a steady rhythm, firing and firing and firing again. cato and i were one as we flew down the road. it was 42 degrees!

the trip out was a hard push into a westerly wind. not an overly strong wind, but an almost directly "in-your-face" wind that pushed back every time i spun my pedals. with a few strategic mental tricks to keep me going, i made it to the far side of harper with a 17.1mph average. take that wind!

then i turned and cranked up the speed. i leaped up to 20.0mph immediately with the wind at my back and never saw anything lower than that the entire way home. i stood when i felt weak and my speed threatened to drop. i powered over l'alpe d'anville at 21.0mph. i joyfully rounded the corner for the final quarter mile without slowing a bit. only when i sat up and clicked out did i drop to 17.0mph then to 16.0mph then to a stop. my cyclometer read 19.0mph, but there were small glitches during the ride. the adjusted speed was 19.1mph.

wish there had been someone to share my ride today. imagine the pace we could've maintained had we been able to rest in each other's draft! someday! (31.87 miles @ 19.1mph)

You must believe...

As a four-year-old, I made a decision that changed my life. At special services being held at our church, I told my mom, “I want to do that,” when the preacher invited people to come forward to pray to receive salvation.

I don’t remember that day very clearly, but the story of my eagerness to give myself, my life, my all to Jesus has stuck with me. God, in love, took a look into that little boy’s heart, saw the spark of faith and performed a miracle. He raised me from death and gave me life. He transformed me.

I praise him today, almost forty years later, with all that I am! Jesus is above all! Blessed be his name! My Savior and my King!

Go to the Bible and you will hear it over and over: you must be saved. This is the most important message God has given us. Belief in Jesus is not a take it or leave it proposition for those who want eternal life. Heaven is not open to those who refuse God’s command to believe.

Listen to what he says and see if you don’t agree.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18, NIV)

Do these words of Jesus not say, “You must believe!” Only those who believe are saved. Those who do not are condemned. Jesus came to save the world. That includes you. Believe on God’s one and only Son and you will be saved.

Jesus has more to say to us.

“Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” (John 6:28-29, NIV)

What work does God require of all men who desire salvation? Not acts of kindness. Not giving away tons of money. Not praying and fasting a certain number of days. Not saying the right words to a friend.

The work of God, the only work he accepts, is to believe in Jesus. Jesus is the one he sent into the world to save the world. Believe on him.

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:19-24, NIV)

Here’s the truth: You cannot become righteous by following the law. Doing so is impossible. You know that. You’ve tried to do what’s right and failed over and over.

The only way to a right relationship to God, to peace with him, is through faith in Jesus. Again the truth is clear. You must believe to be saved, to be justified.

“…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:9-13, NIV)

The good news is clear. If you believe, you will be saved. Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

You can’t have done something so bad that God makes an exception and excludes you. You can’t do anything good enough to get in on your own merit. If you believe, you will be saved. That’s the truth. Are you listening?

“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:21-24, NIV)

If there was any doubt concerning the necessity of believing in Jesus’ name after reading the previous passages, it is erased here. That belief is commanded is clear. Those who obey this command live in him and he in them. Have I made myself clear enough on this topic? You must believe. You cannot be saved in any other way.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Number your days aright...

You and I are mortal. The day you cease from your labor for the Lord is coming. My last day is just around the corner. It won’t be long.

What did David say? “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” (Psalm 39:4-5, NIV)

A breath. That’s what we’re living here. A breath. Here, then gone. We would do well to remember that.

“Teach us to number our days aright,” David said in another song, “that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, NIV) A good prayer. One God will answer gladly. He loves giving wisdom to those who ask.

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much better

my legs felt much better today after a day of rest. i was able to push fairly hard against a blustery northeast wind for 11 miles and enjoy a quick ride back. my average on the way out: 14mph. my ending average 16.2mph. a good start to my march metric millineum challenge on my aim, along with 130 0thers, is to ride 1000Km (621.37 miles) in one month. (22.13 miles @ 16.2mph)

No cussing...

A teenager's effort to fight foul language has reached ears of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Officials decided to declare this week "No Cussing Week.

Many adults were carefully watching what they said on Tuesday morning at the Hall of Administration in Downtown L.A. After all, there was a cussing jar, which some said would likely be filled in less than 30 minutes.

Regardless of how full the jar was at the end of the morning, one teen's day was full of praise. McKay Hatch, 14, has been pushing many to clean up their act when it comes to how they speak. He started the "No Cussing Club" at South Pasadena High school a couple of years ago. And from March 2 through March 6 has now been declared "No Cussing Week" by the L.A. County Supervisors.

KABC News.