One month and 1,000 miles in, our expectations have been completely transcended. From the people to the scenery, this cycling trip has been a phantasmagoria, fueled by faith.
Before this experience, my trusty riding partner, Julian, had never owned a road bike or been camping, though he still wanted to join. One month in, he’s glad he did, “Life’s too short to sit around at home, man. I’ve been traveling on planes my whole life, but this gives you a much different perspective, traveling this way. This is making me a better person, learning about other people’s lives and struggles. It’s so humbling.”
Aside from the hills and miles, our unceasing faith has brought us through many challenges, especially during moments of uncertainty. We call these moments tests, times liable to propagate stress or conflict. How do we get through these challenges? It’s simple, with faith and faith alone, even with approaching storms, waning daylight in seedy neighborhoods, flat tires, broken racks, swarms of blood-thirsty deer flies, swallowing desolation, blazing heat with dwindling water supplies, and more.
Much of life is beyond our control. With faith that whatever happens will work towards the best possible scenario, we find our way.
When we left Phoenix on our first day, we faced delay after delay. Before we knew it, the sun was nearing the horizon, and we hadn’t even made it out of town. Stressed in a Whole Foods, we agreed to have faith that whatever happens will bring us towards our best possible scenario. Mere moments afterwards, a guy walked up to me; we started talking, and, 10 minutes later, we had a place to stay. What’s more, this random guy was also a 5-star bike mechanic and a lover of philosophy. We spent the night examining the human existence and learning important bike maintenance and repair.
Heading into the lonely desert of southwestern Arizona, we forgot to fill our spare 3L water bladder. Continuing onwards, we biked out of Gila Bend, Az, on a rutty, pothole-laden gravel road that came with a mighty headwind. Our pace was slow and moral was tanking. We decided to have faith and keep riding. As soon as we reached the end of the road, we found a paved route with a man in a truck on an adjacent driveway. We started talking, and then he gave us enough water to fill our spare bladder and a Camelbak that he’d found in the road, that happened to be the perfect size for our bladder.
When we stood on a mountain ridge overlooking a storm raging in Temecula, Ca, we were nervous and unsure how to proceed. All we could do was have faith. Across the way we saw a guy struggling to open his car’s hood. After I helped him open it, he made a phone call and gave us vague, dubious directions to where we could stay — his ex-girlfriend’s family’s house. We had no street names to go off but rode as directed and found an unbelievable spot. It was not what he’d described but a hands-down perfect spot for us. It started raining as soon as we got there, but we had a roof overhead, patio furniture, outlets, a faucet, and a miraculous double rainbow to welcome us.
It’s always good to have a plan, but plans don’t account for the unexpected. Faith does.