Saturday morning, my morning, the time reserved just for me… mine, mine, mine.  I’m not sure when I claimed the sanctity of that time, but it has been that way for a while now.  Perhaps it is due to what it means to my health, the zen of turning the pedals renews me not only physically but also mentally.  If I miss my Saturday ride, I feel it more than just in my body.  I feel it in my soul.

I rolled eagerly from under the warm embrace of the bedcovers, unaware of the tug of their security, quickly pulled them up and arranged the pillows.  That’s my habit, the tidiness of my small abode as essential to my well being as the zen of the ride.  Judging from the dim light in my bedroom, it was probably dreary weather outside, expected since the weather report was for clouds all morning, followed by rain in the afternoon.  To my dismay, the puddles on my balcony were proof that there had been rain while I slept, but as I looked beyond the balcony to the dirt below, there had not been enough rain to make it muddy.  There had been several days in a row without significant precipitation.  My heart told me that I would be able to ride.

Ken, a retiree who maintains the condo pool, was collecting spare change for the Knights of Colombus at the first stoplight.  “You going to be able to ride that thing?”, he asked as he pointed to my mountain bike, “It rained earlier this morning.”.  I assured him that it hadn’t rained hard enough, but I fretted as I told him that.  Dark clouds loomed in the west.  I hoped to beat the rain, but it looked like it could rain any moment.  I fought the temptation to turn my car around and head back home, do something more constructive with my time than to drive out to the trails only to have to turn back around.  No, I was going to take my chances, even as a bit of drizzle began to mist my windshield.

Please, God, just let the rain hold off long enough for me to get a ride in.

The drizzle continued on and off as I drove.  I tried to remain optimistic, determined to get that ride in.  I needed it.  With the evening light shortened and work preventing me from riding in the morning, Sundays not an option either, my Saturday morning ride is even more essential and sacred.

I unloaded my bike immediately, donned my shoes and helmet and gloves, rode in from the trailhead without checking the trail.  Thankfully, even with the drizzle, the trail was still dry and safe to ride.  My body warmed quickly, a safeguard against the cool moisture that soaked me.  It didn’t matter, I was riding.  The woods were calm, the trails tacky from the light moisture.  Two hours later, I finished my ride, satisfied and pleasantly taxed.  A light rain began to fall, perhaps a reminder from God of the gift I had just received.

What a way to start the day!  I arrived home to partly sunny skies, shared a long walk with Lisa to the grocery store and shared some ice cream with her on the way home.  The day was mine, with plenty of other blessings in store.  It’s amazing what a ride does for me, especially when a prayer brings the blessings amidst the drizzle.