August 3, 2018 = Syracuse, NY to Utica, NY
So far 3,269 miles ridden. 89,646 feet of elevation climbed.
254 miles from home.
Today 50 Miles, 4 hours, 1818 feet of elevation climb.
15 miles into the ride as the rain began to fall.
Today, after 3,200 miles, I got my first flat.
Well, actually, my rear bicycle tire (yea, the more difficult tire to repair) got a flat.
I was riding in the rain and all of a sudden felt my rear tire go all squishy and soft. I looked down and saw that my tire had gone flat—like a pancake.
And what a blessing that flat tire was!!!
Here is a photo of the culprit that took my fancy near-flat-free tire down.
But how can a flat tire be a blessing you ask?
When my tire went flat, I thought “where can I escape the rain?” and I looked to my right and saw a parking lot for a small law office and another building. At the walkway to the law office there was a tree with a dry patch of pavement under it, so I headed for that tree.
Of course, once I got to the dry-patch, the rain I’d been riding in stopped. That was the first blessing from the Lord.
The next blessing then walked out of the small building (which happened to be a home where Mary, her husband and their new puppy lived). Mary and the puppy walked out of their home and Mary asked me what I was doing.
Once we got to talking, Mary and I realized that we were brother & sister in Christ. Mary is a believer, and one who wants to see others know the saving grace of Jesus Christ too. Mary is a retired special-needs teacher who now has a passion for ministering to the elderly. Mary uses this picture card to start her conversations about Jesus with others.
As I worked to fix the flat, Mary was very encouraging (another blessing) and she even helped me hold the bike upright as I tried to put the tire back on around the fender (another blessing).
Also, she brought me two big glasses of ice water and if all that wasn’t blessing enough, she asked if she could pray for me. That was the greatest blessing, because prayer has been what has kept me going these past 7-1/2 weeks.
Mary took these photos of me as I worked on the tire.
Once the tire was fixed, I was on my way again and praising God for the encounter as I pedaled. I’d not gone very far when I saw a sign with read “Rejoice in the Lord” and I told myself; “That is what I’ve been doing since that flat.”
And the funny thing is, once I started my ride again with the repaired tire, then the rain started falling again. Once again, God’s mercy. No rain while Mary and I sat there and talked while I fixed the flat.
God is so good—always!
I got to my motel in Utica before the possible thunderstorms arrived as well. This was only my second day on this trip that entailed riding in the rain most of the day. I guess that is another huge blessing as well. God’s timing on this ride has been perfect in so many ways.
Thank you Lord!