“Get on my wheel and stay there!”

I’m reading a book that has been really inspiring me as of late. It’s called Heft On Wheels, by Mike Magnuson. The sub-heading is “A Field Guide to Doing a 180.” And that is a fitting title. Though not for the easily offended- the book is a great guy book filled with brutal inspiration.

The book tells the tale of a man in his 30’s who has been so incredibly abusive to his body that it’s amazing he lived to tell it. Drinking like a fish and smoking more than a pack a day. A college prof who partied with his students, and kept up.

Long story short, he used cycling to turn it all around.

But there’s a point in the story where he has this massive realization. He’s riding with a group of speed cyclists in a thunderstorm. He can hardly ever keep up with them, but in this evening, with the weather, it’s imperative that he does… he could die.

Heading up a hill, he’s lagging behind. Here’s an excerpt;

I keep pedaling along, grinding, sucking it up and riding within myself the way Saki has taught me, (a technique to help him persevere) and I don’t think much of it till I notice one of the fastest guys in the group, a racer named Darren, dropping back from the group to fetch me, which means he’ll let me catch up with him, and he’ll use his draft to pull me forward to the group.

When we’re together, he says, “You got to keep up man. You can’t be alone back here in this weather.”

He puts the hammer down then, and I try holding on to his back wheel but can’t really, not going uphill. And he drops back again, and yells at me. “Get on my wheel, and stay there!” And he pulls me forward for a hundred yards again, and I drop back again. He slows down. And pulls me forward. I try saying, “I’ve been really busy lately–” But Darren refuses to hear that. “Don’t talk,” he says. “Pedal.”

Darren could dust Mike any day.

In fact, later, Darren has to fight the other guys to help take care of Darren through the storm.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the spiritual implications of this story. This is unity. This is bearing with a weaker brother.

This is an awesome picture; a brother taking the brunt of a nasty storm so that it can draft around the slower guy.

And what’s even neater is that this compassion that Darren showed Mike caused Mike to seriously see himself clearly. He quickly has the revelation of his own need to get it in gear and in shape for the sake of the whole group… but that’s a whole different post in itself.

I’ll leave it at this… just this picture of brotherhood. (or sisterhood)

Have a good one, and keep an eye out for someone who may need to draft behind you to catch up.

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