Yesterday we rode the C & D Canal Trail. It begins at Chesapeake City, MD and ends at Delaware City, Delaware, or vice versa. The trail basically follows the canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River. Last year there was a small segment that was not paved; this year the whole trail was paved.
Of our five training rides, this had a new challenge for us, wind. We traveled east and were blown by the wind. We still needed to pedal, but on the straightaway portions, we were "flying" for us around 19-20 miles per hour. We also enjoyed the scenery and all the boats on the canal. Unfortunately, no big ships used it.
However, after we had lunch, we headed west back to Chesapeake City. The same wind was blowing. We battled it and went around 11-13 miles per hour. I told Nancy early on in our ride back, "We have to do the same thing we did coming here - pedal." Whether we have the wind or don't have the wind, we always need to pedal.
One of my favorite images of Jesus comes from Luke 4 where he is described as "full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit." Sometimes the Holy Spirit is metaphorically described as wind. With that in mind, Jesus full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit rode against the wind in Luke 4. The Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and was then tempted by Satan. We all too often think that the Holy Spirit makes us glide in life, makes things easy. Not at all, the Holy Spirit puts us in places where we are tested and challenged so that we may grow strong.
If we would have ridden with the wind the whole time yesterday, we would not have developed any strength. Gratefully, we had the opportunity to ride into it. Our bodies were tested. What a great training ride!