We’ve ridden this trail a couple of times since moving here, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. First off, It’s hard. It’s a little bit above my technical skill level (think lots of climbing, lots of roots, lots of rocks), and so I get too tired too early in the ride. Also, the bugs are quite resilient, and sections of the trail are in poor condition and very difficult to
The first time we attempted this trail, it took us forever to find it and we were actually afraid of getting lost (GPS isn’t very helpful when the trail isn’t marked on your map). It was also windy, cold, and took us much longer to finish than we had planned. That same ride, I got a flat tire, and then not five minutes later, Martin fell off the trail and broke his helmet and hydration bladder.
The second time we rode it, I was pushing my way up a hill, frustrated, exhausted, and wondering where Martin went. I came up over the hill and saw Martin off in the distance, pinned under his bike. This normally wouldn’t frighten me, except that his was waving his arms and I could hear him yelling, “Help!” over the wind. I started to panic and push my bike more quickly (I was walking up the hill at this point). Then over the wind, again, “Help! Hurry, I am stuck!” I hopped on my bike, pedaling as fast as I felt comfortable. Upon reaching him, amid my frantic questions, I finally realized he was laughing. Apparently, what he had actually been saying was “Hi! Honey, I am stuck,” (in his best British grandmother voice)! He was thoroughly entertained by the fact that he had tipped over while trying to stop and was harmlessly pinned under his bike. After I stopped hyperventilating and sobbing, I agreed that it was pretty comical. (For the record, it was never his intent to scare me, and he felt terrible that he had caused me so much panic).
Both times, I have been so crabby that I am surprised Martin didn’t leave me in the woods with the wild animals.
So why do I love this trail? It sounds pretty awful so far, I know. I love this trail because each time I have been on it, God has met me where I am and been completely gracious to me, whether through the physical beauty of his creation, or through the patient heart of my husband.
The wildflower-filled hillsides are an absolutely spectacular sight in the late afternoon sun.
Of course, my photos don’t quite do them justice.
Plus, Martin hasn’t left me on the trail yet. He’s patiently stayed by my side and let me figure things out. (More accurately, he has ridden ahead and patiently waited for me to catch up, offering encouragement along the way).
During difficult sections of the trail, I get the chance to grow in character and to persevere. Even when I do so unwillingly, God is gentle and pours out his grace on me.
It is so good to have opportunities to grow, and I am thankful for them.