Peddling for Our Neighbors

Bikers are selfish. I should know. We keep our eyes on the power meter or the heart-rate monitor, watching ourselves ever so closely. We want other bikers to ride our pace.

I’ve been yelled at so many times on group rides I can’t count: for bumping tires, for weaving, for pulling too fast, for not pulling my share. Bikers can be prima donnas.

And when we can’t ride, we get really grouchy. The RAAM team did a night ride last week. A great ride, except that I ended the night with chills and went down for the count for the entire weekend. It was supposed to have been a high mileage weekend for me, but I barely got on the bike. My wife bore the brunt of my grumbling. “What’s wrong?” she asked. I wanted my ride and I didn’t get it. Everyone needed to know what I was giving up.

DurhamCares RAAM is good tonic for this malady. The DC motto is “Love Your Neighbor.” When Jesus gave us that command, he added an important qualifier: “as yourself.” Jesus knew, I suppose, that we all know how to love ourselves pretty well. The trick is to treat our neighbor with the same devotion, longsuffering, and forbearance.

The DurhamCares RAAM is not about winning the race or breaking records. It’s about using cycling to make a name for Durham and to promote some great non-profit organizations in our city. Our motto for the ride is not “Ride Strong.” It’s “Love Your Neighbor.” We’re not peddling for our own glory, but for the Durham Rescue Mission, for the Durham Eagles, for Pregnancy Support Services, for so many great organizations. I hope I can keep them in my mind and prayers as a I ride.


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