Cyclotouring Archive

Road to Freedom 2.0 Begins!

Posted October 21, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

They said it wouldn’t happen. They told me my tour was over. And yet, 54 days after I was sidelined from injury, Road to Freedom 2.0 begins!

When I sat on the side of Highway 62 in Indiana dizzy and nauseous from a torn ligament in my knee, I have to admit, I wasn’t sure this day would come either, at least not on the bike. After all, I’m 56 years old with a serious injury to my knee. And yet, I knew the Tour was to continue. I just didn’t know how.

Oh me of little faith. God had different plans. He wants his women set free from the bondage of fear after assault or abuse. He wants them to life the abundant life He came to give them. 

Wabash River Bridge, where I tore the ligament in my knee

Wabash River Bridge, where I tore the ligament in my knee

So, today I ride. It’s not about the bike. It never has been. God is moving in a miraculous way to reach women who have given up hope. Who live in emotional prison. 

I should cross over the border into Georgia sometime today but who knows. God may have different plans. 

Preparing to leave on the Road to Freedom Tour 1.0

Preparing to leave on the Road to Freedom Tour 1.0

I am so grateful that God would use me to reach these women. I’m in this for as long as God directs. I so appreciate your prayers, your encouragement and your support. It means so much to me. Your text messages, emails, Facebook comments come at just the right time. 

Dakota and Bob. Road to Freedom 2.0

Dakota and Bob. Road to Freedom 2.0

I try to envision the women I’ll meet in the towns I travel through, or in the wilderness. I don’t know who they are or where our paths will cross but one thing’s for certain. When we meet, God will be in our midst and great things will happen.

I am so thankful that I take you with me on Dakota as I travel. I couldn’t do it without you.

 

 

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Tribute to the Godmother of Cyclo-Touring

Posted October 18, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Dakota, Bob (my new trailer) and I set out on a shake down ride of sorts today. I met BiknJeanne Hargrave for one final ride before I set off again for parts unknown on the Road to Freedom Tour.

Dakota and Bob

Dakota and Bob

We reminesced about our tours together. She is responsible to getting me into touring in the first place. After two nasty crashes three weeks apart while riding a ill-fitted road bike, Jeanne suggested I try touring. She really thought I’d like it. She even offered to loan me gear to go on a tour.

We drove to Indiana and spend a week riding around the hills, camping and seeing the country the best way possible: on the back of a bicycle. When I loaded the panniers she loaned me for the trip, put the on the bike and started out, I only had one thing to say: I was born for this!

Jeanne taught me everything I know about touring. I watched and listened. I asked a ton of questions. I’m sure she got tired of answering them but she never let on. I am riding the Road to Freedom Tour today because Jeanne took the time and energy to introduce me to cyclo-touring. 

BiknJeanne and me putting Dakota back together after shipping.

BiknJeanne and me putting Dakota back together after shipping.

My custom-built Waterford touring bicycle was Jeanne’s recommendation. As I click off mile after mile, not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for her wisdom. I comfortably ride every day on a bike that’s made precisely to my body geometry. It’s amazing.

Yesterday we stopped at Grumpy’s for lunch and talked of plans to continue our rides. And of course, I asked her a ton more questions. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. 

The Godmother-BiknJeanne Hargrave and me

The Godmother-BiknJeanne Hargrave and me

There are times in a person’s life when in just being themselves, they change the world. Jeanne, or the Godmother of cyclo-touring as I like to call her, did just that. I shutter to think what my world would be like without her. The Bicycle Lady would not have appeared on Kayleedean’s front porch in the middle of an Illinois corn field. Seven year old Hazel in Tennessee would still think God was mad at her. 

As I pedal mile after mile, it is riding on the back of a tandem with Jeanne pulling the weight. If I reach more women and set them free from the fear that binds them, it is because the Godmother gave me the keys. 

The Godmother of Cyclo-Touring, Jeanne Hargrave (Sorry for stealing your photo from Facebook)

The Godmother of Cyclo-Touring, Jeanne Hargrave (Sorry for stealing your photo from Facebook)

Godspeed on your journey, BiknJeanne. May you always have the wind at your back and open road up ahead. May you always have blue skies and someone with a great stove to cook your dinner in camp after a ride with a breathtaking view. 

Thank you for making Road to Freedom Tour possible. 

 

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Doing the Impossible in a Day!

Posted October 10, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

On Tuesday at daybreak, I left Orlando, wiggled through the rush hour traffic safely and headed north. The ride was beautiful. That part of Florida is a mixture of newly manicured lawns and rustic old Florida. Though I prefer the latter, the man-made horticulture creations were breathtaking.

country Road on Emporia Road outside Astor

The first half of the day went as well as any cyclo-tourist dare hope for. I even had the opportunity to minister to Shantelle, a mere two days after her significant other tried to shoot her and hit the TV instead.

After fifty miles in the saddle, I left civilization behind and entered the Ocala National Forest. It’s a very remote area, usually without any cell phone coverage at all. If you do have it, it’s spotty at best.

Entering Ocala National Forest

Entering Ocala National Forest

Then the rain came. No, not a nice, mild autumn shower but the deluge that more resembled a water fall. After about five miles, I found a trail head that had one of those information kiosks. I wheeled Dakota under the narrow overhang and was grateful to have it.

Yeah, I look like a drowned rat

Yeah, I look like a drowned rat

When the rain slowed enough that I felt comfortable unpacking my phone from its waterproof pouch, I called the campground. I knew I would not make it there before it closed so I followed the instructions and called ahead for the combination to the gate. The phone clicked and on the other end I heard:

“Due to the government shutdown, we are temporarily closed. Thank you.”

Oh my. I was just thinking I’d have to pitch my tent and spend a miserable night in the rain. It never dawned on me I wouldn’t have a place to do it. I was stumped. Being waterlogged didn’t help my problem solving attempts.

I knew if I kept going deeper into the forest, I’d have to ride at least forty miles more before any hope of civilization. So, I doubled back five miles and headed east. The rain had stopped and I knew I would be able to make it many more miles. 

Oh, silly me. Turns out the rain had just inhaled before spewing out all the water in the Atlantic Ocean… right on my head.

I stopped at a Dollar General Store. Have you ever noticed they don’t have overhangs on their buildings anywhere other than right in front of the door? Me either. Standing there just got me wetter so I finally pushed on.

Astora Motel. Yes the Old car is still there!

Astora Motel. Yes the Old car is still there!

I came to the grated draw bridge over the St. Johns River in Astor Florida. Its never a good idea to ride over steel grating on a bicycle but in the rain is out of the question. So, I dismounted and walked Dakota, praying that I would not have a reason to look down.

On the other side of the river I found a family owned campground and next to it, an “Absolutely No Frills at All” Astora Motel. They had one room left. I was wet, cold and hungry, so I checked in and walked my bike to the last room on the far end: #6. (told you it was small).

After a good night’s sleep knowing the gecko in the bed would eat any spiders that tried to get between the sheets, I packed up and was ready to hit the road at daylight. My shortened day Wednesday made for an impossibly long day yesterday.

Where you used to go to get fresh oranges in Florida

Where you used to go to get fresh oranges in Florida

But I was able to ride 97 miles fully loaded from Astor to Jacksonville, FL. I got back to Jacksonville after dark. I’d made arrangements my friend, BiknJeanne Hargrave to meet in Green Cove Springs. She rode her bike down and we rode to Orange Park together. By the time we got to her house, darkness had fallen so she drove me the last six miles to Jacksonville.

Fighting a Fierce Headwind!

Fighting a Fierce Headwind!

There are times in all our lives when we feel we won’t be able to do something. We feel there are no solutions or that our circumstances render us helpless. I learned through the last two days that it’s not over ’til it’s over and there is always a way. Somehow, someway there is a solution if you just keep pedaling.

Each of us has within us the ability to resolve any dilemma if we just dig down and pull up what’s within us. We really can do the impossible, with nothing if need be.

 

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Shining Out of Darkness

Posted October 9, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday I left Orlando just as the sun was coming up and maneuvered Dakota through rush hour traffic. By 9:00am I was in historic Mt. Dora. I’ve been to this quaint little town dozens of times, but never on a bike and apparently never down particular streets. 

Found a Crazy Old Pan Am Plane on my ride. "Coffee or Tea?"

Found a Crazy Old Pan Am Plane on my ride. “Coffee or Tea?”

I noticed that homes began to look a bit run down and people on porches stopped to stare in my direction. Then I realized I might be in the wrong neighborhood when I saw a console TV sitting at the street with a bullet hole through the tube. 

My natural tendency was to pedal out of that neighborhood as fast as I could, but there was a woman on the front porch. What’s more, she looked she hadn’t slept in days. So I did what anyone would do. I stopped and waved to her. 

She waved back and gave me permission to approach when I asked. When I pushed Dakota closer to the house, I realized she had a little baby asleep in the chair beside her.

I told her I’d noticed the TV and how sad she looked and asked if there was anything I could do to help her. She balked at first but then realized she had a listening ear so she began to tell me about “baby daddy”.

Dakota found a place on the lake in Umatilla, FL

Dakota found a place on the lake in Umatilla, FL

For years he’d beat up on her and Shantrelle has taken it. But three days ago, he went after the baby. She launched out at him like a mama bear. He pulled out a gun and fired at her. He missed and killed the TV. Fortunately, the gun only had one bullet in it or he would have finished what he started.

I asked her where the shooter was now. 

“In Jail. Somebody called the law. What am I going to do? If he can’t work, I don’t have money to feed the baby.”

Like so many abused women, Shantrelle felt stuck. She felt she had to stay in the presence of a man who beats her mercilessly in order to get a few pennies to buy baby formula. 

Unfortunately, she was unwilling to leave and go to a shelter even though I offered to make the call. She did take my information though, as well as the number for the domestic abuse hotline. As I turned to leave, Shantrelle called to me and said, “God sent you to me today, didn’t He?”

“Yes, He did.”

As I mounted Dakota and pedaled out of her yard, her face was shining out of darkness in my mirror and somehow I knew her life would change. The seed I planted would grown and produce freedom fruit in Shantrelle’s life. In a not too distant future, she will be a free woman.

You just never know what could be shining out of the darkness along the Road to Freedom.

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So Why Are You So Passionate About Your Tour?

Posted October 8, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Early yesterday morning, I hugged my great friend and author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray, goodbye and Dakota and I pedaled off into the morning mist. I wound my way into Orlando through a series of roads and trails. 

Saying Goodbye to Friend and Author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray

Saying Goodbye to Friend and Author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray

At one place on the Cady Way Trail, two men road toward me on bikes of their own. Suddenly, one of them stopped and asked me to stop as well. He said he wanted to talk to me about what I was doing. His friend rode on while Don began asking all sorts of questions about why I was out on a bicycle alone fully loaded with gear.

Don wanted more information so I invited him to join me for lunch. I’d already planned to stop by a local eatery and visit one of my favorite waitresses, Donna. I didn’t expect him to but Don showed up right on time.

Lake Baldwin at Baldwin Park

Lake Baldwin at Baldwin Park

Over chips and salsa, I explained Road to Freedom to him. He was intrigued and asked if he could ride with me. He offered to show me a less congested route through Orlando. When ominous clouds opened up and dumped on us, he found us refuge in a city park.

We sat on picnic tables as he asked question after question. He just couldn’t figure out why I was so passionate about Road to Freedom and the women I serve. I tried the best I could to explain it but, in all honesty, I don’t quite understand it my self. All I know is those women are suffering and I must go to them. 

When the rain finally stopped, we said out goodbyes and headed off in different directions. I turned, and rode, backtracked and improvised my way through heavy Orlando traffic. A second wave of storms roared through. I stopped put on my Burley rain gear and pedaled on, grateful for my 100% waterproof panniers.

Up in the distance I saw a woman walking with a small child in tow. Neither she nor the child had any protection against the storm. I rode up to her got off Dakota, took off my raincoat and put it over the child. It drug the ground. Through the raging storm, I asked her where she was going. Fortunately, they were going to where she worked, right up the street. 

Weeping Willows at Baldwin Park Before the Rains Hit

Weeping Willows at Baldwin Park Before the Rains Hit

I asked her if I could sit the child on my bike, and offered to push him to her place of employment. She almost melted in gratitude. I zipped up the rain gear around his ears, hoisted him to Dakota’s seat and off we went. When we finally got to the store where she worked, I pulled out my camp towel from my pannier and dried her son off, then handed the towel to her.

As she wiped away what raindrops she could, she asked me what I was doing on the road in the rain. When I told her about Road to Freedom, she told me how she and her son escaped domestic violence at the hands of the child’s father. Things are unbearably difficult for her but it was better than the abuse.

I told her I was out there to help her…to give her the courage to keep moving forward in spite o

Triple Blessings!

Posted September 23, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Some days are just made to reunite friends. Yesterday was one such day. What began as an ordinary day turned out to be an incredible blessing, three times in a row!

I needed to pick up Dakota. I had him shipped from Evansville, IN to my friend, Cathy’s house in Florida. I hadn’t seen Cathy since I left Florida in April so my heart filled with anticipation as her husband picked me up and drove me to their home. She and I have known each other since 1986. She’s just down home good people. See her made my heart sing.

Dakota and me ou tof the boxThen I spied him. Dakota lay lifeless in a box marked “Schwinn”. No offense but Dakota is a custom built Waterford touring bike, thank you very much. I noticed right away there were some holes in he box. That couldn’t be good. Could it? I cut the tape and peered inside. There he was, all taken apart and packed inside cardboard. My eyes filled with tears.

As I began the task of reassembling my disassembled workhorse of a bike, my phone rang. I stared at the caller ID in disbelief. It was BiknJeanne! I call Jeanne Hargrave the Godmother of cyclotouring. She’d introduced me to traveling by bicycle and taught me how to live on the bike.

Dakota and me1Jeanne lives less than five miles away and volunteered to come help me with Dakota. I’d not seen her since I relocated to central Florida four years ago. And she brought tools! She ambled in tools, in hand and together we tackled Dakota. We worked for a  couple of hours together putting him back together again.

Maybe all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but two women with tools had no problem putting Dakota back together. And, to put icing on an already delicious cake, Jeanne showed me tricks and shortcuts that saved time and were better for the bike. 

BiknJeanne and me1I spent the evening grateful that I’d been able to spend an afternoon and evening being reunited with friends. I’d missed all of them. 

Today, I will actually get on Dakota and test him to make sure we put everything back together the right way. I’ll also test my knee to see if it has healed enough to endure repeated pedaling. I feel very confident about Dakota. My knee may need a little more TLC before it’s ready to take to the open road again but I’ll know tomorrow!

It’s going to be a GREAT day! So what’s next for the Road to Freedom Tour? Right now, I’m looking at a possible October departure back on the road again, helping women who are the victims of violent assault. I find myself singing, “On the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again…” 

 

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Super Glue, Duct Tape and Dollar Bills… Oh, and a Miracle or Two

Posted August 24, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Dakota in the Cornfield of Western KYI spend most of yesterday going over my bike to assess damage from my ten mile ride through soft gravel. The bike itself was amazing. My tires, on the other hand, didn’t particularly care for the road at all.

I had two flat tires. As I took one  off to patch it, I noticed the tread is separating from the rest of the tire. That didn’t look good at all. Especially since there are very few bicycle shops withing a 50 mile radius of where I am at present.

But, my new friend took me 25 miles to a bike shop. I knew I was in trouble when I asked if they had any tires in my size. They replied that tires weren’t made in my size. Hmmm… I must be having a bicycle tire hallucination.

But, it is an uncommon tire size for this part of the country I’m finding out. So, I did what any other woman would do in my 2013 Bicycle Tour 010situation. I went online to see if I could find a tire. I also called friends to help me with my search. And, I super glued the tread back on.

I also pulled out the duct tape to have it ready… just in case. A total stranger called me this morning to ask me if I knew the dollar bill in the tire trick. Turns out, they work great to help cover a hole in a tire that debris could get through and puncture the tube. That tip was priceless!

 Nothing was working out. I couldn’t have a tire delivered until after Labor Day. The super glue might hold, but I could get sixty miles in the middle of nowhere and have it separate. So, I just prayed. 

Man's hand pointing on street mapThen I got a call from the same total stranger saying he looked and has two tires my size hanging in his garage and wanted to donate them to me. I was floored. I couldn’t get a tire today for anything. Every avenue I took became a dead end. Now I know why. What’s more, a couple of phone calls found a person going that way running errands and is going to pick them up for me. I don’t have to go anywhere!

There are some very important lessons from my experience that I’d like to share with you:

If you get creative with what you have, you can fix your problems. No one super glues a bicycle tire… well, unless you’re the Bicycle Lady in rural Illinois. But I have no doubt it would hold as long as it needed to!

Roadblocks aren’t a bad thing. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get a tire. God orchestrated the whole thing so He could bless me and a man I’ve never met named Hank.

God is trustworthy. In my time of need, He was already working to meet my need. I didn’t see it but I did trust that if I had to ride on a wing and a prayer, that would work.

God’s timing is perfect. He may not allow us to stockpile our blessings, but He will always show up with provision at just

Dakota, my custom-built Waterford touring Bicycle

Dakota, my custom-built Waterford touring Bicycle

the moment we need Him to. 

Miracles do happen today. Those two bike tires in Hank’s garage are the only two tires that size in southern or central Illinois. And I never would have known about them if God hadn’t had a stranger named Hank call me. 

Out of the kindness of his heart, Hank gave tires. Out of the desire to bless, Brian drove to the nearby town to pick them up. Out of God’s abundant heart, all things worked together for good. 

Does life really ever get better than this?

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Three States, Three Deaths, Three Blessings

Posted August 21, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Twin Bridges over the Ohio River

Twin Bridges over the Ohio River

Yesterday I started in Kentucky. Because the twin bridges over the Ohio River into Indiana is treacherous, my new friends, Danny and Clydean offered to drive me across. I eagerly accepted!

So, as much as I would have like to have pedaled over the state line, I was grateful to have the safety of doors of a pickup truck. After a quick breakfast, they put me off in a beautiful riverfront park in Indiana. 

Before I could get out of the park, three deaths occurred. The first was my front tire. The inner tube died and I had my first full flat tire of the tour. Then my heart rate monitor died, immediately followed by my bike computer that calculates my speed and distance. 

I felt like a blind woman riding a wheelchair on an interstate highway. I patched the tire, fiddled Indiana State Lineunsuccessfully with the computer and didn’t bother to dig out batteries out of the bottom of one of my panniers (saddle bags) for the heart rate monitor. 

The ride west was pleasant through the rest of Indiana. Once I crossed over the bridge spanning the Wabash River, things began to change. 

Google maps said to “take a right toward Country Road 500 N”. What it didn’t tell me was that the road was really a path and was not marked or even named. I missed the turn off and overshot it by 2 miles. I had to ride back to it. No big deal. It was only 90 degrees and I had used half my water supply.

Wabash River Bridge

Wabash River Bridge

I rode and rode through amazing farm land over black tar asphalt rough roads. But it really was amazingly peaceful. I really didn’t notice the heat. But, I had to begin rationing my water because I was still about fifteen miles from the nearest town. And it had been miles since I passed a house.

Suddenly, a building appeared, literally smack dab in the middle of absolutely nowhere. And there was a Coke Machine out front. I’d been out in the sun long enough that I could be hallucinating, but as I approached, I discovered it was real. I deposited my coin and pulled out an icy cold Diet Coke. Just the blessing I needed!

As I rode on, the river bottom farmland gave way to steep hills. I could have done without those Illinois State Linebut I was about to learn hills were the least of my worries. Moments later the pavement turned into soft gravel. Riding a bike fully loaded with gear with my tires is a very tricky maneuver. 

I walked my bike up hills, down hills, through deep gravel and thin gravel. My cell phone had no reception so I could not check my location. I had no idea how far I’d come because I had no odometer. I had to guess. 

I hoped I was still headed toward Norris City but I couldn’t be sure. Once I pushed Dakota to the top of one hill, I saw a house off the road. I wheeled in and struggled through even deeper gravel in the driveway. I leaned my bike up against a tree and approached the house. I knocked on the front door was grateful when a woman finally answered.

Oasis in the DesertShe gave me directions to Norris City and as I turned to leave, she said, “Can I ask you what you’re doing?”

I told her about the Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour and she began to cry… that all familiar tell tale sign she’s fighting fear.

She said, “You’re the Bicycle Lady? I heard about you from a friend and I can’t believe you’re standing on my porch. I’ve been following your blog!”

She went on to tell me her story of spousal abuse and how she had just successfully obtained a restraining order. She had been afraid to answer the door but felt compelled to. She now knew why.

After I prayed with her and said goodbye, I now understood why Google maps directed me down a soft gravel road. I’m so grateful to have met Kayleedean on a soft gravel road in the middle of nowhere, USA.  Blessing number two.

Soft gravel road in Illinois

Soft gravel road in Illinois

With her directions I made it into Norris City, Illinois, a mere 18 miles from my destination for the night. I called my host and she said her daughter was coming to pick me up and would be there in less than a half hour. Blessing number three.

From pushing my bike 10 miles in gravel in the heat of the day, a ride was just what I needed.

Three states: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois. 

Three deaths: my tire, my bike computer and my heart rate monitor

Three blessings: a ride over the the twin bridges, a Coke machine miles from anywhere, meeting Kayleedean… and the bonus blessing of a ride the last 18 miles. 

It just doesn’t get better than the adventurous day I spent on the Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour Across America.

 

 

 

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When You Can’t See His Hand, Trust His Heart

Posted August 17, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Cornfields in KyWhen I made it to Owensboro, KY, I felt out of sorts. Something just didn’t seem right. I was certainly moving into unfamiliar territory. I’m a southern gal and just across the river was a whole new world.

Honestly, I began to wonder if I’d missed God. I desperately wanted something  I was used to. I missed home, which I’m discovering is somewhere in the south.

I almost slipped into a funk. I emailed my prayer/support team telling them something just didn’t seem right. They immediately began to pray for God’s guidance. I spent the day yesterday riding around Owensboro and trying to figure out what my next steps would be.

Last night I conducted a live webinar with great authors Rachel Hauck and Beth Vogt. As we navigated the pre-show sound checks, their voices soothed Kentucky Countrysideme. Calmed my spirit and tethered me to things I know and love.

As I soaked in their love and encouragement and shared my experiences with them, I realized I just couldn’t see God’s hand. Other than that, nothing had changed. As I pondered that truth, an old contemporary Christian song came to mind. They tell how God is to wise to be mistaken. He won’t be unkind. Sometimes I won’t see His plan but when I can’t see His hand, I can trust His heart.

Dr. Martin Luther King said we don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the next step. So really, when I felt something wasn’t right and when I felt like I was in a place I don’t belong, the bottom line is it’s a matter of trust. So I asked myself the question, “Do I trust God?”
The answer is YES! So I took another step and rode onward. When He shows me another step, I’ll take that one. Then another.

Gift from Girls in McDonalds in Henderson KYWhile sitting in McDonald’s using their wifi to post this, two young ladies walked in the door and said, “Are you the the Bicycle Lady?” Ahhh, that familiar question. Thank you, Lord!

They said they saw me riding down the road then saw my bike at McDonald’s and knew they needed to bless me. They handed me a $10 McDonald’s gift card, a bottle of water and piece of paper saying:

“You have been blessed on Purpose. May God use you to bless someone, too.”

Yeah, I can trust His heart! Do you? I sure hope so.

 

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Climb the Next Hill

Posted August 15, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Barn in Western KYAfter a very restful night in a hotel room, I set out on the next leg of my journey, a 40 mile trip from Madisonville to Owensboro, KY. There were hills. One was so steep I thought I was going flip over backwards. 

I stopped and got off my bike, looked at that hill and said, “You’re mine.” With that I pushed Dakota up the mountain. The summit of that hill revealed the most beautiful rolling countryside I’ve ever seen. It was breathtaking. The next three dozen miles were filled with rolling hills, corn fields and Amish farms.

I still had hills I had trouble getting over and my legs were still sore from two hard days but it was so worth it because of what was on the other side. With the images of the last summit, I found the strength to ride up or walk up… however I did it, I made sure to climb the next hill. 

The sun shone brightly and the sky was such a rich blue, with occasional white, puffy clouds. I hardly noticed the 30mph head wind. Dakota in the Cornfield of Western KY

We all have hills in front of us, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. When our emotional legs are burning and the wind is sucked out of your emotional lungs, it’s easy to decide to quit. To cancel your plans and head for the couch. But, as my ride yesterday showed, that’s when you must climb the next hill.

Beauty and joy awaits you. The troubles of the past fade when you see the view from the top of the next hill. And you’ll be further along your journey. So, please climb the next hill. And the next… and the next… well, you get the point. 

More tomorrow, my friends.

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