The grace of reality.

Yesterday I competed in, but did not complete the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. It’s a cycle ride around Johannesburg and I was apparently one of 31900 odd riders.
It was an amazing experience.
There were many things that struck me throughout the day – including that it was a chance for many to see the city in a new way. In a sense, it was a reclamation of the city from the mechanical for the personal.
It was an immensely personal journey. I cycled for a cause – the Niki Duarte Project raising funds and awareness for Leukaemia – but except being together as a group for the start, I cycled alone. In some sense I’m sad there wasn’t any assistance – I might have done better or gone further if there was more… but the time with thought and physical exertion was worth it.
It gave me space to be at my pace and so often that is a metaphor for the loneliness of a priests life – alone at my own pace.
At around the 48 km mark, my heart rate kept spiking with the slightest exertion. With 2 10 min. rest stops, I had to face the reality that I wasn’t fit or strong enough to continue any further without risking damage. So onto the sweeper bus I went. I still got an official time – the weakness of the system – and the accolades of friends.
I will be back next year, with a lot more training and hydration.
I will probably ride it alone again next year, simply because I faced up to myself – and that made all the difference.
It was an exhilarating day – with nothing conquered except my own small self.


About sharpspear

Random musings of a Catholic Priest at the bottom end of africa. Media curious. Lover of music. not sure they even represent my views, nevermind the views of others.
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