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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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The Buzz

Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Should've Checked The Weather.
As many of you who bother to read my blog know, I cycle to work during the non-winter months. My ride is a fairly long one, as far as urban commutes go - about 16 kilometers, which is about ten miles (one way). My work is in the west, and my house in the east, and a good portion of my ride is along a long, straight as an arrow, stretch. When the wind is at your back down this stretch, it is a very fun ride, but when the wind is in your face, it is a lot of work.

Well today, it was raining cats and dogs, and to make matters worse there was a very, very strong wind from the west, which means my ride in was going to be a lot of leg-burning work. I knew it was raining when I left, but I didn't know about the wind.

So the rain was flying into my face, almost horizontal from the wind, and again, I am cyling into it, or rather trying to. The rain had come down so fast, the lane I was in was one long (miles long) puddle, and even standing on my pedals I wasn't getting much faster than a few miles per hour. I knew almost immediately that I was going to get soaked to the core, and that I was going to be late.

About half way through my ride, I rode through the ten thousandth murky, clay-gray puddle, only to learn that beneath the opaque surface was a tire destroying pot hole! You see, in a moment that seemed sweeter than it should have, the wind let up - it was only for a moment - but I used that moment to try and make up time. So when I hit the pot hole, I was going fast enough that it punctured a hole through one side of the tire and out the other. Of course, I didn't know it at the time, all I knew was that my back tire was suddenly very flat.

So I stopped. I carry a well stocked bag of tools with me (complete with patches and even a replacement tube); but this was my rear tire that had blown, and frankly, changing tubes on the rear tire of a bike with an internal gear hub is not as straight forward as it is with a regular tire. I knew this day would come, ...but I didn't think it would come in a driving storm like this.

So I called my boss and let him know I would be late, and commenced attemtping to repair the flat. I say, "attempting" because at this point I wasn't sure if the tire had suddenly gone flat because pinching the tube opened the valve, or because there was a genuine flat - and I wasn't sure if my pump would work with a presta valve (car tire valves, as well as most bikes use a "shraeder" style valve, but road bikes use a thinner valve called a "presta") I had tried out the pump in my basement before, and under "labratory" conditions it seemed to work ... sort of ... I had planned to get another pump - one that would work exclusively with a presta valve, but hadn't got around to it yet. So I spent the first twenty minutes trying to determine if I had a puncture, or if the pump was working with the valve.

If you have ever pumped up a tire, and tried to listen for the tell-tale "hiss" to let you know there is a puncture - try doing that on a road side at rush hour in a driving rain. The howling of the wind, the whooshing noise made as passing cars splashed by and the sound of the downpour were more than enough to mask any hint of a barely audible hiss. I honestly considered calling my wife and having her come and pick me up. Who can change a tire in this kind of weather?

But I took a deep breath, walked the bike to a nearby bus shelter, flipped it over, and got to work. Because it has an Internal Gear Hub, the gear cable is attached in a way that makes it impossible to remove the rear tire without a special tool (which I didn't have). You can however, lift the tire and pull out the tube on the brake side (as opposed to the chain side). So I did. Even with the tube out I couldn't tell if it was losing air because of a puncture, or because of a bad valve, or a bad pump. But, I tried my replacement tire, and the pump seemed to work well enough to rule out that possibility in the flattened tire.

At this point, I decided that I didn't care to dig through my damp saddle bag and find a patch - I had a new tube in my hand and figured I may as well use it. Twenty minutes later I was up and pumping. But it wasn't holding air very well. I rode a bit further, stopped and pumped in more air.

That is how the rest of the drive would have been had I not also rode through a stretch of wet clay and having absolutely no traction, had to get off and walk the bike through it. I grew an inch taller as each step caked on more wet clay to the bottom of my riding shoes.

Did I mention that my riding shoes clip into my pedals. Well, my new clay floor saw to it that this wasn't going to happen. So I rode in, the rest of the way, on half inflated tires, spitting clay everywhere as it flew off the back and front tires, drenched to my very core.

Did I mention I have this nasty infection over one knuckle on my left hand? Yeah, its an open, festering wound about as big as your thumbnail, and puffy and red on account of my having not taken care of it as well as I should have. In fact, last night, the infection was so sore, it was shooting up my arm - which is a pretty good indication that it is time to start doing something about it. (I used to heal so well as a child, this middle aged me is not as robust...!) So, because my daughter gets skin infections often (she has quite serious eczema), we have meds in the house that I could use in a pinch - and I pinched. By the time I woke up this morning the infection was not as puffy, pink, or painful.

But that was before I decided to cold soak it for an hour in my soggy, dirty, sweaty, riding gloves. The bandage fell off almost immediately, I would have left the glove off altogether if it wasn't so cold on the hands to do so...

Which is to say, I had an awesome ride in. One of the best so far. Praise the Lord, you know, I just narrowly escaped a serious injury yesterday on my ride to work, and this morning the only accident I had to endure didn't involve any cars running me over. I had plenty of time to think on my feet, and work under pressure, and even wonder, whimsically, if the Lord wasn't trying to instruct me through some life metaphors. Surely, this chain of calamity is no coincidence? Perhaps I am to learn something through this that cannot otherwise be learned.

I haven't figured anything out yet, so maybe it was just one of those Jobian tests, just not as severe. Either way, I certainly wasn't angry about it - though frustration did threaten to show up a few times.

All in all, it was just one ride of many, and fine fodder for a Wednesday post.
posted by Daniel @ 1:12 PM  
  • At 4:28 PM, May 13, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    As a matter of trivia, the type of flat I got is called a "snake-bite" or a pinch flat - because what happens is the tube flattens out so that it pushes out on either side of the rim and is cut by the rim as it smashes into whatever the tire is hitting.

  • At 7:00 PM, May 13, 2009, Anonymous Gary said…

    Well, glad you clarified the type of flat -- I'd been wondering!

    I would've called my wife as soon as I had the flat. Actually, no, I never would've started out in the first place! And I get upset over way less, so it's really kinda inspiring.

    Somehow last week I was viewing an old Pyromaniacs post Phil did on Keswick theology, and I frustratingly waded thru the comments and finally came to yours. I thought you did a fine job of referring to the true issue, and using the Bible, and not getting caught up with going after what seemed like misunderstandings some have. You probably don't even remember -- it was 3 years ago -- but it was refreshing.

  • At 12:00 PM, May 14, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    Gary, I was hit by a truck the previous day, so I didn't want to bore my wife with minor news. lol.

    I am glad I said something somewhere that was useful to someone. ;)

    Thanks for the comment.

  • At 12:12 PM, May 14, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    For those following the meta, I think Gary was referring to this post.

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