This morning we took a bus from Coeur D'Alene to Plummer, where we picked up the trail that brought us to Big Eddy's Resort near Calder, Idaho. It was one of those shorter transit buses that you usually see older people on. On the front and back there were double bike racks like you see on the Portland Tri-Met buses. As the bus pulled up to the stop we grabbed our bikes to put them on the racks. I went for the back with Eric. I dropped down the rack and lifted my bike into place. As I pulled the hook over the tire, I realized that the bar for the hook was broken at the base.
"Ben, come here".
"Look at this". I shook my bike back and forth to show him that it wasn't secure. By then the bus driver had made his way to the back of the bus to join us.
"Can we put the bike in the bus?" Ben asked the bus driver, pointing out our dilemma. "No." the bus driver quickly responded. We decided to lock my bike to Eric's and hope for the best. As we set off to Plummer, my stomach began to turn. I sat in the back of the bus where I could watch my bike. My heart panicked as I watched the two bikes bounce up and down violently on the bumps. One bump was so bad that Eric's back tire actually came out of the rack and landed next to my front wheel. My anxiety reached its peak as I literally thought my bike would soon be bouncing on the road as we left it in the dust. I totally flipped out. Ben and Kim had to calm me down. "Just give it to God." Kim told me as I sad there with sweat dripping down my forehead. It took a lot of energy to keep myself from looking back to make sure my bike was still there. Every bump sent sheer panic through my body. This was my livelihood for the next 7 days. If my bike actually flew off that rack we'd be finished. We don't have the tools to repair a mangled frame. Would we get refunds for our hotels? Would we just have someone come pick us up? What about all that planning? That would be it; we'd be done. And it was only the second day of our trip.
When we finally stopped at a casino half-way, and I was able to go rescue my bike, I was so relieved to find my bike was unharmed. We moved to another bus, and my bike was safely secured to the front rack for the rest of the trip to Plummer. It took a while to relax, but I experienced that high that sometimes comes with a great sense of relief; like I had lost a child in the mall, and had finally found him.
The day was full of the unknown and anxiety. We set off on a new trail that sent us literally out to the middle of nowhere. At one point, Eric slid off the road. My mind raced again as I thought of all the possibilities. Did he break his leg? Will we have to turn back? Now what? Will we really have to eat him? Thankfully, he only had a couple of scraped up knees. We continued on the trail into the wilderness.
As we rode further into the mountains, my mind would drift off to different things that might spell disaster for this ride. Kim almost ran over a snake. It was just a garden snake, but then I started thinking about what would happen if we ran into a rattlesnake. What other animals might we run into out here? Who would we call if we got stranded? We didn't even have cell phone service. Eric's rack lost a screw. His bike bucket had just been repaired that morning with some bungee cords. Would those even hold? What if he didn't have a way to carry all his stuff? How could we fit all that stuff into the rest of the panniers and racks? Or maybe we'd get ran off the road by a giant mobile home (see Ben's blog). So many things could go wrong. Are we going to survive another 7 days?
My anxiety didn't subside when we stopped for the night. As you can read in Ben's blog, The Big Eddy Resort is not the most comfortable place to stay. What if we really do get murdered as we sleep? What if I never stop sweating? Will our bikes still be on the railings that we locked them to in the morning?
So many things could have gone wrong today. So many things could ruin our bikation. But I realized that my anxiety alone just might keep me from having a good time. How many things could go wrong? How many of those things did I really have any control over? I found myself today realizing again that I had to give it over to God.
And of course, this has a greater application in life. I find myself constantly worrying about several things in my life. Will I be alone for the rest of my life? Will I ever find a career that is satisfying? What exactly is God's will for me? Will I fail at it when I figure it out? And my mind wanders, finding every possible problem I could run into, and then frets about it. I have such a hard time giving those things over to God. It's so terrifying to live my life without looking out the back window after each bump.
At the end of the day, I have to just close my eyes and give it over to God. I have to trust that He truly is bigger than this world and everything is possible through Him. I only have control of so much in this world; the rest is up to God.
Sorry Eric. You're in God's hands now.