When I was 16, my boyfriend’s hobby was mountain biking. Brandon, my boyfriend loved mountain biking, and he loved me, so he did the awesome thing of combining two of his loves and bought me my first mountain bike.

Here’s the frame of it in our basement: (So, since I wouldn’t keep the bike if we broke up, I obviously married this boyfriend of mine.)  🙂

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At the time, we both lived in the Atlanta-metro area, which hosted the Olympics in 1996. So, being the awesome boyfriend he was, he took me to one of the practice sites for the mountain biking portion of the Olympics. And I cried. That trail scared me to death! I was no where near ready to tackle a log in the middle of a path!

Needless to say, the next date we had, he took me to a much easier trial, where I fell in love with mountain biking, only because I was already in love with the guy who introduced it to me.

Flash forward a wedding and two kids later, our mountain bike dates now include our twins. They started young, almost as soon as the training wheels came off their bikes.

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Once we saw that we could make this family-thing happen, Brandon went bike-shopping again, this time for our kids.

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He’s made tweaks and changes to our bikes throughout the years (hence the frame without parts pictured earlier), and upgraded my bike as we tackled more and more challenging trails.

Now, the twins are out-growing their bikes, so it’s time to put them on adult frames (much to my dismay, since in my head, it seems they should still be toddler-sized!).

As Brandon has been keeping his eye out on bike sales, he found one on Facebook Marketplace that could be used for me, and then our daughter could use my current one. He did some research, contacted the seller, and last Saturday, we made the hour trip to purchase the bike and explore a new trail in that area to try it out.

On the drive there, Brandon looked over at me, smiled, and said, “I’m so excited for you.”  (He was referring to the new-to-me bike we were about to purchase.)

I smiled back, responded “me too!”, but to be honest, I didn’t really know what the excitement was about.

When we met up with the seller, he and Brandon talked bike-jargon that was above my head. When Brandon asked me what I thought after I did a small trial-ride in the vast parking lot where we met up, I replied, “it has two wheels, two pedals, and handle bars, so I’m good!”.

Oh my goodness you guys, once I got that bike on the trial, I couldn’t believe I uttered those words.

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I had NO idea what I had until I used it on a trail.

No wonder Brandon was excited! No wonder he had previously remarked that he wished the bike was his size. I was completely blown away at the difference. I mean, a bike is a bike, right?!

Nope.

On this bike, I barely felt the rocks, tree roots, and downed limbs on the trail, as I rode over them. Climbing was amazingly easier, in fact, the entire ride was easier. So much so, that I asked Brandon if I could message the seller and tell him how much I enjoyed the bike, since I now regretted my words about 2 pedals and 2 wheels.

(Side note: the seller loved the message, as his wife didn’t really want to sell the bike, and wanted it to go to someone who would love it, so she loved the message too.)

Since I don’t speak “bike”, I asked Brandon to explain the difference, for those of you who may also speak “bike”.  Here’s his first guest-blog appearance:

“The Myka full suspension you were riding had about 4” of travel and was limited to how well you could tune the suspension to the rider. The layout and design was more trail upright riding, some of which can be changed by bar and saddle position.

The Stumpjumper has 5.5” of travel and the suspension is almost infinitely adjustable. The layout is considered all-mountain, meaning it will climb well and be able to handle downhills very well. Something I think you noticed on that long downhill at Rock Hawk.”

(“Rock Hawk” was the park we rode that day.)

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Okay, you know this blog can’t be all about biking, so here’s what was running through my head on the 2 hour ride we did that day:

That bike can be compared to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Stay with me….

Brandon knew what power I was about to have access to, which is why he was excited for me.
When disciples of Jesus lead others to Christ, we are excited because we know what power new disciples are about to tap into.

I could mountain bike just fine on my previous bike, BUT this bike makes trail-riding easier on me.
I could go through life just fine without the Holy Spirit, as many do, BUT the power of the Holy Spirit makes enduring life much easier! The Holy Spirit is an ever-present helper.

The suspension on my old bike cushioned the obstacles on the trail, BUT this new suspension cushioned the obstacles so well, I hardly felt some of them.
There are things in this life that can cushion/distract me from the obstacles of life, BUT the power of the Holy Spirit makes me more than a conquerer in the obstacles of life!

I know that I sound like a commercial for Specialized or Fox, but I really want this to be a commercial for the saving knowledge that is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is everything to me. He is the reason I get up in the morning. He is the reason I live my life the way I do. He is the reason why I love to share Him with others. I couldn’t even imagine life without Jesus. I couldn’t imagine not finding comfort, strength, refuge in anything but Him. I’m thankful for God’s Word, the Bible, for guiding me, sustaining me, showing me, imparting wisdom that I so greatly desire. The Lord is almighty, amazing, the ultimate creator, and He created YOU because He loves YOU and desires a relationship with YOU.

Here on earth, we are guaranteed to encounter hardships, due to the choice that our loving God granted mankind. He is not a God that forces His creation to worship Him, it’s our choice to do so, or not. BUT, take courage, have HOPE, for if you believe in God, accept that He sent His son, Jesus, to take the punishment for your sin, by dying on the cross, defeating evil by raising up to life again, YOU, my friend have access to the power that is the Holy Spirit, your helper in life, and you won’t know what you have ’til you use it!

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