Much as it is close to a month since the end of my maiden 500 KM cycling event, I am still drained. It is a mental, physical and – even – spiritual drain that I am unable to shake off.
I still go through the day with a strong urge to sleep for 6 hours during the day. I was not able to post what was happening during the ride itself and will be doing so for the following 7 days, which coincides with the dates we had the bike ride.
Well, this is how my maiden cycling adventure unfolded.
But before I delve deeper into it, allow me to remind you about my goal. I was seeking to cycle from Nairobi to Migori Town, about 500 KM, to raise funds Kshs. 1.5 million so Lifesong Kenya can provide a halfway house for boys exiting juvenile prison.
Our cycling event kicked off from CITAM Nairobi at 7 am on December 12th and ended in Migori Town a week later. Along the way, our team made several stops to conduct activities in prisons on our cycling route.
That was how simple our plan and goal was.
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This is how my maiden cycling adventure unfolded
I am going to share a series of blog posts that will capture what happened. Today’s blog post will focus on what happened on December 9 and 10, 2018.
Sunday, December 9, 2018
I woke up feeling tensed up. It was the first time I was going to ride my bicycle to church and attend church service wearing cycling gear. I had noticed how uncomfortable this idea had made the team to feel. Some of them did not confirm wearing cycling gear or coming to the altar for prayers.
That morning, Earnest and I drove to pick up Salim from Kangemi. Then we came back home for a quick breakfast before we left for church. Earnest, Elisha and I rode to church while Salim came with Cynthia in the car.
I noticed I was the only one wearing cycling tights while the rest only wore cycling shirts! I swallowed my frustrations and decided not to focus on the fact that I was standing out like a sore thumb. When we walked into the church, everyone turned to look at us. An elderly couple we sat next to vacated their place and actually moved to two seats ahead.
By the time I didn’t see our updated announcement on the church screen, I could barely breathe. I became more tense with every passing minute. There were many church announcements that Rev Jesse Mwai made that Sunday. By the time our team started walking to the altar, I was feeling so lightweight I felt like I was floating in the air.
I walked towards then altar aware that I was doing so in my cycling tights, standing out like a sore thumb. It was the most difficult walk I have ever made.
Let’s pray for James and his cycling team
Once at the altar everything changed. I was able to remain calm knowing that God was taking care of everything. Rev Jesse asked me to explain what we were seeking to do. I don’t remember what I said. But I know there were some people – including some of the elders who were laying hands on us – who doubted.
Much as it was going to be my first time cycling 500 KM, there was no single time I doubted whether I was going to make it. I knew I was going to manage despite knowing that I was going to struggle. We had prayed and knew everything was going to be alright. The best I could do was to leave doubters alone.
After prayers and attending the service, we went to our desk. Most people who came to the desk wished us well and promised to continue praying for us. Some didn’t look in our direction. A few of them still expressed their shock that we were actually going through with the cycling.
Monday December 10th
I spent Monday taking the car for branding at Bomata Printers and tying the loose ends. Before that, I learned that we were not going to have tents, an extra support car and that Cynthia was going to be alone in the support car. More cyclists pulled out and the churches that had promised to host us pulled out as well.
I was feeling frustrated mainly with myself and inability to do a good job. Being my first cycling event, I had made numerous mistakes in terms of planning and executing the plan. I had a long phone call where I discovered I had to make do with what we were going to have available.
Cynthia was preparing breakfast while Earnest, Craig and Kevin were in the sitting room waiting for a briefing meeting. I called Cynthia to the bedroom where I shared the bad news with her. She calmly reminded me that God was on the throne and everything was going to okay. That was the first thing that Nyawira, who was going to cycle with us, said when I called to share the bad news. We agreed to keep moving on with our plans and leave everything to God.
As I walked into the sitting room, I considered who to drop from our cycling team. It was going to be the most difficult decision to make and everything was going to depend on that single decision. I looked at Cynthia, Craig, Kevin and Earnest – one after the other – as I kept looking for the right way to make my announcement.
I took a deep breath….
This is how my maiden cycling adventure unfolded continues tomorrow
This is How My Maiden Cycling Adventure Unfolded