The summer of 2008 my brother Kyle and I went to Colorado to visit my sister and brother-in-law. We were going to be out there for a week and were looking forward to do some “campin’, hikin’, water-parkin’, and most excted about ‘bikin’”! Kyle and I were determined to bike up Mt. Evans.
Mt. Evans is a 14,000-foot mountain, one of 53 in the United States. It has the highest paved road in North America that goes all the way to the top. We talked about conquering it and riding our bikes all the way to the top. The base from Idaho Springs to the summit is 28 miles. Because I’m no Tour De France rider, I had to persuade Kyle to start at Idaho Springs, the halfway point. Now Kyle was in training mode for the Tour, so he was gung-ho in starting at the base. But because of time constrictions, he agreed on starting at the 14-mile mark where there happened to be a picnic area and lake. Quite a nice place in itself.
Thankfully we started there. The gradient on the uphill climb was from 5% to 12% the entire time. So in other words, it was extremely steep. It was one of the most physical things I’ve ever done in my life. I felt like an ant climbing this tremendously large mountain with no end in sight. But we kept going and the miles slowly ticked away. My legs were burning the entire way. I think our average speed was somewhere between 5-6 miles per hour, with many breaks along the way. I liked to call them scenic breaks, even if all we could see were trees before passing the tree line. Once we passed the tree-line, the scenery was breath-taking. We passed mountain lakes and even mountain goats alone the way.
After four hours of some grueling pedaling, we submitted Mt. Evans! Unfortunately, our stay at the top was short-lived as an approaching storm was barreling down on us, and we didn’t want to be caught traveling down the mountain on slippery roads with no railings. After taking a short break we made our descent. And let me tell you, that was by far the best and most rewarding part of the ride. For the first two miles down, we were tailgaiting a car until finally he pulled over and let us pass him. See, we were in it for the scenery (we did that on the way up); and we were in it for the speed. So we passed the car. With a slight sprinkle and no rails to protect us from dropping thousands of feet to our deaths, I only was able to top out at 50 miles per hour. Relax! That was only on the straight-aways. On the hairpin turns, I had to drop my speed significantly or I would shoot off the mountain. We made it down in half an hour, stopping only one time. It was simply an amazing ride. One of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. The view at the top was breath-taking and the ride down exhilarating! I thank God for giving me the ability and opportunity to do it, especially with my brother. Hopefully one day soon I can do it again (it’s on my bucket list).
Biking up Mt. Evans is a perfect analogy of your walk with Christ. Riding downhill at top speed is like falling away from God and into temptation. The speed of life and worldly pleasures compare to the pleasures of riding down a mountain. Anything can happen so quickly and, if you are not careful, the results could be devastating, like going off a cliff. The ride is thrilling but dangerous. Then when you hit the bottom of the mountain or hit rock bottom in life, God is waiting for you to turn back to Him. When you decide you need God back in your life, you start making that trek uphill for Him. It can be tough, long, and hard along the way like biking up a mountain, with temptations and sins wanting to pull you down. You may want to give up, but you know that if you want to reach your destination you must keep pedaling. The farther up you get, the more you mature and grow in your faith. When you reach the summit all the hurting sensations and weariness of the ride are worth it. Nothing compares to the top – nothing will compare to heaven! So keep pedaling!!