I decided at the beginning of this year to switch all of my cycling computers to kilometers. I thought it would make me sound way more European and would add to my cool points. Somewhere in the back of my head I thought it would sound neat to walk into a coffee shop and say I just rode 50k (vs the mile equivalent). It would make me very European and very cool.
We have been blessed with an early spring here and I have been able to take my bike out for a few short rides much earlier than I otherwise would have. Before leaving the driveway for my first ride of the year, I ran down the mental checklist of what I needed for the trip.
Last year I forgot to run down this checklist before I left and ended up going for a long ride with a seat that was too high, not recommended and the reason for the checklist. As I sat in preflight mode in my driveway, everything was as it should be. I had water bottles, tires were properly inflated, the seat was at the proper height and I had tools in case I needed a mid ride adjustment. I was ready to go.
I pushed the grey button on my computer and it beeped to life. On the display a whole bunch of zeros showed up followed by the Km sign. I smiled to myself. How European of me I thought. A ride marked in Km. I clipped my right foot in and took off.
The sun shone warmly on me as I pedaled on the backcountry roads near my home. The birds were chirping, the snow was melting, and a gentle breeze kissed my face. Life was good. I glanced down at my computer and saw that it had recorded a whole bunch of kilometers.
After the ride, I pulled my bike back into the garage and looked at the computer. The total amount of kilometers I had ridden that day stared back at me. I scratched my head for a moment. I wonder how many miles that is. I checked my phone for the mileage conversion and walked into the house a happy man. I sat down in my favorite chair and told my wife how many Km I had just done. The first thing she asked me was how many miles it was. I told her and she went back to what she was working on.
The switch to Km has forced me to think more about how I ride my bike. I have to relearn how many Km’s my loops are and learn a whole new way to look at speed. (25 kmh is not as fast as 25 mph I have found. Much to my disappointment I might add). I am slowly learning the Km to mileage equivalents, but it is a slow process.
In the same vein, we need to spend more time thinking about our Faith. Don’t get trapped in just going through the motions. Spend some time learning why things are the way they are and why things are done when they are done. Learn about the faith, commit yourself to growing deeper in love with the Word and the Sacraments. It might not make you European cool, but you will amazed at what God will give you back.