Today, the Bicyclist Won

I didn’t really win. I don’t feel like a winner. Its more like I didn’t lose. In a big way.

This morning I was riding along, minding my own business, when I glance up I see a car speeding straight at me in my lane. That is right! A car was passing another vehicle and coming straight at me.

I quickly swerved off of the road into the grass. My first inclination was to stop and shake my fist at the errant driver. Instead, I turned to see the car spinning out of control. Smoking skid marks on the road and smoking tires. The pickup that was being passed slowed, stopped… and drove away.

I rode back to the car to see if the driver was all right. She had apparently lost control of her car when she instinctively slammed on the brakes upon seeing me looming in her windshield.

No injuries to either of us. That is the huge win. Externally, it looks like she lost her side view mirror to a fencepost. It remains to be seen if she bent the frame or did any other hidden damage. She was also very stuck in the mud. Many people stopped to see if they could render assistance. We were not able to push her out of the mud.

The sheriff arrived and took my story and my personal information. Then he let me leave. I do not expect any more involvement in this incident unless perhaps her insurance company calls to corroborate her story.

I did not speak with the driver except to ensure she was all right. I have no idea how fast she was going, although it was obviously faster than the vehicle she was passing. I don’t know how fast the other vehicle was going and that driver did not stick around for us to find out. I have no idea how long she was behind that “slower” vehicle; did he just pull out in front of her or had she been following him for miles and miles?

I do know that she skidded on dry pavement. She turned 180° and backed into the shoulder at a fairly fast pace given the length of the skid marks. I do not even know for sure if she successfully passed the other vehicle before spinning out, although I doubt it very much.

Praise the Lord that I “happened” to look up and see the car coming at me in time. I am usually quite aware of my surroundings. However, this all happened very quickly. I was climbing a slight grade and the two vehicles “popped” over the crest of the hill. I did not expect either of the vehicles and I certainly didn’t expect one of them to be cruising straight at me in my lane.

I can’t tell you how close I was to being hit. I think I was fairly well clear of the road by the time they blew by me. Again, it just happened too fast to even register. I was in the grass, not even on the shoulder of the road when I stopped to turn and look. Initially I was traveling about nine miles an hour. It doesn’t take long to stop from nine miles an hour, up hill, in the grass. The motor vehicles were a good distance from me by the time I turned.

The first picture below was taken from where I went off the road. However, it was taken well after the event happened, as indicated by the Sheriff in the picture. I snapped it when I left the scene to finish my ride and go home.

Looking Back At The Scene
Look At Those Tire Tracks!

Has anything like this ever happened to you? It takes a lot of the fun out of bicycling, I can tell you that! It will probably be a while before I can relax when a car is approaching. Still, biking has got to be considered safer than driving. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Is It Ever Appropriate To Ride On Sidewalks?

At issue is whether or not it is ever appropriate to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. This topic has brought on a lot of discussion amongst bicyclists. Many feel that it a bicyclist’s right to ride in the road, which it is, but that it is therefore also a responsibility to take that right for the sake of all bicyclists. Others feel that personal safety is paramount and that, right or no right, they should ride where they are safest. The argument against this mentality is that if you don’t exercise the right to the road it will be taken away.

When there aren’t bike lanes or good shoulders on a particular road, riding on sidewalks may not be the answer. Some believe that riding on sidewalks adds more confusion for motorists and cyclists at perpendicular streets and that it gives drivers the impression that bicyclists have NO place on any street, in spite of the share the road sign that was posted just a few miles back. They believe that if we are abiding by the laws of the road then the sidewalk is no place to ride.

Technically, they may be correct. In many cities the law is that bicycles cannot be ridden on the sidewalk if the rider is over the age of 12 (what about adults riding with their young children?). It is possible that adults on the sidewalk can be confusing to drivers and give the wrong impression that we don’t belong on the road. However, there are spots that the sidewalk is much safer for a short distance due to road conditions such as lack of a shoulder, a blind hill, or an unsafe traffic pattern. Often times these locations are areas that see almost no pedestrian traffic.

To be sure, you should be wary of riding on the sidewalk for at least two reasons: 1) Cars turning into and off of the road you’re riding parallel to don’t always check for fast moving pedestrians/cyclists on the sidewalk. 2) Pedestrians can be too distracted to look before entering sidewalks.

Designated on street bike lanes are better. In general, bicyclists can see and be seen better when riding in traffic, either in a bike lane or in the slow lane. It is safer for everyone involved when the bicyclist is traveling 15-17mph or more. So, speed is also factor. Stay off the sidewalks if you can keep up with motor traffic.

Who wouldn’t rather receive a ticket for riding on the sidewalk than to get hit by a car? Sure, riding on the sidewalk may give car drivers the wrong idea, but if they are going to hit us, get mad at us or come close enough to us to stain our shorts, which would be better? Does it really have to be one or the other?

Certified cycling safety instructors give many training talks. Their advice for roads without a bike lane or reasonable shoulder is to ride far enough into the lane to force drivers to pull out to go past instead of trying to squeeze past without moving into another lane.

Riding on the sidewalk should be avoided and is actually illegal in many places. Still, I have two sections of my commute that I have switched to riding on the sidewalk both ways (which does mean I am riding the wrong way on the sidewalk sometimes). The sad thing is that these sections of road actually have bike lanes on both sides of the road that I could use, and have used in the past.

Sewer Grates In The Bike Lane

In one section, the bike lanes are almost completely crossed by sewer grates at regular intervals, causing a rider like myself to swerve into or nearly into traffic, eliciting horn honking and a general gnashing of teeth for all parties involved. Furthermore, there is only an eighth inch high white paint line protecting me from lousy drivers in rush hour traffic. However, if I move to the sidewalk, I have the three or four foot bike lane as a buffer, an eight inch high curb for protection, and I have a wide sidewalk to ride on. In the past several months, I have only seen two pedestrians on the sidewalk when I am riding, and one other bicyclist on this section of sidewalk. One other factor to consider: this is a four lane highway. Riding the wrong way on my sidewalk route enables me to eliminate two crossings of a four lane highway during rush hour. All of this within one mile from work.

The other short section is one thousand feet long or so. It goes under the Expressway (relatively dark under the bridges transitioning to sunlight).

Sidewalk route or bikelane?

Immediately upon coming out from under the bridge, the expressway entrance ramp peels off to the right. The bike lane? This is one of those areas where the bike lane transitions and crosses the entrance ramp to the expressway right at a point where driver’s eyes are transitioning from darkness to light and they are probably not expecting a bicyclist to be there. The bicyclist doesn’t even have the protection of a white line protecting them.

In contrast, the sidewalk under the bridge is actually raised above traffic four or five feet, has an additional three foot railing and is relatively clear of debris (the bike lane is none of these things).

Where would you rather ride?

On this section, I regularly meet one other bicyclist commuter that is riding the wrong way going the opposite direction on the same sidewalk as me. There is plenty of room for both of us and I have never seen another biker or pedestrian on this section. It doesn’t even matter if the drivers see me; I am safe from them at this point.

Which route makes more sense to you?

Sure, I have to stop to cross the entrance ramp. But I get a good view of the oncoming traffic and can wait until it is safe to cross. I can’t stop like this in the bike lane. I am committed to a potentially unsafe maneuver in potentially lethal traffic at a low visibility site.

No. I am sorry, but my safety trumps any need to put on a good appearance for motor vehicle drivers in the name of giving them the right impression about bicyclists.

Illegal or not, we are going to ride and our personal safety ALWAYS needs to come first!

Proverbs 19:16  Obey the law and live; ignore it and die.

Proverbs 19 has a couple of gems for bike riders today. Lets deal with the obvious one first: Proverbs 19:16 says, “Obey the law and live; ignore it and die.” Does it really get much clearer than that? Substitute “traffic laws” for “the law” and you are all set. Ready? Set? Go riding!

But wait! Proverbs 19:2 admonishes us to be sure to do a little research and make certain we know what we are doing, too. Proverbs 19:2, “Being excited about something is not enough. You must also know what you are doing. Don’t rush into something, or you might do it wrong”. Ideally, this means knowing the laws and regulation, knowing your limitations, knowing about where you will be riding, knowing the weather predictions… The farther you range from home the more you need to know. A ride around the block is a carefree ride. A ride around the great lakes… that, requires more preparation.

Even still, get out there and ride!

Remember:

Proverbs 19:2   Being excited about something is not enough. You must also know what you are doing. Don’t rush into something, or you might do it wrong.

Pro 19:16  Obey the law and live; ignore it and die.

Give freely, and you will profit. Proverbs 11:25

Pro 11:25  Give freely, and you will profit. Help others, and you will gain more for yourself.

I think this is speaking directly to lending roadside assistance to people who require help. It is a form of “what goes around comes around”, or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Helping out fellow bicyclists is just one of those things that you will reap huge benefits from. You could meet a new ride buddy. It is an opportunity to play the hero. You will feel better about yourself. Someday you will be o the other end of the stick and you will want somebody to stop and render assistance to you.

Just like the movie Pay It Forward, you will get what you give out.

Keep on riding and keep on reading (Proverbs)

Pro 11:1  The LORD hates false scales, but he loves accurate weights.
Pro 11:2  Proud and boastful people will be shamed, but wisdom stays with those who are modest and humble.
Pro 11:3  Good people are guided by their honesty, but crooks who lie and cheat will ruin themselves.
Pro 11:4  Money is worthless when you face God’s punishment, but living right will save you from death.
Pro 11:5  Doing right makes life better for those who are good, but the wicked are destroyed by their own wicked ways.
Pro 11:6  Doing right sets honest people free, but people who can’t be trusted are trapped by their greed.
Pro 11:7  When the wicked die, all their hopes are lost; everything they thought they could do comes to nothing.
Pro 11:8  Good people escape from trouble, but the wicked come along and are trapped by it.
Pro 11:9  With their words hypocrites can destroy their neighbors. But with what they know, good people can escape.
Pro 11:10  When good people are successful, the whole city is happy, and they all shout with joy when evil people are destroyed.
Pro 11:11  Blessings from the honest people living in a city will make it great, but the things evil people say can destroy it.
Pro 11:12  Stupid people say bad things about their neighbors. Wise people know to be quiet.
Pro 11:13  People who tell secrets about others cannot be trusted. Those who can be trusted keep quiet.
Pro 11:14  A nation without wise leaders will fall. Many good advisors make a nation safe.
Pro 11:15  You will be sorry if you promise to pay a stranger’s debt. Refuse to make such promises and you will be safe.
Pro 11:16  A kind and gentle woman gains respect, but violent men gain only wealth.
Pro 11:17  People who are kind will be rewarded for their kindness, but cruel people will be rewarded with trouble.
Pro 11:18  The work of evil people is all lies, but those who do right will receive a good reward.
Pro 11:19  People who do what is right are on their way to life, but those who always want to do wrong are on their way to death.
Pro 11:20  The LORD hates those who love to do evil, but he is pleased with those who try to do right.
Pro 11:21  The truth is, evil people will be punished, and good people will be set free.
Pro 11:22  A beautiful woman without good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s nose.
Pro 11:23  What good people want brings more good. What evil people want brings more trouble.
Pro 11:24  Some people give freely and gain more; others refuse to give and end up with less.
Pro 11:25  Give freely, and you will profit. Help others, and you will gain more for yourself.
Pro 11:26  People curse a greedy man who refuses to sell his grain, but they bless a man who sells his grain to feed others.
Pro 11:27  People are pleased with those who try to do good. Those who look for trouble will find it.
Pro 11:28  Those who trust in their riches will fall like dead leaves, but good people will blossom.
Pro 11:29  Those who cause trouble for their families will inherit nothing but the wind. A foolish person will end up as a servant to one who is wise.
Pro 11:30  What good people produce is like a life-giving tree. Those who are wise give new life to others.
Pro 11:31  If good people are rewarded here on earth, then surely those who do evil will also get what they deserve.

Accept Correction and Show Others How To LIVE (Ride, that is!)

Pro 10:17  Those who accept correction show others how to live. Those who reject correction lead others the wrong way.

Well, I have to tell you, I have been reading the proverbs every day. However, I am having trouble relating them directly to bicycling and also having trouble getting my thoughts posted every day. Work has been crazy!

The best I can come up with for Proverbs ten, is verse seventeen. It has to do with telling other riders which side of the road to ride on, how to signal turns, and to obey traffic laws. Older, more experienced riders need to model the correct place and way to ride. I thought every kid must know which side of the road to ride on, but apparently I am wrong about that. I see plenty of riders going the wrong way.

Depending on the circumstances, sometimes I correct them and others I don’t. There are a couple of places where I myself ride the wrong way. It really comes down to safety. Most importantly, it is all about my safety. Each one of us should be thinking the same way. However, my safety does not come at the expense of other’s safety! I will only ride incorrectly if it will not endanger me or any other riders (or pedestrians, for that matter). Therefore, 99% of the time, I am riding in obeyance to the law.

If there is no obvious reason for riding the wrong way (or breaking any other law) I think we, as proficient riders, should gently correct the less knowledgeable amongst us. So no screaming at them or cursing them. Just say something like, “Hey, did you know that you are supposed to ride with traffic? It’s much safer”, or, “Hey, you forgot your helmet”. Don’t be a jerk about it. But you should say something.

If you are currently breaking the law, riding the wrong way or something, apologize as you pass them so that they are aware that you are in the wrong, and maybe offer a lame excuse as to why you are doing what yo are doing. “Sorry! I know I am on the wrong side of the road but look at that traffic! I am only going to the next corner…”

Anyway, try to set the example. Eventually the world will become a safer place for all of us riders if you do.

The Proverbs of Solomon
Pro 10:1  These are the proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes his father happy; a foolish one makes his mother sad.
Pro 10:2  Wealth gained by doing wrong will not really help you, but doing right will save you from death.
Pro 10:3  The LORD takes care of good people and gives them the food they need, but he keeps the wicked from getting what they want.
Pro 10:4  Lazy hands will make you poor; hard-working hands will make you rich.
Pro 10:5  A son who works hard while it is harvest time will be successful, but one who sleeps through the harvest is worthless.
Pro 10:6  People say good things about those who live right, but the words of the wicked only hide their violent plans.
Pro 10:7  Good people leave memories that bless us, but the wicked are soon forgotten.
Pro 10:8  The wise accept instruction, but fools argue and bring trouble on themselves.
Pro 10:9  Honest people can always feel secure, but lying cheaters will be caught.
Pro 10:10  If you fail to speak the truth, trouble will follow. If you speak openly, peace will come.
Pro 10:11  The words of good people are like a spring of fresh water, but the words of the wicked only hide their violent plans.
Pro 10:12  Hatred causes arguments, but love overlooks all wrongs.
Pro 10:13  Intelligent people speak words of wisdom, but fools must be punished before they learn their lesson.
Pro 10:14  Wise people are quiet and learn new things, but fools talk and bring trouble on themselves.
Pro 10:15  Wealth protects the rich, but poverty destroys the poor.
Pro 10:16  What good people do brings life, but wicked people produce only sin.
Pro 10:17  Those who accept correction show others how to live. Those who reject correction lead others the wrong way.
Pro 10:18  You might have to lie to hide your hatred, but saying something hurtful could be even more foolish.
Pro 10:19  A person who talks too much gets into trouble. A wise person learns to be quiet.
Pro 10:20  Words from good people are like pure silver, but thoughts from the wicked are worthless.
Pro 10:21  Good people say things that help others, but the wicked die from a lack of understanding.
Pro 10:22  It is the LORD’S blessing that brings wealth, and no hard work can add to it.
Pro 10:23  Fools enjoy doing wrong, but the wise enjoy wisdom.
Pro 10:24  The wicked will be defeated by what they fear, but good people will get what they want.
Pro 10:25  The wicked are destroyed when trouble comes, but good people stand strong forever.
Pro 10:26  Sending a lazy person to do anything is as irritating as vinegar on your teeth or smoke in your eyes.
Pro 10:27  Respect for the LORD will add years to your life, but the wicked will have their lives cut short.
Pro 10:28  What good people hope for brings happiness, but what the wicked hope for brings destruction.
Pro 10:29  The LORD protects those who do right, but he destroys those who do wrong.
Pro 10:30  Good people will always be safe, but the wicked will be forced out of the land.
Pro 10:31  Those who live right say wise things, but people stop listening to troublemakers.
Pro 10:32  Good people know the right things to say, but the wicked say things to make trouble.

The Importance of Riding Wisely

Pro 9:11  Wisdom will help you live longer; she will add years to your life.

Pro 9:12  If you become wise, it will be for your own good. If you are rude and show no respect, you are the one who will suffer.

 

Learn the laws. Teach the laws. Live the laws. Ride wisely and live to tell about it.

The Blessings of Wisdom

Pro 8:1  Listen, Wisdom is calling. Yes, Understanding is shouting for us.

Pro 8:2  Wisdom stands at the top of the hill, by the road where the paths meet.

Pro 8:3  She is near the entrance to the city, calling from the open gates.

Pro 8:4  “I am calling out to all of you. I am speaking to everyone.

Pro 8:5  You who are ignorant, learn to be wise. You who are foolish, get some common sense.

Pro 8:6  Listen, I have something important to say, and I am telling you what is right.

Pro 8:7  My words are true, and I will not say anything that is wrong.

Pro 8:8  Everything I say is right; there is nothing false or crooked about it.

Pro 8:9  These things are clear to any intelligent person. They are right to anyone with knowledge.

Pro 8:10  Choose discipline over silver and knowledge over the finest gold.

Pro 8:11  Wisdom is better than pearls, and nothing you desire compares with her.

Pro 8:12  “I am Wisdom. I live with Good Judgment. I am at home with Knowledge and Planning.

Pro 8:13  To respect the LORD means to hate evil. I hate pride and boasting, evil lives and hurtful words.

Pro 8:14  I have good advice and common sense to offer. I have understanding and power.

Pro 8:15  With my help kings rule, and governors make good laws.

Pro 8:16  With my help leaders govern, and important officials make good decisions.

Pro 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who look for me will find me.

Pro 8:18  With me there are riches and honor. I have lasting wealth to give to you.

Pro 8:19  What I give is better than fine gold. What I produce is better than pure silver.

Pro 8:20  I lead people the right way— along the paths of justice.

Pro 8:21  I give riches to those who love me, and I fill their houses with treasures.

Pro 8:22  “The LORD made me in the beginning, long before he did anything else.

Pro 8:23  I was formed a long time ago, before the world was made.

Pro 8:24  I was born before there was an ocean, before the springs began to flow.

Pro 8:25  I was born before the mountains and hills were set into place,

Pro 8:26  before the earth and fields were made, before the dust of this world was formed.

Pro 8:27  I was there when he set up the skies, when he drew a circle in the ocean to make a place for the land.

Pro 8:28  I was there when he put the clouds in the sky and made the deep springs flow.

Pro 8:29  I was there when he set the limits on the sea to make it stop where he said. I was there when he laid the foundations of the earth.

Pro 8:30  I grew up as a child by his side, laughing and playing all the time.

Pro 8:31  I played in the world he made and enjoyed the people he put there.

Pro 8:32  “Now, children, listen to me. If you follow my ways, you will be happy too.

Pro 8:33  Listen to my teaching and be wise; don’t ignore what I say.

Pro 8:34  Whoever waits at my door and listens for me will be blessed.

Pro 8:35  Those who find me find life, and the LORD will reward them.

Pro 8:36  But those who do not find me put their lives in danger. Whoever hates me loves death.”

As far as bicycling goes: Another short and sweet interpretation: use your head and follow the rules…

Proverbs 7:2 Obey my commands and you will live

Pro 7:1  My son, remember my words. Don’t forget what I have told you.

Pro 7:2  Consider my teaching as precious as your own eyes. Obey my commands, and you will have a good life.

Pro 7:3  Tie them around your finger. Write them on your heart.

Pro 7:4  Treat wisdom like the woman you love and knowledge like the one dearest to you.

This can really be distilled down to, “Obey my commands”. This means follow the laws pertaining to riding and you will live. I agree wholeheartedly with this precept. However, there is one caveat: it assumes that everyone else is also obeying the laws as well.

We know this is not true. If it were, you would hear all about car bicycle incidents because they would be big news! Wouldn’t the roads be safer for bicyclists if there were no cars on them?

I agree with the proverb but I don’t think it is in anyway a guarantee to safety.

What do you think?

Warning Against the Adulteress
Pro 7:1  My son, remember my words. Don’t forget what I have told you.
Pro 7:2  Consider my teaching as precious as your own eyes. Obey my commands, and you will have a good life.
Pro 7:3  Tie them around your finger. Write them on your heart.
Pro 7:4  Treat wisdom like the woman you love and knowledge like the one dearest to you.
Pro 7:5  Wisdom will save you from that other woman, the other man’s wife, who tempts you with such sweet words.
Pro 7:6  One day I was looking out my window
Pro 7:7  at some foolish teenagers and noticed one who had no sense at all.
Pro 7:8  He was walking through the marketplace and came to the corner where a certain woman lived. He then turned up the road that goes by her house.
Pro 7:9  The day was ending. The sun had set, and it was almost dark.
Pro 7:10  Suddenly, there she was in front of him, dressed like a prostitute. She had plans for him.
Pro 7:11  She was a wild and rebellious woman who would not stay at home.
Pro 7:12  She walked the streets, always looking for someone to trap.
Pro 7:13  She grabbed the young man and kissed him. Without shame, she looked him in the eye and said,
Pro 7:14  “I offered a fellowship offering today. I gave what I promised to give,
Pro 7:15  and I still have plenty of food left. So I came out to find you, and here you are!
Pro 7:16  I have clean sheets on my bed—special ones from Egypt.
Pro 7:17  My bed smells wonderful with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Pro 7:18  Come, let’s enjoy ourselves all night. We can make love until dawn.
Pro 7:19  My husband has gone on a business trip.
Pro 7:20  He took enough money for a long trip and won’t be home for two weeks.”
Pro 7:21  This is what the woman said to tempt the young man, and her smooth words tricked him.
Pro 7:22  He followed her, like a bull being led to the slaughter. He was like a deer walking into a trap,
Pro 7:23  where a hunter waits to shoot an arrow through its heart. The boy was like a bird flying into a net, never seeing the danger he was in.
Pro 7:24  Now, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say.
Pro 7:25  Don’t let your heart lead you to an evil woman like that. Don’t go where she wants to lead you.
Pro 7:26  She has brought down some of the most powerful men; she has left many dead bodies in her path.
Pro 7:27  Her house is the place of death. The road to it leads straight to the grave.

Proverbs 6:7-11 It is all about training

Bicycle training brings up visions of racing or touring for most people. But to really enjoy just riding around town on short rides, you still have to have certain level of fitness. Have you ever mentioned to a non-rider that you rode a couple of miles?  Do you recall the stunned look on their face; the incomprehension of riding such a distance on a bicycle? Even non-competitive riders need to do some “training”.

While Proverbs 6:7-11 is really talking about work, it still pertains well to training or biking. After all, bicycling is work!

Sometimes you have to push yourself to get out there and ride. No one else is going to do it for you. To stay in good riding condition you have to put in the saddle time. If you take too much time off, it won’t be long before you are out of shape and can’t do the rides you like to do.

This does not mean that you can’t take time off of the bike. In fact, you should take time off from the bike. This is saying do not take too much time off and the time you do take off should be planned time off.

Maybe you don’t ride every Monday. Monday is your rest day from biking. That is good. Saying, “I don’t feel like riding today, its too cold” is okay one day, but don’t let it go on! Get out there and ride lest you become a non-biker.

What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments.

Pro 6:1  My son, don’t make yourself responsible for the debts of others. Don’t make such deals with friends or strangers.

Pro 6:2  If you do, your words will trap you.

Pro 6:3  You will be under the power of other people, so you must go and free yourself. Beg them to free you from that debt.

Pro 6:4  Don’t wait to rest or sleep.

Pro 6:5  Escape from that trap like a deer running from a hunter. Free yourself like a bird flying from a trap.

Pro 6:6  You lazy people, you should watch what the ants do and learn from them.

Pro 6:7  Ants have no ruler, no boss, and no leader.

Pro 6:8  But in the summer, ants gather all of their food and save it. So when winter comes, there is plenty to eat.

Pro 6:9  You lazy people, how long are you going to lie there? When will you get up?

Pro 6:10  You say, “I need a rest. I think I’ll take a short nap.”

Pro 6:11  But then you sleep and sleep and become poorer and poorer. Soon you will have nothing. It will be as if a thief came and stole everything you owned.

Pro 6:12  Some people are just troublemakers. They are always thinking up some crooked plan and telling lies.

Pro 6:13  They use secret signals to cheat people; they wink their eyes, shuffle their feet, and point a finger.

Pro 6:14  They are always planning to do something bad.

Pro 6:15  But they will be punished. Disaster will strike, and they will be destroyed. There will be no one to help them.

Pro 6:16  The LORD hates these seven things:

Pro 6:17  eyes that show pride, tongues that tell lies, hands that kill innocent people,

Pro 6:18  hearts that plan evil things to do, feet that run to do evil,

Pro 6:19  witnesses in court who tell lies, and anyone who causes family members to fight.

Warnings Against Adultery

Pro 6:20  My son, remember your father’s command, and don’t forget your mother’s teaching.

Pro 6:21  Remember their words always. Tie them around your neck and keep them over your heart.

Pro 6:22  Let this teaching lead you wherever you go. It will watch over you while you sleep. And when you wake up, it will give you good advice.

Pro 6:23  Your parents give you commands and teachings that are like lights to show you the right way. This teaching corrects you and trains you to follow the path to life.

Pro 6:24  It stops you from going to an evil woman, and it protects you from the smooth talk of another man’s wife.

Pro 6:25  Such a woman might be beautiful, but don’t let that beauty tempt you. Don’t let her eyes capture you.

Pro 6:26  A prostitute might cost a loaf of bread, but the wife of another man could cost you your life.

Pro 6:27  If you drop a hot coal in your lap, your clothes will be burned.

Pro 6:28  If you step on one, your feet will be burned.

Pro 6:29  If you sleep with another man’s wife, you will be punished.

Pro 6:30  A hungry man might steal to fill his stomach. If he is caught, he must pay seven times more than he stole. It might cost him everything he owns, but other people understand. They don’t lose all their respect for him.

Pro 6:32  But a man who commits adultery is a fool. He brings about his own destruction.

Pro 6:33  He will suffer disease and disgrace and never be free from the shame.

Pro 6:34  The woman’s husband will be jealous and angry and do everything he can to get revenge.

Pro 6:35  No payment—no amount of money—will stop him.

Bicycling and adultery. What could they possibly have in common?

Proverbs 5: What does Adultery Have to Do with Bicycling?

Lets face it. Proverbs 5 is all about adultery, or rather admonishing against adultery. I am certainly not going to argue in favor of adultery, at least not against God. I am not going to argue about variety being the spice of life. I, and probably every guy (and quite a few women), wish that adultery wasn’t a sin and wish that it was socially acceptable (its getting there!). Socially acceptable, however, is certainly not the same as acceptable to God. Until the word of God actually changes, can we agree that God doesn’t see adultery as acceptable behavior and therefore it is sinful.

How are we going to tie adultery into bicycling? I am going to admit that it will be a rather tenuous connection. But, maybe if we take the advice a little less literal and paraphrase a bit… I think the message about adultery is that if you take care of your spouse and they in turn take care of you, you will be happy together for a long time. SOoo… let’s make the leap and say if you maintain your bicycle properly and take care of it properly, it will take care of you for a long time. That is, proper maintenance and care will keep you and your bicycle a happy couple for year and years. If this relationship deteriorates, it is probably safe to assume that you are the weak link and have not maintained the relationship, probably through neglect.

While I won’t say adultery is good, I will just say thank you that Proverbs 5 did not address monogamy. It would be a real tough sell to tell people that they need to stay with only one bicycle forever!

Pro 5:1  Son, listen to this piece of wisdom from me. Pay attention to what I know to be true.

Pro 5:2  Remember to live wisely, and what you learn will keep your lips from saying the wrong thing.

Pro 5:3  Now, another man’s wife might be very charming, and the words from her lips so sweet and inviting.

Pro 5:4  But in the end, she will bring only bitterness and pain. It will be like bitter poison and a sharp sword.

Pro 5:5  She is on a path leading to death, and she will lead you straight to the grave.

Pro 5:6  Don’t follow her. She has lost her way and does not even know it. Be careful. Stay on the road that leads to life.

Pro 5:7  Now, my sons, listen to me. Don’t forget the words I say.

Pro 5:8  Stay away from the woman who commits adultery. Don’t even go near her house.

Pro 5:9  If you do, others will get the honor you should have had. Some stranger will get everything you worked years to get.

Pro 5:10  People you don’t know will take all your wealth. Others will get what you worked for.

Pro 5:11  At the end of your life, you will be sad that you ruined your health and lost everything you had.

Pro 5:12  Then you will say, “Why didn’t I listen to my parents? Why didn’t I pay attention to my teachers? I didn’t want to be disciplined. I refused to be corrected.

Pro 5:14  So now I have suffered through just about every kind of trouble anyone can have, and everyone knows it.”

Pro 5:15  Now, about sex and marriage: Drink only the water that comes from your own well,

Pro 5:16  and don’t let your water flow out into the streets.

Pro 5:17  Keep it for yourself, and don’t share it with strangers.

Pro 5:18  Be happy with your own wife. Enjoy the woman you married while you were young.

Pro 5:19  She is like a beautiful deer, a lovely fawn. Let her love satisfy you completely. Stay drunk on her love,

Pro 5:20  and don’t go stumbling into the arms of another woman.

Pro 5:21  The LORD clearly sees everything you do. He watches where you go.

Pro 5:22  The sins of the wicked will trap them. Those sins will be like ropes holding them back.

Pro 5:23  Evil people will die because they refuse to be disciplined. They will be trapped by their own desires.