What a Tandem Bike Ride Taught About Trust

Written by on September 22, 2015

Tim & Lynn tandem bike (2)

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14, ESV).

When you and I falter in our journeys with Christ, how do we make the wobbling stop?

Last weekend, Tim and I went on a combined business and romantic retreat. A bit of R and R for a day or two. Between business sessions, we rented a tandem bicycle at the local sports center.  A flood of memories rushed through me as I climbed onto the back seat of the double-seated bike. Tim and I used to rent tandem bikes in the early eighties in Eugene, Oregon when we were in college. We traveled miles to parks on the outskirts of town, where we picnicked in sun-bathed fields of mint and wildflowers.

Saturday, I climbed onto the back seat of the tandem. As we took off, my muscles trembled and I was sure I was going to tumble across my handlebars into Tim’s lap. On the couch in our rental home, maybe. But on a bike careening around steep, curvy hills, no way.

Here’s what I learned from the ride:

  • The tighter you grip the handlebars, the more the bike wobbles. I had a limited view of the pavement ahead of us. I figured white-knuckling the experience would help steady the bike. Nope. The harder I gripped the handlebars, the more I shook. The more we shook.
  • When fear tries to take the upper hand, we need to focus on communicating more often and more clearly. We developed a system. To get going after a stop, we called out, “Scooch, scooch, scooch, go!” And when we prepared to halt, Tim called out, “Breaking! Coast!” We gradually got into sync.
  • As we coordinated our movements, Tim’s ability to take hills and corners earned my trust. I relaxed. Bingo! The bike steadied. We were able to finish a four-mile ride and return in good shape—the bike, that is. We were both a little out of shape, but shared good-natured laughter and made a fun memory along the way.

I figure our journey with Jesus is just the same. The more we try to take control, the shakier things get. When we talk it out with Christ and our families, we dispel fear. And the deeper we trust, the steadier the journey.

Friend, what helps you develop trust when someone else is driving?

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  1. Natine   On   September 23, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Concise and entertaining way to ask the question! I immediately thought of riding in the passenger seat when my husband is driving… Maybe not so different than when I try to take control instead of letting God do the driving.

    • Lynn Hare   On   September 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Natine, it’s funny you mention that. I sometimes have a hard time relaxing when Tim drives our car. You’re right, when we enter into the truth that God’s driving, we can “let go and let God.” But that’s often easier said than done, eh?

  2. Gabby   On   September 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Beautifully written! This is so true. I love the part where you share how you relaxed when Tim was taking the corners. It made me think of how God know all of the ” corners” on the roads we travel because He has already gone before us with such wisdom and love. Great word, Lynn!

    • Lynn Hare   On   September 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you, Gabby. Yes, I, too, am glad that God sees forward. And I have a feeling we’re coming up on a few bends in the road.

  3. Lynn Saint   On   September 23, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Lynn, that story is reminiscent of my college days, also. However, I didn’t go on romantic bike rides. My roommate and I rode on a tandem bike to Lake Michigan, on the streets of Chicago’s near Northside (that’s what it was referred to then, and still is). I nervously propped myself onto the back of the bike…couldn’t be trusted in front. We made it down to the Lake and back onto campus in one piece, kind of. I am going to copy your words and send them on. Linda will enjoy reading what I didn’t learn on that trek…until now!

    • Lynn Hare   On   September 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Lynn, that’s so funny. Lake Michigan, wow! It was fun to hear your memory. I notice that you don’t own a tandem, though! Ha ha.

  4. Cathy   On   September 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Lynn this reminds me of when Jon had a motorcycle! Of course I don’t know how to drive the heavy thing so I was always a passenger and had to trust him we would be safe.
    Almost every single time we got on that bike Jon would say a prayer, the same prayer, about God being his eyes and ears and asking for God to watch out for us. It was really sweet and kind of rhymed!
    Anyway, God is faithful. All we have to do is trust and love Him before anything else.

    • Lynn Hare   On   September 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Cathy, riding on the motorcycle with Jon sounds like quite the adventure! And, yes, trusting that God will be faithful is the key.I’m praying for us: consistency & stability in that trust.

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