Eighty Years of Cycling

Russ Travers

I taught myself to ride a bike when I was 16. I was a late starter but I’ve made up for it since by riding some very long distances.

Russ Travers started a lot earlier and has now been cycling for 80 years. He’s still at it and loving it. He describes it as an addiction.

Watch the video below and be inspired by Russ and his cycling addiction.

I’ll be 96 by the time I can say that I’ve been cycling for 80 years. I only hope that whether I reach that age or not, I continue to get out and ride.

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Do you ever clock off?

clocks

It seems the days of clocking on and clocking off have given way to a generation that never clocks off. People may be physically present at their work place for set hours each week but that’s not the full story.

Today’s technology is amazing but with all the advantages it brings, there’s a down side. Being available 24 hours a day now means that the lines between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ have been blurred. It’s great to be able to occasionally shoot off a work email after hours when needed but the ‘occasionally’ has become ‘regularly’ and in many cases expected and required.

Now, from the country that adopted the 35 hour week back in 1999, comes a new way to ensure that the free time of its citizens is not eroded by their smart phones or computers. The Australian has reported that a new labour agreement in France is ensuring that workers switch off when they clock off.

The legally binding deal, signed by employers’ federations and unions representing almost one million workers in the digital and consultancy sectors, stipulates that employees should be left alone when they are out of the office.

Staff will be ordered to switch off their professional phones and avoid looking at work-related emails or documents on their tablets and computers.

Businesses will be required to ensure that workers are under no pressure to check their messages. – The Australian

So how about you? Do you ever clock off completely or are you constantly connected? Is the expectation to be on call at all times robbing you of being totally present with the ones you love?

A study suggested that 39 per cent of workers and 77 per cent of managers used their smartphones, tablets and computers for professional purposes in the evenings, during weekends and on holidays. – The Australian

When we combine the call of constant availability for work with the ‘demands’ of social media, is there ever a time when we disconnect fully? Are we destined to become more and more immersed in our electronic worlds and become less and less connected to those around us? I know it’s an issue that has been raised before but I think we need to keep looking at it until we find a suitable balance. Maybe the legislation in France is part of that answer.

Have you put anything into place that guards your time against the invasion of technology? Have you managed to find a way to use technology without technology using you?

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Don’t Waste Your Life

shells

I read John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life some time back and was struck by the following illustration of what he considered to be a wasted life.

“I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”

At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.

Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.”

When I finally ‘retire’ I want to continue to contribute to building a kingdom that will last forever. That’s just what Bob and Christine are doing. Take five minutes to watch the video and let them inspire you.

You might not be able to commit all your time and resources in the way that Bob and Christine are doing but maybe you could consider sponsoring a child through Compassion.

You may even decide that you’d like to do a little more and help organise a Compassion Sunday for your church.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your life.

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Driven to Distraction

mirror

While many think it was something said by James Dean, “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse.” is actually a line from the 1949 Humphrey Bogart film, Knock On Any Door. And for a bonus point, the actor who said it was John Derek.

I spotted a young lady trying to live out that ‘wisdom’ yesterday morning on the freeway.

It was bumper to bumper and traffic was crawling along, so the woman in the Ford Focus in front of me thought that it was a good time to multi-task. At first her head started bobbing up and down every few seconds, the way that heads do when someone is texting from the driver’s seat.

Next came the hair and make up routine.

Her left hand wrenched the rear-view mirror down. Why worry about what other traffic may be on the road when there’s lipstick to apply. For the next few kilometres it was all about applying a face full of make up and doing a lot of work on her hair. Most of the time this meant that she was travelling on a stop start freeway without her hands on the wheel. I imagine she wanted to look good in the body bag.

You have one job.

Here’s the thing. If you’re driving …. you’re driving. That’s it. I know that we talk about multi-tasking and I know that women are better at it than men, I get that, but when you are behind the wheel you need to be totally absorbed in the driving process and that’s all.

Driving is a matter of life or death.

I don’t care how well you think you drive and how well you think you can multi-task, distracted drivers kill. I don’t care if it’s a boring drive and you think you can manage a few things at once, just do one thing, drive. If you’re so busy that you ‘need’ to do other things while behind the wheel, re-evaluate your schedule. Cancel or postpone something. Learn to say no to people who require that you multi-task while driving. Your life may well depend on it.

Someone else’s life might depend on it too.

Are you prepared to be the one to break the news to the family of the driver of the other car that someone they love isn’t coming home? Do you think they’re going to accept your excuse that their mother, father, child is dead because you had to reply to a text message about where you’re meeting for coffee? Do you think it’ll ease their pain knowing that at the time of impact you were looking fabulous because you’d just finished doing your make up?

I know that this post might seem a little over the top and melodramatic, but I suspect it doesn’t even begin to go far enough for the many, many people who have lost someone to driver distraction.

Please hear one thing. When you’re on the road …. just concentrate on that one thing …. driving.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen someone do behind the wheel?

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How Embarrassing

cds

I posted on Facebook a few days ago that I was listening to Air Supply’s Greatest Hits. This immediately split people into two groups; those who thought it was a great musical choice and those who ridiculed my Monday afternoon listening. One person even asked if I had any Barry Manilow CDs in my collection. As a matter of fact I do have one.

My musical tastes are eclectic to say the least. If you put my iPod onto shuffle you would be likely to hear everything from Lorde to Alicia Keys, Electric Guest, Eliza Doolittle, The Whitlams, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, a fair amount of Amy Winehouse through to plenty of Regina Spektor and you’re very likely to hear lots of Diana Krall. There’ll also be The Jam, The Clash, The Who, The Band, The Beatles, Boz Scaggs, Neil Diamond, Hoodoo Gurus, Joe Jackson and far too many others to mention. You might say I’ve got Everything But the Girl … and you’d be right. I’m a big fan of their music.

I’d love to know what your ‘guilty musical pleasures’ are. What are the albums you’re happy to hear but that others find a little embarrassing? You can see a few of mine above. As well as Air Supply and Barry Manilow there’s Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee and countrier than country Dwight Yoakam. I’m sure if you spent a while looking through my whole collection you’d find others that’d make you groan.

What music do you own and listen to that others would consider ‘totally uncool’?

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