Lessons I’ve Learned While Biking 1,000 Miles On A Tandem

by | Sep 2, 2015 | Love God, personal journey

Life lessons. We experience many as we journey down this path of life, don’t we? I can find them in almost any situation. Even while riding our tandem bicycle.

tandem:  one following or behind the other

As I celebrated yesterday how we crossed over the 1,000 mile mark this summer on our tandem, I promised I would share some lessons I’ve learned along our travels.

But first, I got to thinking about all those miles… which caused me to do some searching.

How far would 1,000 miles take us??

Minneapolis to Dallas is 950 miles.
Chicago to Denver is 920 miles.
New York City to Orlando is 1,078 miles.

Traveling to my friend Patty’s home would be about 937 miles. Or to my cousin Matt’s would be close to 1,030 miles.

Wow! But I can’t in my life imagine biking from Chicago to Denver, or from my home to Patty’s!

These miles are more than just a number, however. Each one is precious to me as it’s filled with more memories I can currently recall.

Lessons I’ve Learned While Biking 1,000 Miles On A Tandem:

Listen to your Captain.

The Captain is the person in front on a tandem. (The Stoker is the one in back.) It’s wise to listen to and follow your captain’s words. “Turning left.” “Coast.” “Stopping.” “Bump.” The Captain sees more than the Stoker can, and is in control of the steering, brakes and speed. Ignoring his/her words can land you both in disaster. That’s kind of like following God’s directions, isn’t it?? Not listening to Him can land us in disaster as well. He knows what’s best for us. It’s wise to follow Him.

bike bridge
Only let go with the Captain clears you to do so.
Taking your hands off the handle bars isn’t a smart thing to do. But in case you have a once-in-a-lifetime photo or video to shoot, clear it with your Captain first. Just like with God. Only let go when He tells you it’s okay to let go. Until then, hold on to Him for dear life. (This video was one of our most special memories this summer of the High Trestle Trail bridge. Enjoy!)


What you do affects others. 

Okay, I knew better. But goodness, Bruce Springsteen comes on and I can’t help but follow the beat. My dancing on the bike about took us to the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my husband speak to me so sternly than at that moment, “What are you doing??” Isn’t that with life though?? What we do and how we live affects those around us. Our actions (or lack of) impact the lives of others more than we realize. Now my bike dancing is limited to only bobbing my head up and down.


Rest often.

One can only sit on a bicycle seat for so long. Our longest ride was 90 miles in one day this summer. We couldn’t have done it without taking lots of breaks, and resting our back ends and legs. Similarly with life, it’s wise to rest often. We can only work, strive, and keep going for so long. God rested on the seventh day. It would be wise for us to follow His example.

Skelly edited


Enjoy the scenery.

Our rides took us to wonderful places, teeming with God’s creation. When we were tired, it was tempting to keep our heads down and just peddle. But doing so, we would have missed much beauty. The same goes with our every day lives. Enjoy the scenery that’s in front of us. Even when we’re tired. Even when we may not care. Lift our eyes to see every beautiful blessing God puts in our path. Don’t miss a one. 

sunset edited

As the daylight hours are diminishing, and as summer is fading as quickly as the sunset, we’ll try to squeeze in as many more miles as we can on that tandem. And as we do, I imagine God will continue to give me priceless life lessons. You can believe I’ll share them with you!




(Linking this post up with Deb and friends at Blessing Counters. You’ll be encouraged when you visit!

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  1. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    Julie, this looks awesome! That night ride across the trestle is very cool. My husband and I hiked the NJ section of the Appalachian Trail this summer. It was so very cool, and I learned so many lessons as well–most of them were learned in the car BEFORE I even set foot on the trail, and they usually had to do with directions and following his lead and not going my own way (each hike was a two-car hike, since the trail is continuous). Looks like we both had an awesome lesson-filled summer. I love how God teaches us through doing the activities we love! I really enjoyed your post.

  2. Betty

    These are great points that you talk about. Sounds like you have learned a lot. Good for you.


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