Since moving to England almost 7 months ago, I’ve seen some very interesting stuff and some really odd things. And my bike rides have been not been excempt.

Cycling in England in many ways is very different from cycling in Northmybanner47c6339d0aa40ab9 America. Besides riding on the other side of the road, which means crossing roads different, shoulder checking the other side and a bunch of other changes, the roads are never dry, drivers respond to cyclists different, and the roads are much more narrow than anything else I’ve ever ridden on.

As cycling is often a challenge in England and in London, I’ve never experienced what I experienced today. I was riding back into a village, riding on flat ground…doing about 27mph with a couple cars waiting driving behind me as the speed limit was 30. About 250 yards ahead of me was a round-a-bout. I’m slowing down in anticipation of the roun-a-bout, on the other side of the road coming the other direction is a line of about 6 cars also. All of a sudden, a HUGE bull, probably 1500lbs, complete with horns that had to be 24 inches long on either side, comes storming out of the trees on my right….storms out onto the road, the same road I”m riding on, about 15metres in front of me. This bull looks pissed off!!! I swear I can see smoke, fire and steam pouring out of his nostrils and his eyes look huge. Lucky for me he starts running up the road away from me. I look behind me and all the cars behind me and on the other side of the road have stopped and they have their mobile phones out, hopefully calling the cops or animal control. I think about stopping, but if I stop and he turns towards me I’m totally screwed. I slowly keep pedaling trying to stay back from the bull and right behind him so he won’t see me. After about 20 seconds of following him, praying he doesn’t turn around and gore me Pamplona style, he turns off the road and starts troting through the ditch. I stomp the pedals, trying to get past him and to some safety before the bull gets any ideas about the moron on the bike in cycling tights. I get to the round-a-bout and start nervously laughing out loud, thankful to be safety. I look down at and then see my jersey. It suddenly dawns on me that it’s a good think I stayed right behind him where he couldn’t see me because I’m wearing my favorite jersey, a Boure long sleeve jersey, Ned Overend’s cycling clothing company, that I bought at Mountain Bike Specialists in Durango, CO, probably the coolest bike store ever, go there if you get the chance. Anyways, sorry to rabbit trail, but the thing is this jersey is BRIGHT RED. img_34421I realize I was wearing an invitation for the bull to charge me. At this point, I make the mid-ride decision to just head home after my first hour, counting my blessings and being thankful I hadn’t go to that spot in the road 10 seconds earlier.

Needless to say, my eyes, ears, and mind are wide open now. I’m wondering what other bulls might come storming out onto the road in the coming months while we continue to adjust to living in England. I just hope I have the chance to see them coming and respond accordingly.

Let me know what other craziness you’ve encountered while cycling. Would love to hear some crazy stories.

Just over a month ago The British Humanist Association started running adverts on the sides of London’s famous red double-decker buses that said, ‘There’s proably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy your life’.

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It is an interesting tactic and one that has prompted alot of conversation among Christians and non-Christians a like.

A couple points to make about their advert.  First, the word ‘probably’.  Doesn’t evoke a real high sense of certainty does it, but accounts for the natural amount of doubt that exists in our culture about many things.  Second, the use of the word ‘worrying’ actually communicates that people are worried about the existence of God or a god and what place He or it has in their lives.  This is good news for Christians, this is an opportuntiy.

Sadly though, some Christians here in London also sensed that opportunity and have run with it in a very uncreative, un-incarnational and very typically cheesy Christian manner.

This month a new series of bus adverts will appear on London buses.  The Christian Party, led by George Hargreaves, raised enough money for their adverts to appear on 50 London bendy buses.

Their full advert reads: “There definitely is a God; so join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.”

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This makes me so a little embarrassed to be a Christian.  Why is it that Christians so often feel the only response to an ‘attack’ is to fight back in kind when Jesus so clearly called us to turn the other cheek and to walk a second mile when asked to go one mile.  (Matthew 5:38-42).

And let’s not ignore the mixed message here.  The ‘Christian Party’ is not a clear reference to a ‘party’, a fun way of life, a good time as culture would understand the word party.  The Christian Party is a political party…George wants you to join his freaking political party and by doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy your life!!!  So now Christianity is more about political party affiliation…just like in the United States.

I have a t-shirt from a musician I like, Justin McRoberts and on the front of the tshirt it says ‘They will know we are Christians by our Tshirts’…need a new tshirt that says, ‘They will know we are Christians by our Bus Adverts/Party Affiliation’…yeah, I think that teaching of Jesus is somewhere in the Apocrypha.  I’ll get right on researching that one!!!