Thursday, December 30, 2010

book report: The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by Holmes (2006)

David Holmes contends in his book, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, that our first few presidents of the United States were not orthodox Christians, but probably deists. I think he has done an excellent job of making his case but in a poorly organized fashion. All of his chapters are excellent, but I wish they were shifted around some. He starts the book by describing the religious trends in the american colonies, then focuses on the Anglican church and Deism. He launches off from the deism chapter and looks at the writings, speeches, letters, and actions of various revolutionary leaders: Franklin, Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and their wives and daughters. After all this does he provide a "Layperson's guide to distinguishing a deist from an orthodox Christian." In this chapter he lists his method for evaluating an historical figures faith. This is an excellent chapter that should have been put before an evaluation of any figure.

First he distinguishes between levels of orthodoxy.

Then he offers his criteria of evaluation.
  • Devout Christians would be more likely to go to church.
  • Baptism. Since the men could not refuse baptism as infants, did they baptize their children?
  • Confirmation: The decision of the adult believer to reaffirm their baptismal vows, conferring on them full church membership, something never done by Washington or Madison.
  • Holy Communion: "That earthly bread and wine could in some way become the body and the blood of Christ vexed founders such as Jefferson and Adams. Their correspondence often employed the derogatory term 'hocus-pocus'..." p.137. Washington might never have taken communion. He always left the church service, as many deistic Anglicans did before that part of the service. Jefferson made his own bible in which he cut out all the supernatural stuff, including the Last Supper.
  • Religious language. The deist used terms about God like "Providence" or "Nature's God." But the orthodox Christians spoke of a "Savior," "Redeemer" and affirmed the Trinity.
He then gives quick examples from the previous data presented how some fell across the spectrum
Non-Christian Deist: Ethan Allen
Christian Deist: Washington, Abigail Adams
orthodox Christian: Patrick Henry

He then devotes a chapter to three easily identifiable orthodox Christians among the founding fathers: Samuel Adams, Elias Boudinot, and John Jay.

If he had moved his "Layperson" chapter up to the front after an introduction to the religious milieu of the colonies and interleaved the orthodox men in with the unorthodox, the contrast would have been more stark.

I think an important thread he picks up but does not follow for long is the influence of Freemasonry on these men. It comes up in the chapter on the wives and daughters. He talks about the relative orthodoxy of the women compared to the men and offers a few reasons why.
  • Masonic lodges, which were deistic and had many founding fathers as members, were closed to women
  • Colleges, which were embracing desim, were also closed to women.
  • Deism does not address suffering, in a time where child mortality was so high.
  • Deism did not account for the "abundant mystery of life" p. 111
  • Mothers raised the children and "may simply have thought that the Judeo-Christian tradition and Sundays devoted to churchgoing gave a better preparation for life than the rationality of Deism." p. 112
  • Church provided "a place where women could socialize with each other and with the larger world. Men encountered more of such opportunities during ht week." p.112

This quote about Freemasonry jumped out to me.
...Deism spread in colonial America concurrently with Freemasonry. After the introduction of Freemasonry into the colonies in Philadelphia in 1731, the Masons had several dozen lodges in the colonies by the time of the Revolution...Like the Deists, the Masons taught a natural religion where the "Grand Architect" or "Architect of the Universe" was a God of nature identified with natural laws. p.110
In contrast, Samuel Adams opposed Freemasonry. Freemasonry in American history is now a topic I'm interested in learning more about. I remember reading about anti-Mason political parties. So what is a conservative Christian to do when they learn that George Washington was a Freemason and Christian Deist who was never witnessed praying alone in Valley Forge (p. 70), and was proclaimed a deist by contemporaries after his death (p.163). It means that God can work through any nation and any leader, see Nebuchadnezzar and Babylonia in the Old Testament story of Daniel. It makes more sense to me and less embarrassing to me as a Christian that my country that abused Native Americans and enslaved them as well as Africans is not a Christian nation, but a Christian-influenced nation which was formed out of love for freedom.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

book report: Fasting by Scot McKnight (2010)

I have read another book in The Ancient Practices Series edited by Phyllis Tickle, The Liturgical Year, which I liked but had frustrations with. Scot McKnight's contribution to this series on fasting did the same thing to me. No matter what complaint I have with this book, it did re-awaken my interest in the spiritual discipline of fasting. Scot contends that fasting is so foreign in our Christian culture because the church rejects the body's role in worship by elevating the soul or spirit. Each chapter is a description of how the body worships God in a fast as a response to an encounter with God, or repentance, or supplication, or mourning, or training, or liturgy, or social justice, or community, or eschatological hope.

When he quotes from the church's fathers, he let's them inspire his readers, as I certainly was. He also quotes from less ancient, and even contemporary writers who, likewise, make me look forward to finding a rhythm of fasting. I used to fast lunches regularly years ago, as a way to focus my prayers on missionaries I support around the world. But I found myself skipping lunch, but snacking after 1PM. McKnight talks about fasting and legalism and failure in the last chapter. He is very graceful. For that I am grateful.

The one big drawback in the book is his thesis statement that fasting should occur in response to a "grievous sacred moment." But chapter after chapter, I kept waiting for McKnight to address Jesus's 40 day fast and temptation in the wilderness, Luke 4. He mentions this only once, in chapter 9 near the end of the book. I think an admission that there are exceptions to his thesis, such as Jesus. The exception I see to McKnight's thesis is that we sometimes fast because God compels us, but it's not a grievous thing.

Nevertheless, I am adding new books to my Amazon wish list thanks to McKnight's recommended reading to learn more about fasting from all three branches of Christendom. I am also eager to ease back into the earliest prescribed fasts on Wednesdays and Fridays from the Didache 8:1. And maybe, by Lent, I will be ready for the more rigorous fasts of one meal a day. However, as a low church guy, I have more to learn. If you know little about this aspect of the Christian life then I think this book is a good entrance to the topic.

Thanks to Booksneeze for the complimentary copy to review.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

great quote from the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

I took the family to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader before Christmas last week and we greatly enjoyed it. The movie had significant differences from the book, but I'm not a purist, so it was fine by me. One part at the end of the movie, which was not in the book, that I enjoyed is a quote from Prince Caspian on the shore of Aslan's country. He longs to cross over to be with his father, who might be in Aslan's country, something Aslan will neither confirm nor deny. But it's an irrevocable choice. The gallant mouse, Reepicheep, decides to go for it, but Caspian muses, and my quote is very loose, I have spent my life fighting for what I don't have instead of enjoying what I do have.

Caspian is speaking of finding his father, but it made me think of the older brother in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, see Luke 15:11-32. When the prodigal son returned to his father, who celebrated, the older son complained, that he worked so hard for his dad and never got even a goat. The dad told him he had the pleasure of his company and everything of his father's at his disposal. Regardless, it's foolish to not celebrate the return of his brother.

All this to say, it's important to count our blessings and enjoy them and ask God our Father if we lack something.

The movie was great. I come close to tears almost every time Aslan, a type of Jesus, shows up in the films and when I read the stories aloud to my children when they were smaller.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

book report: Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill (2010)

This book convicts me of my sin. Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill, a celibate homosexual Christian, showed me how to discuss the issue with compassion unlike any way that I have ever done.

In my scientific mind, I want to deal with cold, hard data. But this is not a discussion over data but a discussion with people, my friends, my co-workers, my brothers and sisters. Hill does not ignore the data, but he speaks to the heart from his heart. His struggle in coming to terms with his homosexuality started in his childhood as someone raised in a fundamental church, which he kept secret until he started to open up at Wheaton College, a conservative Christian college in Illinois. He has read broadly while coming to a resolution regarding his attractions in the context of his faith. He has read the theological reflections from Catholics and the Orthodox as well as the Protestants, both from the United States, Boston, as well as Britain. He also introduced me to poets, like Gerard Manley Hopkins from the 1800's, and W. H. Auden of the 1900's, and reminded me of those in our recent times, like Henri Nouwen, in who Hill finds courage in their struggle to renounce their homosexuality in a faithful pursuit of Jesus. But I've only read Hill, and his description of the depths of his orientation, and the intense despair it brings him broke my hard heart. It is not that I have not felt compassion for my gay friends until reading this book, but after reading it, I consider my former compassion an inadequate joke. For this I need to repent, and I need to thank Hill for softening my heart.

The book is short, but full of meat. Much meat comes from the greats he references, but plenty more comes from the voices and quotes of his friends and pastors and fellow strugglers. One friend told him, "Ignoring is not the path to redeeming," (p.34) which encouraged him to continue risking "coming out" to fellow believers he trusted. He learns from the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart." p. 50 But the most theologically profound quote for me is from an unnamed friend's email to Hill regarding the supremacy of marital love.
The ancients did not contend this (consider Plato's Symposium). And neither does the Bible. The Old Testament suggests that there is love between men greater than that found in mariage (2 Samuel 1:26). But so does the New Testament. According to Jesus, there is no greater love than the sacrificial love of one friend for another (John 15:13). Is it not peculiar that in writing the greatest discourse on love found in the New Testament, Paul chooses to put it, not with his discussion of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 (here love is not even mentioned), but in the context of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 13! And even when agape love is discussed in the marital context of Ephesians 5, it is sacrificial love that is the model for marital love - not the other way around. Marriage is a venue for expressing love, which in its purest form exists, first and foremost, outside of it. The greatest joys and experiences God has for us are not found in marriage, for it they were, surely God would not do away with marriage in heaven. But since he has already told us he is doing away with it, we, too, can realize that the greatest things God has to give us are not to be found in marriage at all. pp. 112-113
What a bold claim, but one I can make no argument with, even though I have a fantastic marriage. Finally, I love his quote in the endnotes of Miroslav Volf.
To illustrate the relationship between being a good creature and being a sinner, Reformation theologians used the analogy of water and ink. Water is the good creation, ink is sin with a few drops of ink. All the water in the glass is tainted, but it's still mostly water, not ink. Analogously, all our good deeds are marred by sin, but they are still mostly good deeds, not crimes masquerading as merits.
Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, 2005, p. 98.

Hill comes to the conclusion that God's grace is scandalous. God keeps forgiving because our stain does not take away His image in us. Hill's presentation of God's grace is so libertine, that it makes me uncomfortable, which tells me he got it right, because even Paul had to defend himself against the charge of antinomianism.

In the introduction, Hill expresses his hope that "this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ." p. 17 My hope is that straight Christians like me will read this short book to understand the complexity of the gay person's orientation and respond to that gay person, even more so a fellow believer, with deep compassion rather than judgment. Please read this book. Zondervan gave it to me for free as a review copy, and I'm very grateful.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

win a Bible Give a Bible

Hey peeps, I know contests and free stuff drive traffic to blogs. I'm thinking of purging my library some, but, today, I can give away other people's stuff. Tyndale has a contest to give away their Bibles and help some other ministries. Details at their Facebook page.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Highest hit posts in 2010

I'm disappointed that none of my posts in 2010 made the top 10 in popularity for this year's hits. I am surprised how many people come here to read about bicycles. Only a few posts in 2010 cracked the 100 hits ceiling.
My cinema review of the Book of Eli got the most.
My post on the Binishell, generated a cluster of hits recently, that pushed it over the century mark.
None of my Haiti posts exceeded the 100 level, but collectively, the ones in February, generated many hits, including my trip report from February.

Here are the top 10 hits overall for 2010.
9. Picture of the Electra Royal 8i and my bike crush on it
8. my personally positive experience at Family Life's marriage retreat, A Weekend to Remember
7. Someone else's negative review of the Cruzbike, which I pointed to (but I still want one)
6. the announcement of my new bike
5. a review of my Actionbent recumbent, which is still for sale, email me to buy it
4. a picture of the Gabion house, I still think it's really neat, but I think birds and rodents would love to live in it as well
3. my negative book review of that adolescent vampire romance, Twilight. I figure kids are looking for something to copy for a last minute paper. However, I hope people also read my assertion of plagiary from Burrough's Tarzan and the lies to reject from Twilight regarding love and dating.
2. I am very happy that this one is so high, the explanation I gave to my kids about forgiving sins seventy times seven, which Jesus tells us to do.
Drum roll please
the number 1 post in 2010 was written in 2009, my bike review of the Electra Townie.

Re-reading my blogs hurts some, as my typos are abundant. But I have no motivation to correct them, unless, there were a book deal offered to publish the meandering musings of a born-again husband, dad, pastor, biologist, cyclist, reader who likes alternative houses. Thanks to those of you who drop by.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

book report: Commentary on James by Blomberg and Kamell (2010)

The good, the goofy and the egregious, a review of a new commentary on the epistle of James by Blomberg and Kamell in Zondervan's Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

I received this copy for free on the condition of a review from me. I was very excited to receive a commentary for review. I was even more excited that it was on James which I had been studying with my church's young adult group this autumn. There were questions from the group we couldn't answer, and I hoped some of them could be answered in this commentary. I have a bad habit when it comes to perusing new books and magazines. I tend to start at the end and work towards the front. At the end, I encountered a goofy statement, which I will specify later, that put a bad taste in my mouth. So I realized I need to start at the front of the book. I know that it's hard to write at the end with the same passion and clarity that one started with in the beginning, and that I had to let them show me their best efforts in the beginning. I was rewarded.

The introduction to the series informed me that this was a commentary for someone who know Koine Greek and would like to see it applied in Bible interpretation. But it also promises to stay out of the weeds, so that the busy pastor can get enough meat for his own devotional study as well as enough to share with his congregation. As someone trying to retain his NT Greek, but unable to retain his Hebrew, I was happy that the format keeps the greek, but transliterates the Hebrew. It felt like this series is for people like me. This is good. It also explains the layout for each section of Bible discussed, e.g. literary context, main idea, translation and graphical layout, structure, exegetical outline, explanation of text, and, finally, theology in application. Frequently, the authors for this epistle, often left the section under translation empty and referred to the graphical layout. Literary context and exegetical outline also overlapped greatly. I think these sections are too muddled, and come across a little goofy. The explanation of the text is usually excellent. I really enjoy the interaction with multiple approaches to the passage in discussion. Although the bibliography is large, the index shows that only seven or eight other commentators received the bulk of the dialog. I really like footnotes, which this series uses. When books use endnotes, I need two bookmarks, because I am constantly checking the references. I want to know if statements are assertions or examples. Footnotes make this essential step much easier for me. I also appreciate references to ancient readings. References to Augustine and the inter-testamental book Sirach make the research more commendable. Overall, I think the authors were consistent in keeping their application apart from the explanation. It is impossible to do this perfectly, but the effort is duly noted. However, it is the application sections that tended to disappoint me the most. I will provide examples soon.

Nevertheless, the introduction to James is excellent. They argue well for an early date. A good argument considers many other options and shows the weaknesses leaving theirs as primary. They show in the introduction that they can do this very well. Later on, they tend to resort to assertions, which leave this reader, who so throughroughly enjoyed their well developed arguments earlier in the book scratching his head. I have to blame the editor here, for not challenging the authors to flesh out their assertions. [I will provide an example soon. I want to move through the book sequentially, and not jump out of order.] Their arguement for the coherence of the epistle is also excellent. I am fully persuaded by their understanding of the flow in Jame's thoughts. They do seem to have an ax to grind against the "name it and claim it" stream of theology, and frequently note where James' statements would contradict their understanding of this perticularly American theology. However, accustomed to their careful argumentation in other areas of this commentary, I was disappointed to not see them attempt to interact with any defenders or advocates of this theology and how they might understand James. Hence, although I am sympathetic to the authors disdain of this theology, I have no way of knowing if they are attacking a straw man or a well informed understanding. This is an example of theirs of being telling me instead of showing me. I wish an editor had challenged them instead of giving them a pass on this one.

Any evangelical commentary on James that seeks respect also needs to understand well historically and widely the issues of faith and works that James brings up in chapter 2. By arguing for an earlier date than Paul's epistles to Rome and Galatians, they can offer an explanation that avoids conflict with Paul. "Perhaps "works" might by better translated as "action" in this context [James 2:14 -JPU] to 'avoid confusion with Paul's teaching [against] nomistic religion, i.e., "works of the law." ' " (p. 129) They quote Martin from the WBC commentary on James. Further on, when discussing James 2:17 they elaborate, " 'Works' here are not the Pauline 'works of the law,' such as circumcision, but rather the works of love, such as caring for those who are in need, not showing favoritism, being humble, or being slow to speak. In essence, works are te sum total of a changed life brought about by faith. Where 'Paul denies the need for "pre-conversion works," ' James emphasizes the absolute necessity of post-conversion works.' p. 132 Again they quote Martin. I appreciate two other quotes they use to elucidate this conversation between apostles when they are discussing James 2:24. "As Joachim Jeremias famously epitomized it, Paul speaks of Christian faith (trust in Jesus) and Jewish works (obeying the law so as to justify oneself), whereas Jamers refers to Jewish faith (pure monotheism) and Christian works (good deeds that flow from salvation). Or as Frances Gench nicely phrases it, 'Paul is dealing with obstetrics, with how new life begins; James, however, is dealing with pediatircs and geriatrics, with how Christian life grows and amtrues and ages.' " p.139 I think these quotes show their agreement with evangelical thought on this passage. I wish they had delved more into Orthodox and Catholic thinking however. They did a great job in discussing this passage, but then things went goofy and egregious in their application section.

In the Theology in Application section following their discussion of the second half of James 2, red flags started to rise for me. The first flag for me is this line,
James's language does, however, support a properly qualified liberation theology and lordship salvation. While not necessarily justifying violence of Marxism in pusuit of one's cause, James certainly would share the concern of liberation theologians to do far more for the poor, individually and sytemically, than many branches of recent Christianity have attempted...It is precisely those people who do make this claim [Christians - JPU] who incur the scorn of devotees of other religions that recognize the need to do good in the world, thereby making it harder for such people to discern and accept authentic Christianity! pp. 143-144
The oxymoron of "qualified liberation theology" made me raise my eyebrows. Is it qualified when it's not marxist? Does such non-Marxist liberation theology exist? Has liberation theology actually brought people into the kingdom of God? If they mean social justice concerns, why not speak that way, instead of bringing in the heavily laden with too much baggage badly worked out liberation theolgy? And why the sympathy to the canard of the church does nothing to impress the other religions in the world? No religion has done more to improve the lives of world's poorest and weakest than Christianity. Certainly, individual Christians disappoint, which James accosts, and even larger groups of Christians are not outward focused, but overall, no other religion can hold a candle to Christianity in regards to social justice in terms of scope and influence. Finally, I was the most concerned with their wavering on death bed converts, who are unable to work out their faith. If they had listened to their quote of Gench earlier, this should not have even been a topic without certainty. However, they write, "But what of those who seemingly have no opportunity to demonstrate good works at all, such as deathbed converts? It is hard to know for sure, but one can easily imagine their very professions of faith inspring others who hear (or hear of) their words, as with the classic example of the criminal on the cross with Jesus ( Lk 23:40-42). Thus they have exhibited at least one, highly significant good deed..., to say nothing of whatever other changed attitudes have occurred, whether or not they have the opportunity to express them to anyone else." p.146. I am not sure what they can't know for sure. Jesus himself said in John 6:29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” In Luke 18:14, after comparing the repentant tax collector to the arrogant Pharisee in the temple, Jesus concludes "I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” I feel that Blomberg and Kamell have stepped outside evangelical and Biblical thought by doubting the grace of God even for one at death's door, who may not be able to respond to the invitation to adoption vocally. This, to me, is egregious.

In contrast, when they moved to James 4:1-12 and discussed in the application section the topic of judging, I was blessed. They write,
The problem in most Christian contexts, however, is not in dealing iwth the extreme, clear-sut cases, but in finding fault with fellow believers in teh grayer areas. Stulac suggests three ways in which Christians are often too quick to criticize: "judging the motives behind other's words of actions in church business, judging how others spend money and judging how others are rearing their children." p. 202
Disappointingly, they seem to exhibit this very behavior in the very next application section. Regarding James 4:13-17 they draw the following for application.
The percentage of needy in America today may be noticeably smaller, but worldwide the suffering as a result of a lack of material resources remains staggering, and it is the wealthy West that has replaced Rome as the primary exploiter of the natural resources of poorer countries to sustain our ever-fattening consumer demands. Obesity is at an all-time high in the United States, while millions starve to death elsewhere. p.211
A couple things shock me, but probably not as the writers intended. "Exploiter" is a charged word. Although it is a nuetral word in essence, it's implication is negative. Also, I'm not sure what resources we are exploiting without fair exchange. We buy oil from Mexico and Canada, who don't mind our business. We buy hybrid cars which require batteries and chargers that depend on rare earth metals. A poor country who might sell those metals, certainly are not driving these hybrids, nor have any other use for those metals, but appreciate having something to export, and a country willing to pay for it. These are but a couple counter-examples to SHOW, instead of asserting, that the reason applied toward application is sometimes deficient. The last sentence I quoted is especially weak. It almost seems to claim that Americans are fat because we are taking food out of the mouths of the hungry around the world, which is untrue. Almost all famines are due to the politics of wicked governments. The US gives food away all over the world, but some governments, e.g. North Korea, use that food to feed the politically connected and armies, but not the weak. The 1980's response to Ethopian famine, for which there was plenty of food but corrupt politicians, was Band-Aid which sent money to Ethiopia, which used that money to buy weapons. However, it seems the authors are judgmental of American spending and eating habits, while teaching us to apply principles against such postures. This is goofy, if not egregious.

Finally, I must point to the goofiness at the end that I read in the beginning. It seems to come from the pen of someone with little historical perspective. They write,
A generation ago it was almost unheard of to raze an entire building just to put another one on the same site, or to level a whole shopping center to replace it with a new one, or to tear down an entire athletic stadium just to bulid a larger, fancier one; but today all of these are common occurrences. How many churches think that the only realistic option when they outgrow one facility is to build a bigger, more upscale one, with perhaps millions of dollars diverted from truly helping the world's destitute, physically and spiritually? One shudders to think of the potential judgment of God being stored up by so many examples of profligate waste. pp. 233-234
These sentences are judgmental and ahistorical. Razing buildings with the intent to replace them has been happening for millenia. Sometimes the bricks from one building are removed to build a new one. Sometimes buildings are added onto to make them bigger. I'm not sure if the authors are advocating more suburban sprawl. Sometimes buildings are replaced because fixing the current one costs more than knocking it down and starting over. Sometimes older buildings are poisonous due to lead paint, asbestos, and mold and are not worth rehabilitating. Perhaps the authors have no appreciation for great cathedrals. But I do. Is it really a matter of right or wrong, or just opinion? It seems out of line for them to predict judgment for how some church groups choose to worship God with the money God has given them. If anything, it seems contradictory to what they preach on judgment earlier in the book. I proclaim it goofy.

Overall, this really good commentary, has some really goofy parts, and some egregious parts. Thus, in my calculation, this results in a goofy commentary. As with all commentaries, one needs to enjoy the meat and spit out the bones. I think a tougher editor might have reduced the amount of bones in this book. I think I will hold onto this one for the really good content, but not share it without plenty of preparation for the borrower.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

December cycling

December biking is the best month for winter biking. When I leave in the morning it's really cold, but I only need to add layers. Doubled socks, long johns on the legs, then a t-shirt, flannel shirt, thick fleece, and an anorak for a wind breaker, head sock, ear muffs, and ski goggles under my helmet, and winter gloves are enough for me to break into a sweat in temperatures under 30 F.A cyclist with a mountain bike gets a workout ...Image via Wikipedia The bike traffic over the narrow bridge path is light, which is very different from the summer. The worst part of winter cycling is ice and snow on the road, but there is hardly any of that in December. The road is dry and clear. The only draw back in December is short day. I either bike in early in the dark to ride home in the twilight or I bike in morning light to bike home in the dark. So in addition to blinking lights I also have a reflective vest and reflective bands on my ankles. Yes I am a little crazy to continue biking, but I'm not as crazy as some of the other guys I pass, like the guy today who was wearing bike shorts. His legs looked a little raw. This year's rides have been in the 20's and low 30's. My coldest ride ever was at 17F. The winds have been pretty high this week. so the I'm sure the wind chill makes it close to that. But I sweat on every ride. It takes me about 30-40 minutes to get to work or get home and I have a 6.5 mile ride. I'm not speedy, but I get my exercise and save gas. Biking seems more strenuous in the cold. When I get home I am really hungry. Maybe I'm having a mini-bonk (glucose crash). I desire a trike when it gets icy. I do ride on the ice when I really shouldn't. The trikes would prevent that, but the ones I like, made by ICE, are too rich for me. There are so many bikes I want. It's good I can't afford them or I would need a bigger garage.
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