Search Results for: label/Harpeth River Ride

My 100 Mile Bike Ride – Made It!

The Harpeth River Ride south of Nashville, is one of the two premier biking events in Middle Tennessee each year.

The 100-mile Route of the Harpeth River Ride

Last year I did the 62-mile loop for the Harpeth River Ride that starts in the parking lot of Nissan’s North American headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and winds through some beautiful scenic roads. I had just got back into riding a couple of months earlier and the ride was just about more than I could handle. I started off strong but then hit Pulltight Hill for the first time and struggled the rest of the way to the finish line.

I’ve been on the bike at least once a week and usually twice since then – so I’ve “let” my neighbor talk me into the 100-mile loop – which goes 101 miles. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be just about more than I can handle – but I can do it! So if you see a triumphant update on my ride on Monday – you’ll know I made it – even if my pace doesn’t break any land speed records.

If I am unusually quiet next week you might be right when you assume I switched to the 62-mile loop mid-course. But I’m not even going to think that way. 101 miles here I come. Prayers and best wishes are welcome!


I made it! In fact, I took a wrong turn and added 4 miles, so I made 105 miles. I wasn’t the last rider in – but I was definitely near the back of the pack. I expected that knowing that the majority of the 100-mile participants would be the better riders and I didn’t think I could catch any of the stragglers riding the 62-mile or 44-mile loops. Next year? Might return to the 62-mile loop!

Harpeth River Bike Ride

Nissan’s Official Harpeth River Ride Vehicle


“The Necessary Compulsion of Exercise”

I will be riding my bike this Saturday with Lance Armstrong and other friends.

On Saturday morning I take off on my bicycle with a couple thousand of my closest friends – including Lance Armstrong and some of his Team RadioShack teammates – on the Harpeth River Ride. I am doing the 62-mile course with mixed emotions. (Not sure how far Lance is riding or how long we are going to hang together.)

On one hand I love riding my bike and I see the benefit – or more accurately the necessity – of riding to get in better shape (another way of saying, “I need to lose 20 pounds … again”). On the other hand, after a long winter hibernation and then an early spring surgery, I’m not in the best shape of my life, a condition that both motivates and discourages the obvious cure. So I know full well that not all of the 62 miles promise to be fun. In the short time I’ve had to get ready for this modest ride I’ve discovered that after riding about 25 miles the gentle rolling hills of Middle Tennessee, the hills are not always so gentle.

I was sifting through some excerpts from Albert Schweitzer’s Africa Notebooks and stumbled on this relevant observation the great missionary and humanitarian made as he conversed with the natives of Africa. They were curious as to the differences between themselves and the people of Europe where Schweitzer was born.

So I go on to tell them that in Europe people row for pleasure, a statement followed by uncontrollable laughter. … I don’t attempt to make clear to them what sport is. The conditions under which they live in so many ways compel them to use their physical forces and take exercise to a greater extent than they like, that they cannot understand at all how people can do so except under compulsion.

We may have a choice whether to exercise or not, but in our corner of the world where food is abundant and many of us ply a trade that is sedentary, it’s not surprising we put on jogging shoes or head to the gym or hop on a bike under a certain compulsion, too.

So will I ride for pleasure or compulsion on Saturday? I’m telling myself it is for pleasure. But halfway through I may not be able to fool myself any longer. As is so often the case in life, the answer is a definite and resounding, yes.

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2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 130-229, Franklin, Tennessee 37067

We Need Daily Grace

A Year of Devotions to Draw You Near to the Heart of God

The new Fall River edition of Daybook of Grace

I wrote and compiled most of A Daybook of Grace a couple years ago and “packaged” it for Fall River Press (an imprint of Sterling Publishing, owned by Barnes & Noble) as part of their exclusive in-store value line. After three years in the market, the publishing team at Falls River recently updated and upgraded it with an exquisite new cover for the trade. (Thanks Stefan and Betsy.)

This project will always be near and dear to my heart for a couple of reasons. Of course I like (and really need) a daily devotional book to help me focus spiritually and emotionally each morning. I also like the title and the theme of daily grace. There are certainly some mad-dash sprints in life, but overall it is a marathon that takes daily endurance.

But what really makes the project special to me is how many problems I had during the process of preparing it for publication. I can’t go into details, but one of my vendors had a personal crisis that spilled over into the development and timeline, which meant unplanned late night and early morning writing sessions, and a couple rounds of re-budgeting. (What I dealt with paled in comparison to what my friend had to go through.)

My wife likes to remind me that when strange, idiopathic challenges arise, “something good is about to happen.” And as Daybook went to press that was indeed the case. The new release is another good thing to happen. It is even better that it happened a couple years later – that means the book has done well.

Daybook of Grace is my lovely reminder that grace really is a daily need and blessing.

Daybook of Grace is available at all Barnes and Noble stores and B&,, and other fine booksellers.


Welcome to the Wild Side – Going Entrepreneurial

My dad worked for General Motors for 37 years, his only full-time employer. My wife’s dad worked for DuPont for 35 years after a brief stint with IBM. Who knows – he might have been with IBM for 37 years if they had permanently assigned him to the Nashville office rather than sending him to Upstate New York. They used to be the norm – but now their career paths would be considered anomalies.

Welcome to the wild world of independent work.

Have you considered – or been forced to consider – going entrepreneurial? I love the independent work world – but it’s a wild ride!

My career, which began at a local church as a youth pastor, and which includes three significant “employment” eras – plus a 5-year run of having my own company serve as my sole means of support – has been a much different path. This past week I concluded a three-year return to the corporate world. I moved to Nashville in late 2005 to launch a specialty book division with Integrity Publishers. When Integrity was acquired by Thomas Nelson, I served in the same publisher role with a much larger company over a well-established business unit.

With the publishing industry in a major funk – and no bailout being trumpeted on CNN – now was and is the time for me to get back to running my own business. One of the first responses I got to my announcement was from a good friend, also independent and entrepreneurial in mindset, who sent me a text that said “welcome back to the wild side.” As someone who thought he might be bankrupt and then wealthy and then bankrupt all in the same year, I can only smile – I can’t argue with his choice of words.

I’ve been asked if I’m worried about not being with a company in what may be the worst economic times since the Great Depression. Well, last I heard on TV, General Motors needs money from the government this week or it may be forced into Chapter 7, which means the doors would close. What safe place is there in the workforce today?

I’ve been told I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’ve been told I’m crazy. Both statements are undoubtedly wrong – and right – for different reasons! Bottom line, I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all plan for navigating the white water rapids of today’s workplace. My inclination is that I won’t return to corporate (never say never), but I wouldn’t recommend that as the plan for everyone. Know thyself.

Have you considered – or been forced to consider – going entrepreneurial? I love the independent work world – but it’s a wild ride! I would offer three simple observations that might serve as counsel and advise for someone reading this.

  1. Everyone needs more than one “customer.” Your employer may be your boss and your means of financial support, but your employer is also a customer for your services. Is it smart to have one customer? Maybe it was in a bygone era but in times of economic turbulence, when many companies are struggling to stay alive, that’s probably not the case. But isn’t that kind of thinking disloyal and dishonest? I’m obviously not condoning or advocating the stealing of time and resources from the one paying you, but there’s nothing dishonorable in using gifts and skills, some of which may not have an outlet in your primary job, in ways that meet the needs of other customers.
  2. Hard work is the order of the day. Duh. That may seem too obvious to mention but let’s face it, we do live in an incredibly comfortable epoch of world history – with lots of our free time devoted to entertainment. A friend – and yes, he, too, is independent and entrepreneurial in his mindset – sent me this word of wisdom recently: “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement” (Proverbs 12:11).
  3. Ultimately, there is no security in your own labors. So what’s the point in trying? There is great reward in working hard and working savvy, but the only true security is found in faith in God. The words of Job, who was the wealthiest man of his day, who lost his wealth, his health, and his family in a series of calamities, still ring true today: “Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return” (15:31). Trust God more.

So whether your company is definitively in the black or the red, whether your career is booming or languishing, whether you have made the move to the independent work world or are happy in corporate, all I can say is it’s a jungle either way, so ‘welcome to the wild side!’