Thursday, December 25, 2003

December 25, 2003

9:47 PM Christmas Day is a good time for a bike ride because the streets are almost empty. My current total for the year is 3584 miles. I am often asked where I ride. The answer is, on the streets of Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, and sometimes Chicago. I suppose that 95% of the time I follow the same route—an 11.2 mile rectangle that starts at my house, goes east almost to Austin, then north almost to North Avenue, then west across Harlem into River Forest, east on Park across Lake, then under the tracks, east on Madison, south and east on Jackson, almost to Austin, then west back home. In the summer I do it in 47-50 minutes depending on traffic, in the winter 52-54 mostly because I am so bundled up that it’s hard to go very fast. I travel the Prairie Path west a few times each year, and the North Branch trail sometimes, and the Salt Creek trail, but most of the time I ride on the surface streets. People seem surprised when I say that, but it’s all I have time to do most days. So far I’ve been able to keep riding because we haven’t had much snow. That’s bound to change eventually. The other biking news is that I’m riding a brand-new Trek 1800c Sport Comfort bike that I was able to purchase because of a gift from a friend. It’s much lighter than my old Raleigh and instead of regular pedals, it has cleats that clip into the bottom of special biking shoes that I bought. The big advantage: You get the full power of pedaling through the entire revolution—not just on the down stroke. The disadvantage: If you forget to unclip your shoe when you stop, you’ll fall over. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve been close a few times. The bike itself is several steps up from anything I’ve had before—and I’ll probably be riding it for years to come. 12:52 PM In 1912 the Memphis, TN Commercial Appeal published an article by the paper’s editor, C.P.J. Mooney, called Jesus, the Perfect Man. It became so popular that it has been reprinted for the last 91 years. Here is his conclusion:

Jesus spoke the truth, and the truth is eternal. History has no record of any other man leading a perfect life or doing everything in logical order. Jesus is the only person whose every action and whose every utterance strike a true note in the heart and mind of every man born of woman. He never said a foolish thing, never did a foolish act and never dissembled. No poet, no dreamer, no philosopher loved humanity with all the love that Jesus bore toward all men. WHO, THEN, was Jesus? He could not have been merely a man, for there never was a man who had two consecutive thoughts absolute in truthful perfection. Jesus must have been what Christendom proclaims Him to be – a divine being – or He could not have been what He was. No mind but an infinite mind could have left behind those things which Jesus gave the world as a heritage.

11:56 AM Michael Novak explores the relationship between Christmas and human freedom. 11:54 AM My boys managed to find their way into the weblog and posted their own version. It includes a report of miles walked so far plus a “renovation update.” You can read it here.

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