Jim Gibson is one of the most loyal Bike for Bibles (B4B) riders. Since he started riding in 1999, Jim has been setting aside a week in the summer to ride for Bike for Bibles, raising funds for the Canadian Bible Society’s various Bible translation and distribution initiatives.
For various reasons, Jim was not able to ride with B4B for a few years; however, he is seriously preparing for a comeback in 2019.
Looking to redeem himself
“This year, I want to be involved again because I was disappointed in my own personal effort on the bike; I want to redeem myself, riding wise,” he says. “I did two separate B4B rides in 2006, so the 2019 Alberta-British Columbia ride will be my 20th.”
Jim will also return as Ride Captain, an important role he took on for 10 rides. As a ride captain, Jim is responsible for the safety of his fellow riders on the road, providing directions and ensuring that everyone is having a great time.
Training for the ride
Joining the AB/BC week-long ride is a huge challenge, that’s why Jim is preparing himself weeks in advance. About his training, Jim shares: “I am trying to ride 155 kms per week. This means I am riding at least 5 days per week. In another two weeks I will also begin doing at least one long ride a week, starting with about 50 kms and working my way up to a 100 kms or more by the end of June.”
Like most of the regular B4B riders, Jim is looking forward to the fellowship on the road.
“For me it is the people that bring me back year after year,” he says. He also looks forward to meeting new people and establishing new friendships. “I do enjoy the week-long cycling adventure, as well, but the people are always a big draw.”
Advice from a veteran B4B rider
For new riders this year, Jim has the following advice:
“Train lots in preparation. Start by riding 4-5 days a week and build up to riding 6 days a week by the end of June. Also include, at least, one long ride per week. Start out with 50 kms and add 5-10 kms each week until you can do 100 km or more in one outing. The great professional cyclist Eddie Mercks was once asked how he got so good. His reply, ‘I ride lots’.
“Be sure to eat well and hydrate all the time. Also, get your bike serviced before beginning training and keep it maintained during your training. Then get it serviced again just before departing for the ride. I always put new tires on my bicycle before B4B begins. It has become a personal tradition.”
For Jim, Bike for Bibles is more than just cycling hundreds of kilometres in a week and meeting physical goals. What makes it meaningful for him is the purpose for riding – to help bring the Word to those who need it most – and the Christian community they experience during the ride.
“Bike for Bibles brings people together from different spiritual journeys, and different deminations. But when we come together with a common goal and purpose, amazing things happen. We become a family. Really, we become a church for each other during the week we are riding. The riders support and encourage each other – on and off the road and bike. It is always interesting to see what God can do, and how He can and will bless us.”