by Moira Cullings
MARYSVILLE — For Debbie Price, gliding through nature on her bike is made even more peaceful by prayer.
It all started when she and her sister Janet started to train for Bike Across Kansas several years ago.
“We spent many hours at a time riding,” said Price, a member of St. Gregory Parish in Marysville. “We often talked about our children and decided we had a lot of time to pray for them. And so, we started making the rosary part of our riding routine.”
Price, who rides every day when the weather is warm enough, said that she and Janet don’t use headsets on their rides so they can be fully aware of the traffic around them.
“That led us to the rosary,” she said.
“Since that first rosary,” she continued, “we have seen prayers for healthy grandbabies, college graduations, jobs and so on get answered.
“I start praying immediately with the first push of the pedal now.”
A ride with gorgeous scenery is peaceful, and Price said that praying in this way has drawn her closer to God.
“How can you be in nature and not think about God and his blessings?” she asked.
Price admits that praying on her rides is much more unconventional than praying somewhere more traditional, like in church.
“In church, I can look around and see statues of faithful people, and that’s great,” she said. “But I seem to get more sidetracked in church.”
“You might think it would be the other way around, but not for me,” she added. “It’s very peaceful out on that open road.”
Taking the time to pray during her rides has not only been beneficial for her, but for those around her as well.
“When [my sister and I] ride, I tell others we are going to say the rosary, and they join us,” she said.
Still others give Price and her sister prayer requests for their journey.
Simply being in nature is an oasis and a sanctuary for many. It’s also a temporary harbor from the chaos of everyday life.
So why not use it as a place to pray?
“Being away from the TV, radio and cellphone allows me to concentrate better,” said Price. “My prayer life has grown, and I encourage other riders to do the same.”