Posted by: soniamain | August 16, 2010

Road Psalm

Iain wrote this psalm for our last sanctuary service in July. It’s been inspired by his love of the Tour de France and his preparation for his London – Paris cycle ride which he starts on Wednesday. He promised to post it on here:

Road Psalm

You O Lord are Lord of the road.

You have opened out the landscape like a map.
The contours of the earth and the twists and turns of the road
are not hidden from your sight.
The highways and the lanes are your servants,
you know all their ways.
The climbs and the descents are yours,
the rolling hills and short sharp climbs,
switch-backs and fast descents,
wild mountain passes and sheltered valleys.

The winds are your servants.
The headwind and the crosswind to make me work,
the tailwind for the big ring.
The summer sun warms my legs and
The summer rain cools my back.

You O Lord are Lord of the road.

Sometimes I ride my own way,
believing I am stronger than I am,
but you are always on my wheel.
for me to blow.
You are beside me now,
we ride together and laugh and talk.
You push the pace, half a wheel ahead, you make me work.
You ease off when I am tired
and wait when I bonk up.
You will never drop me.

You are a mystery in the peleton.
You wear the Yellow Jersey, yet serve like a domestique,
fetching and carrying water and provisions for the team.
When a rider crashes out you fall back and pace him to the bunch,
even a rider from a competing team!
Grace and mercy are you lead-out team
I am happy to ride in the glory of your presence.

You O Lord are Lord of the road.

Your spirit is the carnival of light and colour as the peleton zooms past,
a shimmering glittering dance of polished alloy and
cross-hatched carbon,
a whirr of super-charged energy.
Your spirit is with us
closer than the rider and the bike.
Take your spirit away and there is no race.
In you we ride and have our being.

You O Lord are Lord of the road.



  1. wow!
    i saw every stage of the tour and get this psalm utterly. although the struggle of blood sweat and tears were not mine, they were those of the men in the race, the allegory is strong… very strong. the tour de france is mental and yet completely meaningful to those competing, just like life. in so many ways a distilled microcosm of life.
    all the best and god’s speed on your journey iain.
    much love, jx

    • I will lift up mine eyes unto the Tourmalet. Thinking “Oh, my God, from whence cometh my help?”
      My help cometh from you Lord, From long hours of training, eating the right food, buying the best lightweight components I can afford, and from you, even you Lord who moves in mysterious ways & hath suffered every bump in this road.
      Even though I ride through the valley of the shadow of death and suffer from the dreaded hunger knock, thou art with me, your wheel before me to guide me and shelter me from the headwind.
      Oh let me drink from the streams of living water so that I may no longer thirst & have to drink this disgusting energy drink,
      May your all powerful chamois cream be like a cooling stream on my nether regions (perhaps too much information)
      Oh Lord I long to enter your dope control area, that the pain may stop & that I may enter into your glory, never again to have to push another pedal on the road to calvary…
      In the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost now and for ever Amen

      I think my style is more 21st century coal face Jazz as opposed to Iain`s 20th century new romantic country/folk/rock…Hope I haven`t offended anyone,but the aim was to portray the full brutality of life in the peleton. Whatever God asks of us in this life it is nothing compared to what Jesus suffered for us .
      All we need now is to set them to music.

      Courage et Bonne Route Iain.
      .. um perhaps the next one should be in French a la Taize “Veni Seigneur qui porte notre maillot jaune, alleluia!” has a certain je ne sais quoi about it…

  2. Iain, this blew me away when I read it yesterday – you are such a gifted writer and I love the fact that you’ve been so inspired by the tour.

    I’ll be thinking of you today as you start the journey to Paris – and hoping you enjoy every moment of it 🙂

    charlie xxx

  3. This is great – have a brilliant ride to Paris- and thank you so much for doing this for Amos.

    Look forward to hearing all about it


  4. Iain arrived in France last night, he had just over 100miles yesterday and today is doing 75. Apparently there have been strong head winds today(???!!) but he has been really enjoying it and eating loads of pasta!

  5. yay, pasta! hmmmmm, not very french though! 🙂

  6. Just heard from Iain he has finished!, arrived at the Eifel tower at about 3.00 today. He sounds a very happy man 🙂

  7. tantalising expectations

  8. This is fantastic. Like Jon I watched every pedal stroke of the tour and this psalm captures all the blood, sweat and gears, as well as the selfless teamwork and simple joy of riding. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Beautiful! My thanks to Stewart for the heads-up.

    • Hi Stewart and Headphonaught. Thanks for your comments. Its funny how stuff you post sits out there, and can be discovered years later. This really reminds me of training for my London – Paris ride in 2010, which was such a fantastic experince. Like Jon I have been glued to the TdeF highlights for 3 weeks. Brad and the team were just fantastic. Wonderful stuff. Cheers

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