A Bicycle

Have you ever thought about how a bicycle works?

Most of us just hop on and let it take us where we want to go without giving it a second thought. A closer look shows it takes a lot of different pieces doing their part and working together to make transportation happen.

When you push the pedal with your foot, a lot happens to make the wheels turn. The pedal turns a crank that turns a gear, which pulls a chain that turns another gear, which turns a hub, which pulls the spokes, which turns the wheel, which pulls the tire that pushes against the road to make the bike go.

When you want to stop, you pull a lever that pulls a cable against a housing, which causes another lever to move, which pushes a pad against the wheel. Changing gears involves levers, cables, housing, springs, and pulleys working together. If any one part fails to work when it is supposed to, the whole system fails to work. When one system fails, the bike can still be ridden, but not in top form.

You are the parts, just like on the bicycle. Our Troops and their patrols and our Packs and their dens are like the pedaling, braking, and gear-changing systems. The Scoutmasters, Cubmasters, and Senior Patrol Leaders are like the rider. They direct a pedal or a lever—your Den and Patrol Leaders—to do their part and they in turn ask you to do yours. If you choose not to do your part, your patrol or den suffers and the troop or pack doesn’t work well. The Scouting unit is the vehicle to adventure, fellowship, community, fun and good times, and each of you is a very important part.

Thank you for being here tonight, for what you do for Scouting, and for keeping your bicycles in top-notch condition so that the riders of today and in the future are able to continue riding this trail called Scouting. I wish you Happy Holidays, a very merry and prosperous New Year, and I look forward to serving you as we begin 2022.