Alumnus Fr. Bullock Pens New Book on Spiritual Lessons Learned from Riding a Bike
Fr. John Bullock, LC ’90 was 14 when he recognized a passion for cycling, touring and racing. But his dream of becoming a professional competitor ended a couple of years later when his knees loudly objected to the sport. Three decades down the road, he tried cycling casually and found he could comfortably enjoy his passion as a non-racing non-professional.
What developed from his reconnection with the sport was Fr. Bullock’s new book “A Cyclist’s Spirituality: Spiritual Lessons Learned from Riding a Bike.” The work is true to its title.
Bullock writes, “In my return to riding, I have discovered that cycling has had a real impact on my spiritual life. There are several things that cycling teaches me about the spiritual life, and inversely, there are things in my spiritual life that I bring with me on my rides. I am constantly seeing parallels between my two loves.”
“A Cyclist’s Spirituality” contains 19 concise, engaging chapters with titles like Bike Type and Fit, The Pain & the Prize, Threshold Workouts & Intervals, and Praying the Rosary on the Road. It is clever, practical and well laid out with an instantly appealing cover and interior art by another UST alumnus Paul Latino ’03 of Downrock Creative.
Bullock’s short recollections illustrate what he calls a “mutually enriching relationship between the sport and faith….” Each recollection ends with a passage from scripture and questions to consider.
Fr. Bullock’s UST Experience
Recalling his four years as an undergraduate international studies student at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, a particular professor looms large in his memory.
“I’d describe Professor Bill Cunningham as the ‘family father of that major,’” Bullock said. “He mentored all of us in international studies. He believed in us and thought we could do anything. I didn’t know I could be a leader, but I became club president for international studies.”
The Ride and the Calm
Since his ordination in 2002, Fr. Bullock has been a priest with the Legionaries of Christ. About three times a week, the busy Houston native takes to the streets on his bicycle.
He explained, “There is a calm the exercise almost forces upon you. And almost always, I spend a portion of that cycling time in prayer.
Fr. Bullock added that people who like cycling really like cycling. His book is for them.