Tag Archives: Mile-a-minutes Murphy

As fast as a speeding train

The railroad company built a shield out the back of the car to lengthen the slipstream.

Charles Murphy became  the first man to ride a mile in a minute on a bicycle in 1899. He did so by laying wood planks between rails on Long Island and riding in the slipstream behind a speeding train. He proved his boast: the greatest limitation for the cyclist was not athleticism but wind resistance.

On the carpet of wooden planks laid for the event

Having completed the feat, Murphy was clasped and dragged from his still-moving bike into the back of the racing train. “I lay motionless, face down, on the platform. I was all in. I was half-carried to a cot at the end of the car; the roar of the train was challenged by hysterical yells. Grown men hugged and kissed each other. One man fainted and another went into hysterics, while I remained speechless on my back, ashen in colour and sore all over.”

It was a grand moment for cycling. Also, it was heyday for physics. By defeating wind drag, the cyclist could go faster and faster and faster.

Here’s a metaphor: prayer eliminates barriers, resistance, drag and other natural and human constraints on the man of God. The more you pray, the faster your ministry goes. It took Murphy and the Long Island Railroad a while to set up optimal conditions for the exposition record-breaking ride. But once they did, glory was won in less than 60 seconds. You may need time to set up “optimal conditions” in prayer that will flash in revival quickly.

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