Cycle of Fear

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#784: “Cycle of Fear”
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2 Timothy 1:7

7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

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Cycle of Fear

“Cycle of Fear” is episode #784 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Kathy Buchanan, and originally aired on March 12, 2016.

Avery Award Winner!
This episode won an Avery Award for Best Sound in the 2016 Season!
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When Eva Parker reveals that she doesn't know how to ride a bike, the whole family pitches in to help her overcome her anxiety. Meanwhile, Olivia and Matthew must face fears of their own.


The first scene opens as David walks into his house, and Eva immediately accuses him of buying something expensive because of his facial expression. He tells the whole family that he bought Eva a bike. He says that she needs one because the rest of the family has bikes, so then they can all bike at Windmill Park together. He asks her to take it out for a spin and she declines with a excuse of stirring the pot. David guesses that she doesn't want to ride the bike, and Eva reluctantly tells them she doesn't know how. The kids are horrified, and David wonders why she never told him. The kids start wondering what their mother will do in the place of a bike. Olivia subtly suggests getting a horse. David asks Eva what happened to make her so nervous about it, and she tells him that her mother put her on a bike on the top of a hill, and pushed her down the hill, resulting in a broken arm.

Later, during dinner, Eva tells Matthew that the pastor called asking for him. Matthew doesn't know what the pastor wants, and has a spat with Olivia, resulting in Matthew mentioning that Olivia has nightmares about tubas. Eva asks what that is all about, and Matthew says that Olivia won't try out for the spring play, and Olivia reveals that Matthew has been asked to give a mini-sermon at church. He doesn't want to because he's scared about speaking in front of adults. Olivia won't try out for the Spring play because she fell off the stage in the Fall and got her arm stuck in a tuba. Eva tells them that just because they failed once doesn't mean that they should just give up. Olivia turns that sentence around and hints about her mother riding a bike. Eva makes an excuse that both her kid's problems aren't life-threatening. She continues, telling them more about trying again, and then is immediately conscience-stricken for not living it out herself. She tells Matthew and Olivia that if they do their challenges, then she will try to learn to ride a bike. They both reluctantly agree.

The next scene begins with Eva on a bike with David behind her. Eva is ready to try and ride. She immediately falls off. She tells David that the bike is lopsided, and he tells her that it doesn't balance if it's not moving. He says that she'll have it down in no time. Later, David tells Olivia that it's hopeless. Eva is so scared that she's going to fall, that she falls. David tells the kids that whoever teaches Eva how to ride a bike will be excused from chores for a month. Camilla tries to teach her mom how to ride with positive thoughts. However, positive thoughts do not prevent Eva from crashing into the side of the house. Soon after, Matthew tries to put training wheels on Eva's bike, and she refuses. Later, Olivia is out on top of a slope with Eva, opposite of a drainage ditch, and she shoves her down it, Eva screaming while riding the bike.

At the hospital, a worried David runs in and asks if Eva is okay. Olivia assures him that it is only six stitches. Eva had somehow managed to ride into the drainage ditch on the other side of the slope, 50 yards away. David says that maybe it's time to let Eva quit, but Eva walks up and says she's going to try again, or die trying. David slightly wonders if death is a possibility. In the next scene, David is repairing a bent bike wheel that Eva rode into a pothole. David asks Matthew about what he's going to preach on for the sermon. Matthew says that the pastor told him to tell about what God has been teaching him. David tells him that he's afraid of something that he can absolutely do, and to have courage. He says that Matthew ought to look at his mom and sister and try again. Later, Olivia bumps into Matthew while waiting for the play audition. Matthew asks if he can watch, and Olivia is called to audition. While up on stage, Olivia is auditioning as the tuba quartet brings their instruments into the theater. She becomes nervous, and then insists that the tubas be put somewhere else.

At the parker house, Olivia tells her mother that she didn't get the part. It went well, though, and she got the part of backstage manager because she organized the tubas elsewhere. Eva is proud of her, and then wants to try some more biking the next day. She hints about a plan to keep herself safe. The next day, Olivia is preparing to teach a double snow coated Eva, who is wearing goggles and earmuffs as well. They are about to start practicing when Matthew rides up on his bike and tells Eva that Camilla fell on her arm while skateboarding, possibly breaking it. The car is out of commission, and walking to the Windmill Park Construction Zone where Camilla is will take too long, so Eva has no choice but to ride the bike there.

At the parker house, when David comes home, Camilla has to tell him that she has a sprained wrist because she rode on a construction ramp, and it gave way. Her friends called her a chicken, and she did it because of peer pressure. David tells her that she is a chicken, because she didn't stand up and do what was right. Eva tells him that she learned how to ride her bike, which prompts the kids to argue about who gets the month off of chores. That Sunday, at the church, Matthew has to come up and give his sermon. He stutters and falters at first, and then relaxes. He preaches on Joshua 1:9, and tells about the lesson behind the bike, the spring play, and the sermon.

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Lucia Ortega Eva Parker


  • The play Olivia is auditioning for in this episode is The Wizard of Oz. Olivia auditioned for the role of Dorothy.



Matthew Parker: Someone will probably stand up and say, "The story of Samuel isn't in Second Galatians! Off with the heathen's head!"
David Parker: Oh come on, we rarely have decapitations during service.