Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning
I looked over at Jim…we were cruising at about 20mph on a chip sealed road…a road that rattles the fillings in your teeth. Jim would have none of it and he drops the hammer…and then there goes Jamie. She had been racing in Criteriums…and was stronger than last year. I follow…out of the saddle…shifted to the highest gear possible…the 54 was cranking…up to 26 mph…the engine revved up…and despite being only half done at 30 miles…I was wanting off this chipped sealed road as much as the next guy…or at least as much as the guy and gal just in front of me. A couple of miles later we turned off to a more pleasant ride and brought the respiration rate down a bit…I wondered how many matches I just burned…that would be revealed soon enough in the temps approaching a 100 F…And the Wheel In the Sky Kept on Turning.
Oh the Texas Heat…this summer seems to be more stifling than most. Last week I had taken Luke to Webelo Scout Camp at Camp James Ray on the edge of Lake Texoma. For three days of tent camping, the heat continued to be brutal. Luke didn’t seem to mind…and for the 3 mile afternoon run on Thursday…it was hot….but my body had adapted to running in these high temperatures. Luke has come a long ways in just a year. I reveled in watching him joke around and converse with new friends….watching how he handled himself around the older 19 and 20 year old Staff members…the quick wit. But what I really enjoyed was how he was responsible for getting what he needed and scheduled for earning the activity badges that he needed to earn. He was on auto pilot and took care of business with minimal input from me…I have every bit of confidence that he is ready for Boy Scouts…and Wheel in the Sky Kept on Turning.
So on Saturday morning I had returned from the furnace of Camp James Ray. Before church on Sunday, I go out for a solo ride of 35 miles or so…including a great climb on Windhaven Hill. On Monday July 4th, here I was for a 55 mile ride or so with Team Legacy…to make it 90 miles in two days. After the cancelled Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim run in May, I had just maintained a general sense of fitness. There had been no training cycles…no intense 8 hour aerobic runs…I lamented to myself after our little chase group of 3 breaking away on the chipped sealed road that I was nowhere near where I was last year….you remember right? The 50 mile ride on fixed gear bike followed by a 50K trail run that night…all night! In May and June I had been doing weight workouts with Amber who had trained for her last body building show in June. She was riding for the second time this year, keeping up with the big boys. My endurance was not what it was. I had ridden twice with Plano Bicycle Association….with DB1…63 miles…and my buddy Chris Howsner and I had made it a June Sunday morning ritual to have a testosterone filled ride of 30 miles before church. He had an epic ½ Ironman performance in April. That really was the crux of my training in May and June…I was still non committal to the Hotter N Hell 100 mile ride in August…going through the motions….and the Wheel in the Sky Kept on Turning.
Monday morning I had unload my bike…Team Legacy was leaving from Coach Jim’s farm. His lovely wife, Sara, comes up to me and says, “congratulations are in order for you Dave, Is it a boy or girl?” Yep…for the first 15 miles of the ride that tended to be the conversation…at least the conversation directed to me from the gals. “No we don’t know the sex of the baby…Team Elliott never finds out, that’s how we roll.” “Yep this is number 4.” Jackie, mother of 4, reminds me that our wait just went up about 20 to 30 minutes at restaurants. “Luke is 10, Macy …8 , and Hope…5…they are all excited!” “We’re due in December sometime.” …and thus the conversation went. The social aspect of the group ride, at least in the early miles is something I really enjoy. Only during end of the ride, dehydrated a bit, and wanting to be done do those conversations seem like long ago. It is a reflection of the past and of things to come. The excitement of a new life being brought into the fold of Team Elliott…and the knowledge that the Good Lord has blessed us…of something we thought may never happen. It shows two things: God has both a plan and a sense of humor. The heat mirage of the road indicates that it is to be another scorching Texas summer afternoon…and we pull into Jim’s drive way. A really good country ride with no stop signs…no read lights…And the Wheel In the Sky Keeps on Turning!