09 June 2008


My car is cruel. The thermometer reads 104 and it offers no respite aside from the air blowing through the windows. Thanks, Oscar (my car's name-family name by the way). I pour with sweat, clothes are soaked. I must be deranged to be outside voluntarily. As I park and step outside my heartbeat intensifies. It is not the heat that is responsible for my quickened pulse and trembling body. I open my back door and pull out an exhibit of mechanical perfection. It is a new road bike, a symbol of my wife's love, a tangible reminder of God's rich blessing (as if I needed another). I have become gradually more obsessed with cycling since the year Lance Armstrong won his first Tour on the US Postal Team. I have dreamed of my own bike, of racing. This month both come true. First this bike. Two and a half weeks from now I ride in a 100 mile race with 13,000+ feet of climbing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The very mountains that inspired Lance to return to the world of cycling after his bout with cancer. Feeling the heat radiating from the blacktop and filling my lungs, I throw my right leg over the top tube and clip my right foot in the pedal. 'This is my bike,' i say to the rest of me currently enjoying the experience out of body. I grasp the handle bars and roll forward, clipping in my left foot. No doubt I resemble the kid who grew up riding his red BMX bike around Solar Hills in Knoxville; eyes wide as sausers, smile ear to ear.

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