When my husband had to have a brain tumor removed in April, my son Chris searched for a way to encourage him. He told Dave when this surgery was over, he was going to train and ride in the "Hotter Than Hell 100" race in Wichita Falls in Dave's honor. Dave used to bike and had competed in this particular race years ago. The race got its name from the temperature in Texas during this time of year. Racers have literally died from the heat. While I was excited about Chris' goal, the reality of the race left me a little leary.
Chris had decided that he would do the 50 mile version of the race, and headed for Wichita Falls this weekend.
The first call came at 8:05 a.m. "Mom, I'm already at the 20 mile marker and I feel great! I may do the entire 100 miles."
9:48 a.m. "Mom, I'm definitely doing the 100 mile race now. There's free barbeque at the end. I feel good."
11:36 a.m. "60 miles! Can you believe it? It's not so bad. I'm drafting behind some other riders."
2:15 p.m. "85 miles! I am definitely going to do this again."
3:15 p.m. "100 miles! I feel like I could ride another 100 or 50 miles! I'm going to go take a shower and I'll call again later."
A 100 mile ride. By any standard, that is an amazing distance. For someone who has never competed in a ride before (and only trained with two or three long distance rides) this is the stuff that gold medals are going for in Beijing right now.
I drove him and his bike back to San Marcos today. He had to be at work at 1:00 p.m. (Wouldn't you be ready to work a full shift after a 100 mile bike ride?) I asked him what did he think of while he was riding. "Well, when it got rough, I thought of Dave and what he went through. And I kept riding." And riding. And riding.
Wednesday Chris begins his senior year in college. With his determination and work ethic, I think it will be an easy ride.