Tomorrow’s the day. I’ll take off work early, head home and pack up my bike and stuff. I’ll drive to downtown Austin, where I’ll rendezvous with a bus for Houston. The bike goes on a separate truck, which will take it to the starting line in Houston and secure it overnight. Then, I’ll meet up with my biking and blogging buddy Jared, and we’ll hop the bus for the three-to-four hour ride.
In Houston, there’ll be lots to do. We’ll check into our hotel. We’ll head over to the ride headquarters hotel and take in the bike expo. Our team is hosting a hospitality suite, and it will be our first chance to meet most of the other team members. And we’ll chow down on a spaghetti dinner.
Early to bed, because it’s up at 4 a.m. Saturday. We have to pack our bags and tote them over to the headquarters hotel, where they’ll be put in a team truck for delivery to our halfway stop in LaGrange, Texas. A shuttle bus will run us across I-10 to Tully Stadium, where the ride begins. With luck, we’ll be able to snarf down some breakfast tacos at Tully.
Our team was one of the top fund raising teams last year, so we get the fourth team starting spot. The start is at 6:45 a.m., so we’ll have to be on the bikes and ready to go at that time. It’ll be interesting to see just how the ride organizers herd everyone through the start and keep bikers from crashing into each other left and right.
We’re going to get wet. Depending on which forecast you read, the chance of rain is between 50-80 percent. I hate riding in the rain. But the rest of the day should be nice, with partly cloudy skies and a high in the mid-70sF.
I’m really looking forward to the ride, but I’m feeling some concern about it, too. I haven’t done nearly the prep miles I should have. But I do have that century under my belt, so I’m confident I know how to approach this endeavor. I’ll make it a point to draft more than I did in October, to make my ride a bit easier to handle. And when my bottom starts rebelling during the afternoon, I’ll know how to baby it to get it to the halfway point. First day’s ride is 99.6 miles, according to the ride map. I’ll pedal around the block to get that extra four-tenths of a mile.
I’m counting on being tired enough that night that sleep on a collapsible cot in a sleeping bag under a large group tent shouldn’t be an issue.
On Sunday, the hilly route into Bastrop awaits — I hope. Then it’s another 25 miles to Austin, where Mrs. Noob will be waiting — I hope. I’ll try to post a ride report Sunday evening. I’m pumped.
By the way, I am still soliciting donations to support my ride. It is to raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis, after all. If you’re interested, click here and follow the instructions. Or, you can wait to see if I finish the ride without having to sag in. If I do, you can donate then, if you like. The MS Society will take money for an additional month.