This evening, I caught myself staring blankly at the computer screen, paying no mind to what I was doing. I realized that I had been daydreaming — my mind off somewhere in the sunny future, watching myself ride and ride in a “must-do” event.
Actually, I wasn’t that far off in the distance. I was thinking about the MS 150 coming up in April. It’s got to be one of the premier biking events for me. I’m looking forward to it, and am already getting apprehensive that I haven’t been putting in the miles I need to to get ready for it.
The MS 150 runs from Houston to Austin over two days. It’s really 180 miles — 100 the first day and 80 the second. The organization of the ride is super-efficient.
Thinking about the ride takes me back to a recent letter from reader Bill Wood of Ft. Collins, Colorado. “I’m going to ride in Italy some day,” said Bill, who, after pounding the pavement as a runner in the ’90s and the Oh-ohs, is rediscovering the joys of road biking. Bill wants to know what big cycling events we’d like to do — if not this year, then sometime.
Having lived many years in Minnesota, I’m well aware of RAGBRAI — The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, one of the grandaddies of cross-state tours. I would love to take a stab at that sometime, complete with the ritual dipping of the front tire in the Mississippi River when the ride is done. That’s a ride I first thought of doing 25 years ago, when I just rode my bike casually around the neighborhood. I never acted on my thought, though — maybe it’s time to put RAGBRAI on my Bucket List.
If things work out right, I’ll even have a chance to meet Bill this summer. He’s coming to Texas for the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, and I’m planning on riding in that one, too. It’s a flattish century ride, but temperatures in late summer can be over 100°F (38°C). However, it’s also a Happening, if you’ll forgive the ’60s expression, with around 11-12,000 cyclists at the event.
So, what better way to spend a chilly, dark winter night than thinking about rides you’d like to do? What’s a “must-do” event for you? What tour, event, or location would you ride if nothing stood in your way? Go ahead and comment here, or shoot me an email, and I’ll compile everyone’s thoughts.
A dream ride gives us a goal to shoot for, and it’s still early enough in the year to be setting goals.