Welp, less than two weeks between me and 500 miles of fun!
And, to be honest, I'm not even really that concerned about it, which is REALLY out of character for me. I guess lately I've been putting things more in perspective - it is, after all, JUST A BIKE RIDE. That may be a slight over-simplification, but after this last weekend with my father being in the ICU at the hospital (still there as I write this, actually - but getting better) , and various other family things happening, this huge bike ride is nothing to get anxious about. If anything, it should provide me a WHOLE lot of "me time", to continue thinking about the big picture, and such. In the process of figuring things out, I'll get a major dose of self-worth when it's all said and done. I plan to finish - nothing more. I make no promises about how fast I'll finish, or how I'll eat, or what my off-bike strategery will be -- I just plan to finish. There is a 48-hour cutoff, and I'm treating it like a brevet - because that's the kind of ride I am. And, taking the math into consideration, with 48 hours to work with, I only have to average slightly faster than I would on a traditional ACP brevet to complete the task. I think I can manage 10.4 MPH for a couple days. Of course, I'll be faster than that ON the bike -- what it means is I'll have plenty of time to sleep if I need to, eat when I need to, and ENJOY the event. There are far more talented people there that will finish ridiculously fast, with crew and all helping along; and that's FANTASTIC for them -- I look up to them -- but I'm no longer trying to BE them, or BEAT them. All I have to do it beat MYSELF at the mental wresting match that will, certainly, have me up against the ropes of self-worth and consititution at least three of four times during the course of the journey. No biggie. I have a LOT to pull from that will keep me moving. I won't bore you with it here: I'm saving it for the road around Cleburne, Texas.
I'm also following these basic packing techniques:
I owe this one to the Warbird: how to pack for a REALLY long ride:
Step 1) open duffle bag.
Step 2) insert EVERY last ribbon of cycling clothing you own.
Step 3) close bag.
That oughta cover it.
Food? Bring EVERYTHING. You never know what you'll be hungry for. Just have stuff to eat and drink. Good stuff. Slow-burn stuff. And some SE. Don't pre-mix ANYTHING.
Bike? Just ride it. Bring some tools, and some spare tubes, maybe an extra tire. If things get THAT bad, it wasn't meant to be anyways - and it's just a bike ride.
Don't bring a spare bike - don't stress the small stuff. If you maintain your bike well enough, you know what you need to know, and you've seen what you need to see. Ride. That's it. Just RIDE.
The entry fee is paid, the check cleared, and the T-shirt is waiting for me.
Time to get this thing DONE, so I can go on some coffee rides and stop training.
Next year -- brevets ONLY. It's a Paris year, baby. I don't know if I'm going yet - so don't ask me - but I'm at least gonna qualify. If I can pull off 800K in 48 hours, certainly I can pull off 600K in 40 hours next May.
And if I can't make Paris -- there's a lot of 1200K's stateside I can hit, and I'll feel JUST as good about things!
So, wish me luck, and we'll see you in the Lone Star State in 13 days!!!
Roll the 500, baby!!!!