Here it is, my last day of preparation before leaving for Grinnell, Iowa and the “Meat Up” which is the official start of the Trans Iowa V8 festivities. I am very excited. I have been waiting for this moment for a few years, and the time has come to put myself to the test. It’s a long ride, and I am going to do my best to hold on to it for as long as I can. I have been constantly over thinking bike choices, gear, nutrition, physical preparation, weather. The time for all of those is over, all I can do now is ensure that I don’t leave anything important behind and keep my fingers crossed for good weather.
The weather is looking about as trustworthy as usual (not at all, today was supposed to be low 60’s and so-so, I took the day off to finish up race prep and rest and it turned out to be in the 70’s. Probably would have been a good day to serve tacos…but I did have some serious race prep to do…and I am fighting a cold. boohoo.) so I am packing for temps from 40+, anything below that and I will just have to ride harder to stay warm. No biggie, it’s not the first time that bridge been crossed. A very awesome friend of mine gifted me some white chocolate covered espresso beans, her favorite for distance running, and as I was re-packing them I realized I was down to 7 gel packs. Will this be enough? I think I would rather take my chances with gas station breakfast burritos than live off gels for two days. I think it will be enough. I was trying to figure out how to pack a cheesesteak in my gear, but decided that if the grease leaked out it would just become dog bait, and in turn I would be dog (enter meal for appropriate day part). Nutrition is about as covered as I can…I have some cashews and chomps, and a Four Loko, and some Fireball in a flask, and a few other things. Weather is checked off. Packing an extra pair of socks, and I learned during the Gents Race a few weeks back that my goddamn Shower’s Pass cadillac rain jacket is actually a great, comfortable piece of outer gear for racing/endurance riding. ramble ramble ramble.
I have the documentary “Ride The Divide” playing in the background for inspiration. Sure, the scenery is breathtaking, but what I am taking away for TIV8 is “hey, it’s only 300 miles” as opposed to 2,700 miles that those animals were chewing away at. I think the real lessons learned by watching are: Yes, your legs could swell up like two balloons (makes me think of the Wall). It’s okay to start making very little sense on camera at mile 2100. Don’t wear brand new shoes when riding long distances (Come ON). And the YOU WILL NOT FORGET LITTLE LARRY. Or so he says.
I am kind of kicking myself for not having an ipod or some such device. I guess this could be the ride that I finally give in and ride with music. I really love just observing nature, listening to its beauty, and making up freestlye songs about whatever I see. Sometimes I break out into Rod Stewart songs. This is why I ride solo most of the time. No one wants to hear terrible songs emanating from this beard. I DID rap the NWA straight outta compton album on a very long ride once. Well, as much as I could remember while dodging dogs and farm trucks…and a lot of it wasn’t in sequence. It’s a funny thing when you sing/rap a song by yourself then when you get to the end of the part you are on your brain magically forgets where to go and loops back to the beginning of the phrase you just finished. Look at the rambling. Evidently my brain is warmed up for riding because that is exactly what happens for my whole ride…
When you peel yourself from bed Saturday morning you should see at least one or two updates from the route. It’s going to be an exciting time, I am super pumped to see the men and women of TIV8 tomorrow, to get to see the premier of “300 Miles Of Dirt” the documentary filmed last year during TIV7, and to get out and grind the shit out of some gravel. Later, skaters. Fatty gotta get some rest.