This morning I wrote on Facebook, “calm before the storm.” That sentiment seemed to fade with each hour of the day. By 2:00 PM, the planned departure time, I was edgy and ready to go. With a dog, two boys, and certainly too much bike crap to coordinate, getting out of town took much longer than planned. Once we hit the road, we struggled through heavy, stop-and-go traffic all the way across town. It was so congested, the boys finished one complete movie before we were out of the city. ZOIKES!
Traffic loosened up once we passed Gardner, and then it was smooth sailing. The boys watched Kung Fu Panda while Traci and I chatted about random road-trip subjects. We arrived in Emporia at 5:30, an hour and half later than we planned, and headed straight to the host hotel to register and grab a goody bag. I walked in the door and took a double take; was I in the right place? I didn’t see the expected pre-race scene. Instead, all I saw was gray hair and saggy skin. The lobby was crammed full of geriatrics. Once I got passed the initial shock, I noticed that registration was just beyond the lobby.
Shout out to the organizers for running a smooth show and to Salsa for hooking us up with stickers, water bottles, and other cool swag. I hope I grabbed enough Chamois Butt’r!
The guy in front of me was from California. The organizer mentioned that another racer traveled from Florida. Guess this qualifies as a national event now. I can’t wait to see how many show up tomorrow morning.
Dinner was a bust. The boys were amped after being in the car for too long and couldn’t still, and the food was just short of nasty. Traci even commented that the Golden Corral across the street would be better. We picked Montana Mike’s because it was next to our hotel and it serves up plenty of protein and fresh veggies. That is, most of them do. It seems a 17-year-old was running this kitchen because everything was drowned in butter and salt, and the veggies were cooked just short of mush. Yum. Who knows; the extra salt and fat might be a secret weapon for tomorrow. Only time will tell.
Tonight, my nerves have settled quit a bit. All that’s left is the racer’s meeting, sleep, and a ho’lotta pedaling. More to come…