Friday, September 28, 2012

Countdown to The Texas Time Trials' 12-hour, Tin Butt challenge

A couple of months after completing my first marathon, I set out to become comfortable cycling on the roads again. I wasn't certain what that would entail in February. But I knew I would do it.

Fast forward to May, I created a list of rides/rallies that would keep my butt on the bike and the wheels spinning in an effort to regain confidence after a wreck. I skipped some of those rides, but I stayed true to my word; I pedaled a bunch this summer, and now I'm pleased to say I'm a strong cyclist again.

But that's not the end of the story. The biggest challenge is yet to come, one I chose for myself in late July. It will start at 6 a.m. this Saturday when I clip in and ride 12 hours at The Texas Time Trials in Glen Rose. The looped course is about 26 miles — a route I've obsessed over for months. I've made two trips to the town to ride the course; so I feel comfortable with the rolling hills and the effort required. Beyond that, my training has included building my endurance on the bike, riding 100 miles half-a-dozen times and logging a 7-hour, 132-mile ride on some less-than-ideal roads similar to those in Glen Rose.

As I type this, it's the night before heading to Glen Rose, and my dining room is a crowded mess with so much gear. Shoes, jerseys, gloves, cleats, coolers, lights, tools, nutrition, etc. are packed into Ziploc bags that fill a plastic bin. It's way too much gear for 12 hours, but I've never ridden that long; so I'm prepared for anything.

What's more, Saturday is supposed to be rainy. Not as bad as snow and ice, but rain is something I didn't want to see on race day. However, I shouldn't be surprised. I have a history of lousy race-day weather (2011 White Rock Marathon, for one) and lousy training weather (remember that hail storm?). It all makes me think of a Travis song. But I won't complain. There's absolutely nothing I can do about it. All I can do is ride my hardest and smartest on the slick and fractured chipseal roads.

I most likely won't ride as many loops as I had hoped (you can monitor my progress here — bib no. 175), but I'm not discouraged. I'm excited. It's going to be a fun time. I'll get to ride with some incredible cyclists from around the world (many are riding 24 and 48 hours) and make new friends. And I will have the very best crew/Sherpa a guy could ever hope for.

I'm blessed, on the bike and off the bike. I am so appreciative to have the love and support of my friends and family. And once this goal is crossed off my list, I look forward to the next challenge, whatever that may be. All I know is it keeps getting better.

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