Day 1: McAllen to Alice
- The ride started with a touching ceremony, where we heard from a bone marrow recipient and his donor. It was truly touching. We were led out from United Blood Services at 7:30a by at least 6 motorcycle police, and several cars. My Pop is a retired officer, and I can tell you from experience that we were well escorted all the way to Edinburg.
- I rode with the 'elite' group, which was about 30 riders strong. We had sections where we picked it up to 25 MPH, and it seemed like we averaged 22 MPH. It was a great pace, and I felt strong the entire ride.
- I drank 24 oz of Nuun infused water about every 30 miles, plus another 24 oz of water. I ate solid food at each stop, although not too much. I backed that up with Clif Gels every 45 miles or so. I FELT GREAT.
- We finished early afternoon, maybe 3pm. It was hot, but I stayed cool by pouring water on my head whenver necessary. No overheating at all.
- We slept at a Best Western Executive Inn in Alice. I elected to use my sleeping pad, and slept so-so. But it was 'all good'.
- Dinner was the 3-meat plate from a local BBQ joint, followed by some not very good peach cobbler. But it all went down well.
- I received the "Good Attitude" award. Anyone that knows me knows I'm a hater, so I think this was rigged!
Day 2: Alice to San Antonio
- We got an early start, and departed at 6am. We saw a beautiful sunrise that some said looked like a cross, but to me looked like a mushroom cloud over Port Aransas. Why argue?
- We hit the gentle rollers that lead in to George West and Three Rivers, and you would think we were in the Alps. Everyone was stressing. I was a big talker, saying how they were nothing but rollers. Then on the steepest one, I shifted poorly and crossed up my chain, completely locking up the drive train. I had to stop to get it out of the bind. I felt like a goof...maybe that's not just a feeling?
- We rode on I-37. Yes, the interstate. I will strongly encourage the team that we take a different route next year. We had 5 flats from radial tire wire. We had a lot of close calls. We even saw one motorist run off the road into the median, all four tires in the grass. It was scary. But we made it.
- Around 1:30p, we stopped on the outskirts of San Antonio at Loop 1604. We had put in another 115 miles or so, and made great time. A bus picked us up and took us to the Methodist Children's Hospital in San Antonio for another touching ceremony.
- I honestly felt like I I had at least 50 more miles in my legs, maybe more. I felt great. No overheating, no nausea, no nothing. It was a very nice feeling.
All things considered, it was an absolutely great double century (plus). As with any major undertaking with 50+ participants (riders, SAG, families), it was a logistical nightmare. There were lessons learned, both good and bad. My thanks to the team officers and organizers, as I really had a great ride thanks to their efforts to support the riders. I'm looking forward to next year's ride, hopefully without any interstate miles!