I wanted to capture some of my Big Ride expectations before I actually started. What do I think will happen on the ride and then compare it to what actually occurs.
I fully expect the first week to be hard. The first day will probably go well because I will be rested, and the day will be just like a century ride, only shorter by 10 miles. The excitement of the first day will also make it go quickly. However, I expect the second day, with the newness of riding gone, and the muscles of the leg fatigued from the first day, will be difficult. Then there is the third day followed by the fourth day before we get a rest day. Advil, here I come.
I expect to eat at small diners across the country and love the food. Forget the gourmet experience, I will focus on the gourmand.
I expect to have problems in the heat and humidity. Being a wimpy California native sets me up for these h&h days. Drinking lots of fluids without bathroom breaks will be my clue to drink more.
I expect to have lots of flat tires and will use lots of cuss words. While I talked earlier in my blog about my great wheels and tires, there is one large issue I did not mention. The tires barely fit on the rims. Manufacturers of tires are not consistent with their diameters, nor are the makers of rims. I have the combo of smallish tires on biggish rims. I change tubes on tires quiet often (I fix flats on a regular basis at REI)so you would expect I would have some skill in this task, but taking off my tire and putting it back on is a herculean task only made possible with appropriate grunts and swear words.
I expect to set up my tent in the rain and even hail. I expect to have to exit my tent in the middle of the rainy nights to recycle the excess fluid I drank during the day to avoid dehydration.
I expect to meet a lot of wonderful people who will share great stories with me. I do not expect any propositions.
I fully expect to have a great experience, but not a life changing experience. I had a chance a couple of years ago when I went in for a double bypass to think deeply about what I should change in my life. My epiphany was that I did not have an epiphany. I decided I was very satisfied with where I am (others may not agree), and except for the minor regrets we all have (I wish I had not been afraid of getting hit by a fastball in Little League), I felt good about my life. My philosophy of Family first, fun second, everything else follows, seems to work. I have a great family: beautiful wife who is incredibly capable and supportive, and because she is so well liked, gets me invited along with her to all of the events, and two beautiful daughters who besides making me proud every day, have these incredible personalities which light up everyone and everything around them.
I expect to be homesick. I have never been gone for this long from the family. Skyping and phoning will hopefully bridge the gap.
I expect to become friends with my fellow riders. I expect they will ask me at the end of the ride to never call them again.
I will next post after I have actually ridden on the first day when I am still filled with energy. I expect I will be a little slow posting after the second day.