Time was on our side for a long time, but now it officially isn't. There is a nearly endless list of things that need to be checked and rechecked, permissions to be gotten, forms to be filled out, contacts to be made, info to be passed, etc. The major stakes are in the ground. The permit has been in hand for a while, the insurance is dealt with, the County is all behind what we're doing, the sponsors are on board and happy. We lucked into some unbelievable good fortune on housing for volunteers, which took a huge question mark and turned it into one of the coolest things happening around the race. Team leadership has given the assurance that while it would be better if we didn't lose money, the race is NCVC's 40th birthday present to MABRA and if we lose money we lose money but let's just have a cool race and worry about that. If more than 200 people race, we'll be just fine on the budget. The t-shirts are freaking awesome, bottles come in soon and they should be no less cool.
We finally (today) got official permission to use the property we wanted for the finish line and feed zone. We had alternatives in case things didn't work out, but they did. Our finish line comes with electric, water, and toilets, so that's a huge boon. The officials stationed there won't have to drop trou in the bushes.
The many partners and benefactors of this race have been unbelievable. Even if the registration numbers so far have been sort of "meh," the enthusiasm shown by the people who've been involved has been astonishing. I think at this point that the people who've gotten involved enough to have an idea of what it's all going to be like when it's put together are really rallying around that idea. The people who haven't yet got that vision haven't gotten it, and that's cool too. Hopefully they'll come out and be electrified by the thing.
With three weeks or so to go, I realized one of the regrets that I have about the process so far, and that's that I wish I had spent more time out there. It's so easy to be in the city or somewhere else doing something else and let myself get freaked out by stuff that's either going on or not going on with the race. Then we went out there on Friday and took a drive around the course and up to the Barn and had an awesome dinner at The Guest House (the ribs are freaking outstanding and between 7 of us we said "yes" to the dessert menu) and had a great time. My wife had never been out there, I think maybe she was doubtful about any of the crap that was happening. Like maybe it was some elaborate rouse and I was really just visiting a "dear, dear friend" whenever I went out there. She loved it. I've already gotten real estate listing emails from her today.
Keeping a promise I made to myself long ago, when this thing first started, I did manage to get some miles in while I was out there. Saturday the missus and I got out for a short bit. I could have done a better job with the route but wanted to keep it a little short and confined. Every time we've ridden out there before it's like "find the biggest hills and the sickest descents and charge em." This time it was all about the quiet rolling country roads. I get like maybe a B- on that. Anyhow, maybe she's not totally sold on road bikes but I don't know, we'll give it another shot.
Sunday got me with the weather once again. I'm bad luck. I thought I was being wicked wise by bringing a wind vest - you know, in case it was cool. I wound up with double socks, plastic bags in the shoes, the vest, the gloves, the jacket I borrowed from Jay. It wasn't warm out, and it was raining. Soda and I trekked it up the front side and down the back side, then up the back and down the front. Kid can straight up bomb on the short crusty descents. How is it possible to get twanged on a climb by someone with incredible descending balls? Fortunately the backside switchbacks suit my descending style and I was able to regain some face. That climb is also a straight "up" piece of work, with no little valleys to bomb down. With the advantage of not having traded shots with Brig and Erin and Jay for 70 miles the day before, I made it back up to the Barn with my arms in the air.
It's weird to do those climbs in midsummer shape, and also not having 60 or 70 miles and a bunch of climbs in your legs. This spring I remember that the 25 really didn't want to turn over up the backside (compact cranks), but this time the 23 was just Kool and the Gang. Whenever it got sticky I just stood and got over on that bish.
I have a new hero in life. He's half chihuahua. His name's Gary.
Sign up for the race. It's going to be awesome and you'll be pissed if you miss it.