Right now I’m sitting at South Patomac Church in La Plata, MD. The first day was awesome! Before I bore you with the details, here’s a picture dump from my phone.
My selfie game was on point! Anyway, this morning we started in the inner harbor right next to the USS Constellation. We did some send off ceremonies and then set out on our ride. We rode a little over 60 miles today. For you Marylanders, we took route 2 out of the city, hopped on route 3, then took 301 all the way down to La Plata. There were a few backroads mixed in there too. I had a blast! Here’s a link to the GPS route from my watch: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/512066378. (Please let me know if the link is broken) 4k alumni were there today and only today to guide us. They rode with us and drove the vans so no one on the team had to miss out on the first day of riding. They were AWESOME! They got us TONS of food. We had Chipotle, salads, sandwiches, Arby’s, fresh breadsticks, cajun chicken, apples, twizzlers, oreos, carrots, and probably more that I’m forgetting. And it was all donated to us! We ate very well thanks to them and we still have a good stock of food leftover. The alumni have since left, and now it’s up to us!
A couple interesting things about today: I almost ran over a black garden snake that was slithering across the road. The ride was mainly flat with some rolling hills. The roads we were riding on were sometimes a little scary with all the cars, but in general all of the drivers were very aware and courteous. And the main attraction was that I shredded a tire.
I noticed that my wheel wasn’t riding straight around mile 40. Then we had a water stop at mile 48. I looked and I had a bulge in my tire because there was a little slit in the exterior rubber. I only had 12 miles left of the ride so I figured it might last. Mile 52 rolls around and there’s a deafening POP! I blew out my tube.
With a hole in the tire and tube, I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, the alumni rider that was with us told me an awesome tip! I took a new tube and put it in the damaged tire, but put an energy bar wrapper inbetween the tire and the tube to protect it. I was able to ride on the damaged tire for the last 8 miles of the day! Needless to say, my Gatorskin tires are already on my bike ready for tomorrow.
When we got to the host, almost immediately we drove the vans to a nearby college to take showers in their locker rooms. When we got back to the church where we are staying, our lovely hosts had a TON of food set up for us! We got to make our own tacos and there was chili too. We couldn’t eat it all despite the fact that it was absolutely delicious!
Now it’s time to go to bed and wake up at 5:30AM tomorrow morning! I’m super pumped. Today was everything I had hoped. My teammates are wonderful. I played outside all day. I got to fix some people’s bikes for them (I’m the team mechanic). I’m not sore. I’m in good spirits. I stayed hydrated and fed. I didn’t get sunburned! I got sick tanlines just from the first day (pictures coming later) and I can’t wait to make ’em worse!
Remember! Text me! Facebook me! Comment on my blog! Ask me questions! I’d love to hear from you. (But remember my phone will be in airplane mode while I ride so I might not get back to you until later)