Today was another good day. We’ve been having a lot of solid good days in a row and it’s really helping our moods and team morale! Here are some pictures that I took mostly from the van:

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Wow. I just fell asleep while these were uploading and now I have about an hour until we wake up and head out. Hah! Anyway. This morning we got our stuff together and left Austin. I slept in a little longer than everyone else because I was in the van and my job was to pack everyone’s duffels (which is the last thing that happens). Plus, the food van leaves the host after all of the riders leave and does a final walk through to make sure that no one left anything and that the host is left clean.

Kirk and I did that and then we got in the van and started looking for food! Brianne joined us in the van due to her injury and was a HUGE help to both of us! We wanted to get a little breakfast for the team even though they had pancakes at the host. We got turned down from a few places at first, but then we scored! We walked into Krispy Kreme and immediately the three of us were handed three donuts to sample. Naturally we asked for more for our team and were able to get three dozen donated! We dropped them off at the first water stop and then were on our way! We listened to awesome music. There was new stuff I had never heard, stuff I introduced to Kirk and Brianne, and stuff we all knew!

There’s not much on the way to Lampasas, TX, but we stopped a few general stores and had no luck with donations. We did get two bags of ice donated at one of the stores which ended up being the second water stop. From there, we booked it into Lampasas where there would be a lot more food options. The first food place in Lampasas was Bush’s Chicken. We walked in and asked for donations and they decided to donate 150 fried chicken tenders, 15 sides, 50 dinner rolls, and 4 gallons of tea! SCORE! We thanked them profusely and then went to find food for our vegetarians and allergy people. After getting turned down from a couple of places, we were able to get two orders of eggplant parmesan and a dairy-free salad from an Italian restaurant. We also got some dairy-free subway. All in all, food van did work today. The whole team was really happy.

We met the team at our host around 12:30. They were in high spirits and said the ride was awesome. I could only imagine. Driving to Lampasas, the ride looked pretty cool. Jeremy and Taylor tag teamed my GPS watch and did a stellar job! Here is the GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/536260236. Notice the high moving average speed despite the fact that there were hills and our elevation increased a LOT today. Our team is getting stronger! We had a little bit of a setback today though when one rider went down and another crashed into them. Everyone is healthy and okay, but now we have a couple extra bumps and bruises and even 9 stitches courtesy of the hospital. (Rear cassettes are SHARP!)

Our host today is First United Methodist Church and they could not be nicer! We have musical instruments to play and even a bunch of couches and cots! Kirk, Simon, Max, and I jammed a little when we got there. Kirk was on guitar, Simon on bass, Max on drums, and I was on the keyboard! It was a really fun time. We then decided to go to the springs Lampasas is famous for. We ended up at Hancock pool which is fed by the natural spring. It looks and feels almost like a community pool, but at one end, there’s a well with water pouring in, and at the other a drain where water returns to the spring! The water is really clear and a tad cold. We attmpted some underwater pictures without too much success:

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That’s Taylor, Allison, and I. For some reason we always end up hanging out together. The three of us are just happy campers that get along like champions! Something interesting is that in the second picture on the far right, you can see my leg. No, that is not a white swim suit, it is in fact my glorious tanline. I think there are some other underwater pictures and even video’s of us laying out (read: belly flopping) over the water to catch a frisbee. I’ll try to get them posted when I can.

When we arrived back at the host, dinner was served. We had massive amounts of Subway catered for us and even leftover fried chicken from lunch. After eating, it was still early and we had not much to do, so we decided to get haircuts! Jeremy had brought clippers and this is how we ended up:

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I guess this is what happens when you’re bored in Lampasas. That’s Max, Danny, Kevin, Aaron, myself, and Jeremy. We had a grand party in the guys bathroom shaving everyone’s heads and laughing at the results.

After haircuts, it was bike maintenance time! I needed to clean my bike, lube my chain, put some new stickers on, and wrap new handlebar tape! My tape lasted me half of the trip and over 2000 miles so I’m pretty happy with that. It was really dirty and starting to unravel. Here’s a picture of the old dirty tape:

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And here’s a picture of my new wrap job:

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Still keeping it orange! We also got some new gear from 4k in memory of Jamie Roberts. We all got tshirts and an iron-on patch with the same logo:

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The shirt are also available on 4k’s website to buy and all proceeds go to Jamie’s fundraising page for the 4k!

One more thing about today. A blog post from a previous 4k rider was brought to my attention and it is an absolute gem. Pure gold. It was written on day 18 of the Portland ride from 2012. These are the days of struggle when long rides are kicking in, the team doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet and you’re having some bad days. It was nice to read and know that everyone goes through the same silly struggles. It is written beautifully and I just had to share it. It’s called “A day in the life” and despite the good day’s we’ve been having, this post is spot-on to the days we’ve had in the past. Here’s the link: http://4kforcancer.org/blog/a-day-in-the-life-2/. PLEASE take the time to read it. It’s a little long, but is hilarious, and definitely worth your time.

I apologize if anyone reads these at night right after I post them and I hope that no one wakes up earlier than this to read my blogs in the morning. I will be promptly be going back to sleep now until a few minutes when we wake up and start to head out. I don’t know where we’re going but its 75 miles. Remember to comment on my stuff and tell me if you’re the one from Germany, Mexico, or Australia!

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