Well - here goes! Best wishes to ALL competitors this weekend - be it Ring of Fire or Hoodoo or something else. I've been hearing a lot of chatter about ROF this year - a lot of new folks - and a lot of folks who are challenging themselves to go further or faster than they've gone before. Hopefully just the right amount of pressure to keep everyone on their toes and at their best!
Folks I'm looking forward to seeing - gosh, EVERYONE! - but especially some folks who are traveling quite a ways to get here and race for their first time - Lew, Chris, and Brian.
Brian already stopped by Bike Friday on his way up to Eugene. He's looking great - the summer of training has put him in a really good place, I'd say! - and he seems relaxed and ready. He's doing a 2-person team with Mark B., who's done more crazy things already this summer than one can count - and that's just the ones I know about.
Everyone else, I'll see tomorrow - unless I get to Maupin after you're in bed, which will be the case if you're smart (hint!).
I'm feeling pretty calm. I know that I've got a big job to do - 168 miles is going to be a tough one, but I'm putting that number up on the wall and shooting at or above it. I'm looking at this race as a good indicator of how far I've come on a racing recumbent since Lewis and Clark, waaaaaaay back in May, and how far I have to go to get ready for RAAM, a mere 9 months from now (aaaack!)
I've talked to some folks who are way more nervous than I am - but in some ways probably far better prepared. Chalk it up to experience? Or maybe the Race Across Oregon endorphins haven't quite faded, yet? Or maybe because it's "just" a 12-hour race I'm not as mentally daunted...but on the other hand most of my problems in RAO came in the first 12 hours. Suffice it to say that Robert will have his hands full, crewing.
The weather looks good - as close to perfect as one could imagine. We might even get a mile or two of tailwind!
After my 12 hours is up, look for me at the start/finish. I'll be the tired-looking woman handing out York Peppermint Patties...and quite possibly sipping sake (but you can't have any of that 'till you're done racing).
In the end, Ring of fire is a "sink or swim" race - hopefully no one ends up as shark bait:
Here's to a safe passage through the Ring of Fire.....