My ride report for the "Tour of Italy" 09:
Teresa and I left Linden on Friday morning and headed to Waco where we were to spend the night with Robert, a friend from school, and then the next morning Robert and I would go to the bike ride while Teresa went shopping.
We had a nice trip to Waco, picked up a Watermelon and Cantelope in Gilmer and found some used books at a bookstore in Athens.
We arrived in Waco around 1pm, found Roberts house with no problems, kicked back and visited a bit.
After a little while we decided to venture out and look around Waco, sightseeing and locating some stores for Teresa so she would know which direction to head for some good shopping on Saturday morning.
While riding around a couple of things of interest that we spotted are in photos below.
First was the Gorilla, apparently the lady who lives in this house decorates, including repainting, the gorilla for the different seasons, it's actually got to be quite an attraction for Waco.
I read a lot of early American history so I also enjoyed seeing the "Cotton Castle", started in 1906 and finished in 1910, pretty neat.
So after some sightseeing we return to the house and Robert and I get the bikes out and take a little ride just to make sure bikes don't surprise us in any way on Saturday morning.
Saturday morning was interesting, we awoke at 4:30 am and starting getting ready, Teresa was fixing us breakfast when she discovered the stove top wasn't working and she's got the eggs ready to scramble, what to do now.
Robert suggests we put them on the grill in the backyard, Robert fires up the grill and we proceed to make grilled scrambled eggs in the backyard and then it really gets interesting when the sprinkler system kicks on, this is the way I like to start ride day, gets the blood going.
The eggs turned out fine and we also had some Cantelope and then after finally getting it together we're off to Italy, about an hour away.
The ride to Italy was uneventful and we arrived in Italy about 7am, it's a really small town, I think that the population probably trippled on ride day. It was amazing seeing all the action in Italy cars with bikes everywhere, there were still people coming in after the ride started, it was pretty crazy.
Even with all the people everything went really smooth, registration was quick and hassel free and there were plenty of treats.
Robert hasn't had a chance to ride as much as I have so he decided to do the 30 mile and I decided I'd do the 40 mile, and my goal, which I kept to myself, was to catch Robert before we finished, as the 40 mile and 30 mile joined back together befor the finish.
We head down to the start and there are bikes everywhere, around 1200 riders lining up for the start, I get a couple of pics and then were off.
As we started I managed to get up near the front, and then we were rolling, warm, humid, windy but we did have a few clouds at the start, but they didn't last long enough.
One thing I like about a ride with this many people is your sure to find some folks of like ability to ride with so I had a lot of fun pulling and being pulled, there were some really good riders and everything was really smooth.
As I got to the 20 mile reststop I was feeling pretty good but stopped and had a little gatorade, a banana and got some ice for my water bottle and then I was off.
After I left the reststop I immediately encountered the turnoff for the 40 milers, as I took the turnoff and started riding I realized I couldn't see anyone in front of me but I kept riding, I looked behing me and no riders, Oh shit am I lost again, and finally I see a rider in the distance ahead of me, I've got a rabbit.
So now I know I'm on the right track so I work on catching the rider in front of me and I slowly start making a little progress, then something funny happens, a first.
A vehicle with bikes pulls up beside the rider in front of me and a guy gets out of the vehicle and gets on a bike and proceeds to join the other rider, what the hell?, that's not fair, anyways my rabbit go away.
I make it to the next reststop, it's where the 40 milers joing the 30milers, I'm wondering, had Robert already passed thru or not.
I get me some ice, an orange slice and a plum and I decide Robert has probably passed thru so I'm off.
This part of the ride is pretty nice since the wind is mainly behind us and I keep catching and passing the 30 milers looking for Robert.
I keep this up until just before the finish as we're entering town and then I see Robert up ahead, I holler, "You better go Boy, cause I'm coming", I see Robert do a double take, he realizes it's me, he stands in the pedals and starts his sprint, I catch him, it made my day.
Teresa really helped make the weekend special, from the Chicken Spaghetti she made that we took along to the care she took of me and Robert over the weekend, plus Robert got a little house cleaning out of the deal.