Y'know- in yearspast I've done a far better job of tellin' y'all what's been goin' down @ the various Rides to Cure than I have this year.......but I promised Nicole (among others) that I'd get back into the swing of it (plus my complete inability to sleep beyond 7am EST) so.........here we are!
The Bike Room Crew of Jeremy "Berger"Berghorst, Patti "Pea" Bills and yours truly left GRR on Wed morning and in no time flat found themselves eating fish tacos in Reno. (el Pescadoro- recommended!) The drive to South Lake Tahoe was accomplished w/out further delay and we arrived @ the Embassy Suites (on the CA side thank God!) by 3:00-ish. Some of you may recall the endless whining and bitching about our accommodations in 2010 across the NV border @ the "MontPhew" Casino, (Derek still shows signs of the scarring, and he was only there 1/2 of the time!) so needless to say it was gratifying to drive right past that s-hole and across the street into CA!
That's literally how it works, by the way. The city of South Lake Tahoe is split in 2 by the line 'tween the 2 states ("State Line Road" - clever, no?) and you can literally walk across a narrow drive from the deck of our hotel and into what is basically Las Vegas. (Ewwwwwwww)
But I digress.............
We checked in (and I apparently immediatly lost the key to the dang rental van, but that's another tale) and discovered that our designated bike room wasn't gonna be "ours" 'til 5pm Thursday so we scoped out the place, determined that our shipment of tools and workstands had actually shown up, met the folks here @ the hotel that were destined to be our allies for the week and ....well...kinda chilled a bit.
I know, it seemed odd to us as well! Whatterya gonna do?
Thursday dawned bright and cool - exactly like the weather we left behind in the 616. Main Man Tommy (the bellhop-concierge-knows where all the bodies are buried-happens to be Type 1- gonna be our best asset dude) showed us our options as far as real estate (there's not really a space here that's ideal for both bike work and bike storage - we're kinda improvising) and we figured it all out. After breakfast we set up a temp Bike Room on the deck alongside the hotel and got to it.
FYI - this is a different kinda JDRF Ride in several ways: We are "piggy-backing" on an established ride (like Tucson) and we have 85 riders coming in. This will be the smallest RtC of the season. The ride is Tour de Tahoe (aka Bike Big Blue) and it'll have 2500-ish riders all together. The 2 route options are the 72 mile loop 'round the lake or the 36 mile ooption of takin' a sternwheel steamer from here up to the north side of the lake and then riding the 2nd half of the route. It's got some decent climbs, awesome views of the lake and despite the shorter distance the altitude (we're @ 6200+' here in town) makes it plenty challenging.
So - there's nothing not to like about spending the day wrenchin' bikes together on a perfect California day in the fresh air and sunshine! It's kind of a dang shame that we had to pack up and move inside but at least the Bike Room has lotsa windows (sorry Did!!) and direct access to the outside. We got about 25 bikes ready - there are 35-ish waiting for us down there as I type plus the riders (including our team mate Roy!) will start rollin' in today so productivity drops a bit as we hafta add "welcome commitee" and sometimes "tour director" to our list of duties.
Yeah, I know.....it stinks.
So - here we are. The circus is back in town and will be 'til we roll back towards Reno on Tuesday afternoon. (assuming I find that damn key - grrrrr!)
As usual I'm struck w' the feeling of how unlikely and wonderful this whole thing is - that 100+ people from all over the country are gonna be here united in one goal - and even more how fortunate I am to be allowed to take part. I'll never understand whay that is.........but I'm supremely grateful!
Almost as grateful as I am proud to be a part of a team with all y'all. (Tim St Clair will be here today - gotta git ma southern on!)
More later, I promise.
Friday, September 9, 2011