Well, I'm here in Houston and looking forward to the big ride Saturday. Big, as in 13,000 riders big. The Houston MS150 ride is the largest in the US and I am really looking forward to it. As I mentioned before, an aunt of mine has recently been diagnosed with MS, so the ride takes on more than just a little personal significance for me. I will be riding with extra motivation and energy in the legs thanks to her. My aunt Joan is very dear to me and was like a second mother to me while my mother and stepfather were living in Italy for three years. For a number of years, I worked for the same company as my uncle (who is one of the greatest friends I've ever had as well) and we would frequently have lunch, the three of us. So I will be thinking a lot about Joan during the ride tomorrow and likely sharing stories about her with other folks riding for people they love too. That is one of the best parts of rides like these- you get the chance to share with others the things that motivate you. I really like that part...
Houston is hot right now, even with the "cold front" blowing through. Temps are in the upper 80's and the humidity is probably a little higher, so it feels mighty warm. I got in to the hotel and had a quick, though very late lunch, answered a bunch of emails and then put the bike together and went for a little 2 hour ride around the city to get the legs loose after sitting on a couple planes and walking through a couple airports. Traveling just tears me up, though I love doing it. I always feel much, much better if I can get a ride in and get the legs moving and stretched out a bit.
Today, I planned to ride nice and early before heading off to do "the dog and pony show" of selling bikes, but it was pouring rain sideways so hard it sounded like hail. On top of that, the thunder and lighting were insane! I love real weather like this, but I am now such a SoCal "it never rains here" rider that I couldn't motivate myself to ride. Besides, I'll be riding something like 80 miles tomorrow anyway.
Since I should be off to the stores soon, I should probably get in that last cup of coffee and brush the teeth. If I don't get the chance to post again for a few days, I'll at least try to get lots of good pictures during the ride on Saturday and provide reports on the barbecue.