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Friday's air...


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Just because I'm still up... ;)

Went out to stare up at the moon and catch a glimpse of Mars. Took Andrew out to show him, opening a discussion of astronomy where he is obviously more knowledgeable than me. Luckily, I can remind him that he knows where Ursa Major is because I took the time to show him a million or so years ago. Had to drag him away from W.o.W., but he went easier than he has in a while. Teenagers...

Did I mention he started college this week? Amazing, huh?

No idea what the weather will be, but know I'm road-tripping with the parents, yee-haw!

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Good morning, everyone!

It's 64 degrees here! We haven't seen anything that cool in quite a few months. It's looking like Hotter 'N Hell Hundred won't be hotter 'n hell at all this year.

I'm off work today, but didn't go fishing, Judy. Sunday will be fishing day this weekend. Today, I'm packing up and heading to Wichita Falls with a friend, around noon. The largest consumer bike show in this part of the country will be at the Wichita Falls Convention Center, ahead of Hotter 'N Hell Hundred. I never buy much there, but it's a blast to attend.

Yes, Eric, you should come and ride next year. People come from all over; I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one from outside the US. It's an amazing event. It's such a sight to see the start of the ride. US Air Force jets fly over, a cannon is fired, and 14,000 cyclists take off.

And the way the community supports this event is unbelievable. Where I'm staying tonight is a perfect example. As you might guess, motels have been booked up for months. And you have to reserve for two nights, so staying in a motel makes it an expensive event. I'll be staying in the gym of a church's community center. They mark off the gym into sections where you can "camp out". You bring a mattress or cot and sleep there. Showers are provided, both before and after the ride. There is $5 pizza this evening, and a free breakfast before the ride in the morning. There's also free ice, and use of microwave ovens. It's just a mile or so from the ride start, so after breakfast, you just ride over to it. The charge for this? Nothing! The church accepts donations, but that's it.

Besides providing jets for the fly over, Edwards Air Force Base participates in a big way, too. All the ride routes except for the 100 mile route go through the base. They line the road with aircraft, and hundreds of airmen who applaud as you go by. I've always done the 100 mile route, so I've never seen this, but many riders are really moved by it, saying that they feel like they should stop and applaud the airmen, rather than the other way around.

And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of stories like this about the event. I've never seen an area put so much into an annual event as Wichita Falls does for this one. The area is so into it that when the new expressway overpasses were built through town, the sculptures in the concrete on the side of the overpasses are bicycles.

I won't be posting until I get back tomorrow afternoon, so wish me luck. Here's wishing everyone a good weekend. Have a great day, all!

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just caught this one. Bud hope the ride is amazing. It sounds like a really big deal and how cool that you are healthy enough to ride 100 miles! What a blessing.

Had a hectic Friday so I didn't get in here to post. It was a good hectic, but busy none the less.

Judy in MI

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