|The front of the shirt-it glows in the dark!|
Last year was our first time to participate. We had so much fun that when I got an email at the end of May saying registration was open I immediately signed us up. Since that time we've received regular updates, with a large flurry of information coming the last few weeks.
Thursday we picked up our t-shirts and ride numbers at a nearby bike shop. Last night about the time I'm usually thinking about packing it in for the night we got in the car to drive downtown. We got to the start/finish area a couple of hours before the ride began, and had time to check out the vendor tents, get our picture taken, and listen to the band that was playing.
This year we knew more about the procedures, so we headed towards the starting point earlier and ended up at the back of the first wave of riders to be released. Once we started, the pack was so slow-moving for almost one block it was easier for me to walk my bike than to ride it. However, once we made the first turn we could use all four lanes of the street and the group spread out.
The route went in a different direction, but just like last year the side streets were all blocked off and each had a volunteer standing by to keep traffic at bay. A couple of miles into the ride all bike traffic stopped to let a firetruck and ambulance go by. I heard a rumor the emergency vehicles were for a rider who had taken a turn too quickly and injured themselves, but that was never verified. After 15 minutes of waiting they let us resume.
There were two ride options. The short version was almost 10 miles miles, and the longer was a little over 18 miles. We chose the abbreviated one, and turned off the main route when told to. About an hour and fifteen minutes after we got going we saw the 'finish' sign and knew our ride was over.
Five years ago today: Pop Goes The Bubble