This is it.

So, today begins the rest of the summer for me. Two days ago, we got the license plates for the trip van. Yesterday, I cut my hair shorter than I ever have before. Today is my last day at work, and my last day in Brooklyn for some time. Tomorrow, I will ride to Boston in one day, culminating three years of preparation. On Sunday evening, we'll begin to prepare for the arrival of the Bike & Build riders on Wednesday. Then, I'll spend ten weeks cycling west before spending another week driving east. After the summer, I'll resume studies at MIT, hopefully completing a Master's degree within a year.

I'm most concerned about doing that Intercity ride to Boston. I've been "tapering" this week, meaning I haven't done any riding since Sunday. The last ride I did, the aforementioned ice cream ride, saw me riding at an average speed of 15 MPH with an average heart rate of 89 BPM. I'm confident that my cardiovascular system can do this. I just don't know if I'll be comfortable on my bicycle for 18-20 hours of riding, or if Dave will last that long. I hope this works.

I'm concerned about this Bike & Build trip. I'm not worried about myself, as I know what to expect. I'm worried about everyone else. I already know of two riders who have sustained injuries, and the trip has yet to begin. I'm wary of people's abilities to ride their bicycles, as always. I'm also worried about finding places to stay in Barstow and Santa Paula, CA, about that unconfirmed Bloomington mail drop, and about making sure nothing else falls through. It seems some other trips on the road now are already up to their ears in issues. My hope is that strong, competent leadership will help avoid many issues, and lead to a safe and pleasant summer. I just hope that the leadership will indeed have strength and competence. I want the riders to help us help them, by taking responsibility, showing maturity and flexibility, and not complaining. Jane has done an excellent job of doing exactly this, better than me in fact, and I hope other riders follow her excellent example.

My goals for this summer are to make sure everyone completes the trip without injury, to get enough rest, and to stay in a good mood. Riding unbelievably fast is a given.