Day Forty: Drive to Amarillo. Steak and oysters.

I drove the van today, and as a result, missed out on a century of riding into a hot headwind up a continuous 0.25% grade. Jane was doing exceptionally and unusually well today, gapping the group by about an hour into the first lunch stop. By the second lunch stop, her lead had dwindled to about 15 minutes since she was pulling into the wind all alone. She still managed to be the first rider to arrive, after a strong effort. Well done, Jane! Unfortunately, the PowerTap had run out of batteries, so we don’t have power data for her fastest century yet.

After having the most delicious chicken I’ve ever had (grilled over mesquite wood) at our host site, the Amarillo Habitat for Humanity Chapter, we went to the famous Big Texan restaurant. An original Route 66 attraction, the Big Texan is best known for its 72 oz steak challenge. If you can eat the steak, a potato, a salad, and the shrimp within the span of 60 minutes, it’s yours free. Jorge tried, and ate all but 9.8 oz of the steak. We applauded him for trying.

I also tried Mountain Oysters. As the restaurant’s menu quipped, “if you think this is seafood, stick with the shrimp.” They weren’t too bad, really, they just tasted like fried generic meat product.

This evening's events, and the following events, marked a significant downturn in the trip for me.

On account of my no alcohol policy, I ended up driving the van shuttles back from the Big Texan. I would find out somehow, without my noticing, a group of five people managed to transport alcohol in the van. This is a major policy violation. Come on, people. Fill me with pride, not shame.

I was very upset when I learned about this happening. I was even more upset to know that another leader could have helped to avoid the entire situation.