Last Friday, I watered the plants, cleaned the coop, make sure the hens had enough food and water for a few days, double checked the timer on their automatic door, and then headed to Houston for the weekend. Early Saturday, YC woke me up to a surprisingly cold April dawn, and we headed down to the starting point of the BP MS 150. For those of y’all who aren’t familiar with MS 150s, they are 150-mile long bike rides for riders of all skill levels, speeds, ages and styles who garner sponsorships for their ride. All the money raised then goes to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to fund support, research, and awareness campaigns.
Truth be told, I was a bit of a nervous nelly on the drive out to my start point in Waller, TX, just outside of Houston. It has been on my to-do list to really train hard for this ride, but between school and the yard and the house, there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for that. So before setting out on this 150-mile-bike ride with 13,000 other rides, I had not ridden any training rides over 20-miles or trained on any hills or ridden any rides with more than a couple of other riders. Ever.
For a flatland Louisiana girl who spends most of her time in the same gear, I got over my dislike of switching gears pretty quickly. I also got over my fear of riding with massive amounts of people. The hills were brutal (my quads still burn every time I stand up and sit down), and oh-dear-me the saddle soreness. But (amazingly… miraculously?) I finished all ~142 miles of it! (I didn’t do the super hard challenge route up and down the steepest hills that would’ve made it 150+.) YC managed to nab a shot as I was crossing the finish line in Austin:
If you ever are interested in doing it, sign up. I can’t wait for the next one. It was such a beautiful ride through the countryside. People come out in droves to support you and cheer you on. They wait on their porches and in their front yards and sitting on the tailgates of their trucks in little towns all along the countryside between Houston and Austin, serenading you with fiddles, thanking you for riding, holding up signs, passing out beers and water, high-fiving riders. For all of the 13,000 rides between two pretty huge cities, it really makes you feel like a small-town community with one really big common goal.
Today I got back, still on a high from finishing my ride, and found the hens still clucking away, three eggs waiting in their coop, and a few of the earliest veggies on the plants.
Early Girl Tomato
Now, if these heat waves/cold snaps don’t totally ruin my plants, I will hopefully have enough for some canning this year!
How are your plants doing? Seeing any promising signs yet?