Bikes, Bats & Bells: Day 1

So, Saturday we set out for Austin with most everything we needed – minus the stuff I forgot, like breakfast. boo.  We made good time and got to our hotel just fine – that was pretty close to the race start.  We took our bikes up to our rooms and then set off for Packet Pick-up.  My bike got it’s own bed. 😉  Anyhow, we walked down to packet pickup and were able to get MOST of the stuff that we were promised.  We did get our cool bags, and our New Belgium bike bells – which I love! We got our instructions and our chain for the checkpoint beads, and we even got to practice one of the obstacles – the mini bike, which is extremely difficult if you have legs longer than 2 feet.  Sadly, they did not have any of the promised water bottles left (extra sad because I had forgotten mine and was counting on the free one), but we were told we could pick up our free water bottle later this week in Austin.  Not helping.  The other dissapointment was the t-shirts.  They were completely out of our sizes, even though we had selected our size on the online signup form.  We figure there were probably a lot of day-of signups that all happened to be our sizes. So, we were a bit let down from that, but we got the rest of our stuff and headed off to dinner at Stubb’s Bbq, down the road – which was AWESOME, and a perfect pre-race meal.

After Stubb’s we headed back to the hotel and then closer to sundown we walked over to the Congress St. bridge to watch the millions of bats fly out at dusk and to scope out the Start/Finish location for the race.  The bats were awsome.  There were tons of people out to watch them too.  I took a few photos of the people, but took a pretty long video of the bats.  I was told there were approximately 2.5 million bats that were under that bridge.  And boy do they smell lovely. 😉

We went to scope out the start line so we knew exactly where to go in the morning, then we headed back to the hotel. On the way we encountered a ‘real’ road bike race going on in Downtown Austin, that I mentioned in the previous post.  Here is some short video of the race.

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