Planning ahead is supposed to be good.
There is an organized bike ride called RAMROD (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day) that I've been wanting to do for a while. Circumnavigate a volcano in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with food/beverage support -- how cool is that? The volcano that I associate with hiking and outdoor adventures of my youth, at that. At the end of July, which it should be gorgeous, too.
Never mind that it historically has been 150+ miles, with about 10,000 feet of climbing; the exact route varies somewhat from year to year due to winter road damage, construction, and the like.
The RAMROD organizers can only allow something like 800 people due to road safety considerations imposed by the park service, so there is a lottery every year to allocate the spots. For a long time, you couldn't enter the lottery as a group, which pretty much ruled us out, as we wouldn't plan to do it unless we could both get in. However, they started allowing small group lottery entries last year, which pulled the ride into the realm of possibility.
This summer was already looking pretty full, and our riding so far this year, while regular, has not especially been planned out as training for a big event. I entered us into the lottery anyway, figuring that some of the 800 spots would go to last year's volunteers, and the odds of actually for this year being picked were not high. You see, their lottery is weighted to favor people who have entered and failed to be drawn in previous years. My thinking was "We want to do this next year, or the year after, so I'll essentially just be getting in line by entering this year."
Yeah, right. Of course our names got drawn. (You saw this coming.)
Now we're committed. They haven't announced the exact 2015 route yet, but there is hope that it will be the "traditional" ~150 mile route. It has a giant climb up Cayuse Pass about 100 miles in to the day. Chad has had minor panic about setting up and following a training plan; I merely looked back at my old ride spreadsheet and decided that because I've been riding at least as much as the year before the STP (longer, but flat) and the year we did the Death Ride (a little shorter, but hillier), that we are in pretty good shape as long as we keep to our normal habits.
[Insert denial about the two and a half weeks in June that we will be in Utah hiking rather than riding, and the fact that I don't have as much opportunity to ride once Nim is out of school.]
It'll all be all OK -- we can do it. Without too much suffering. I think...