Most folks in richmond today woke up to a scene like this myself included. The streets were mainly clear but on the trail to work the fresh snow blanketed everything. This makes even the ugliest of places look renewed and idllyic. That being said this isn’t one of those places but the snow helps either way. I just came back inside from a quick smoke break and unfortunately, while it seems to be getting colder, all of the dust has been swept up by the suns great Benjamin in the sky. Last night I went to a local retailer of fine goods and picked up a balaklava for warmth made by under armor which is very nice. Thankfully I had a Xmas gift card to pay for it. Additionally, this purchase was the deciding factor between attending my first brevet tommorow or not and now that I have aquired one I will be headed to Ashland Virginia at 6am to register for the tappahannock 200k ride with the dc randdoneur group to earn my place as a long distance endurance cyclist. I printed of the cue sheet here at work although I will get the official one when registering, and it looks pretty straightforward. Many of the roads I am already familiar with from my three years working in the region and should be ok for me. That being said it isn’t unlike any other time I have embarked on a major journey where the butterflies of expectations begin to stir. My mind can’t stop pacing about correct preperation for the event. Clothing is a big deal because although it will be cold (37 for the high temp) I know that I will get hot at some point. I need to be able to strip some clothes off at some point and stash them but I really want to try and limit both my total amount of gear and the size of the pannier I chose but it is hard to find the balance of both. Also, I’ll be carrying a pump, tube, patch kit, tools, water, food, and more and any corners I can cut ultimately will cut that weight down which from prior experience is a must. How do you do that though and not end up stuck with a flat, cold, or hungry? I can’t figure it out and just like times before where you have gotten to camp and went to set everything up and find you left this or that at home I know I will be faced with a similar challenge. For me this is more fun than riding sometimes. I hope the folks I meet are nice and we can stay in a group for awhile and that my lights on my bike don’t fail me and i get home in one piece. I think commuting is one thing but this event should prove to test me on a whole néw level and let’s hope that that level dosent involve a ride to the hospital.