We arrived at Cycling Spoken Here before 8:00 in the morning to load our bikes on a truck and get a bus to Blowing Rock. The buses were not there yet but I needed to get my pedals taken off and loosen the handle bars on my bike before loading it on the truck. Note to self, put the bike on last so that it comes off the bus first.
The day was overcast and I was very nervous about rain. A week of riding is fun. A week of riding in the rain, not so much.
Riders are limited to two bags per person. One bag was for my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, Crocs, etc. The other bag was for cycling clothes, street clothes and toiletries. I had a problem with what to do with my helmet -- normally I transport it on my head but for the bus ride I needed to put it somewhere. I finally shoehorned it in.
This year we checked in at the bike shop before getting on the bus. That really streamlined things once we got to Blowing Rock. That is handy since I felt the need to dash to a camping spot. It was raining when we arrived and I planned to indoor camp like I did last year. Since it was raining a lot of the tent campers wanted to indoor camp as well. We were tightly packed that night!
Doug, Chris, Kevin G. and I rode the bus. Emily drove Jon and Tim up to Blowing Rock and we met there. Tim, Chris, Kevin G. and I were all indoor camping and Tim saved a spot for us but he called me and said to hurry, he was not sure how long he could hold our spot on his own. Doug stayed in hotels during the trip and Jon and Emily tent camped with Bubba. Five of us planned to ride together throughout the week -- Doug, Chris, Tim, Jon and me. Four of us planned to camp together all week -- Chris, Tim, Kevin G. and me. Kevin G. rode with another group. Emily provided sherpa service for Jon and Tim, meeting us at each overnight stop with her Honda Element.
After we staked out an indoor camping area, we went to get out bikes. They were still on the truck so we helped unload them. This was a good. We were able to keep our bikes relatively dry and also help out.
As the day worn on it started to rain harder. We kept on looking at the radar and the hourly forecast, obsessing about the weather.