Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trace Elements

One of the centerpieces of last year's and this year's Ride to Austin is the Natchez Trace Parkway. This long, smooth-as-glass road marks two important points in the route on the way to Austin.

First, it's the place where the ride makes it's turn south (or in this year's case, loops north towards Nashville first before turning south, causing mass confusion to certain info junkies following the route tracker).

Second, it's the point where the miles really start to melt away, all the teams hit their stride, and serious chunks of distance start getting chewed up.

Some of the best stories and experiences from last year's ride come from the shifts spent on the Trace. From people nearly getting run over by deer, to full moons being sited, to run-ins with the law, everybody has a yarn to spin from the Trace. It's one of the many elements of the actual riding-the-bike portion of the Ride to Austin so special. Already, I'm seeing pictures posted of sunny skies, smooth roads, changing leaves and smiling faces, and I know the P3C3 family is in a very good place.

For me, the Trace will always be at night, pitch dark except for some stars above, with mile markers ticking down one-by-one, the only sounds the hum of our tires, the hiss of our breathing, and the occasional critter scuffling around in the woods, barreling toward the Mighty Mississippi and knocking off my first ever century ride withe my wife and some of my best friends.

Nikki on the Trace right as the sun went down

Team Awesome in Vidalia, LA having just banged out 101 miles

The Trace will always feel a little like home...I'm sure everybody's having a blast.

Follow the team at www.ridetoaustin.com


  1. Yeah! Team Awesome! It was one of the best feelings I had on the whole ride to watch Nikki and you sprint on ahead to claim your first century. I felt like a mother hen safely bringing her brood home.

  2. I swear officer, we're innocent!!