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I’m sitting in a Farmington CT hotel room writing this on my iPad after covering 111.8 miles over 12 hours after starting in Framingham MA this morning. To be upfront, I was only on my bike for about 70 of those miles. The rest were spent in vans moving forward either because I was moving with a rider I was behind as the caboose, because of mechanical issue (which caused the longest move forward) or in one case because I ended up too far behind the pack to reasonably catch up.

The might sound like it was a bad or rough day, which is not the case. I had a great time on the route today.

I hung out with some awesomely fun people as I rode behind people as the caboose. I met great people at the rejuvenation stations. The people in the sweep vehicle known as The Dan Fan were great. Jason on route marking was fun as I kept seeing him since route marking runs right behind the caboose in some cases. I wasn’t sure what caboosing all three days would be like, but I think it’s going to be awesome as its pretty cool hanging out with the people in the back.

The route we’ve got this year is gorgeous with a lot of great rural scenery. Quite a few hills, and I admit to missing some of the biggest of them as I was dealing with my mechanicals. I did get a couple pretty good ride stretches in though as I deliberately, at times, spaced myself back from the last rider.

If you’ve followed on Twitter at all you’ve seen some of the great pics from today. My favorite is with Sirius radio host Romaine Patterson and I sitting in front of a giant spider made out of hay. I’ll get all this stuff collected into one tidy Flikr file when I get home.

I have to give big props to Alex, the bike tech whose out with us from Habitat Bicycles. I had some shifting issues between Rejuvenation Stations 1 and 2 as well as ended up with a squishy back tire (yes, that problem again). He not only identified my tire issue as well as a brake issue I didn’t know I had, he fixed the gear issue and gave advice on now to shift better. Further, the good folks from Lead Dog went to a bike store and bought new brakes which Alex installed while I was at diner…and they are trying to find a shop that has the tire I need so he Alex can put that on too. Amazing, and really above and beyond, stuff there.

Needless to say Alex and Habitat are going to get my business now as Gotham failed so big with the pre-ride tune up. He’s got my bike already riding better than it has all year.

Looking forward to more good times tomorrow. We’ve got 78 hilly miles to go starting at 630 am.

There’s still plenty of time to donate to the ride. Just go to The stories about why people do this are incredible. People are still lost to HIV/AIDS every day, in fact one of the PosPeds passed away just this week. People still get infected because of a lack of information. People still need help navigating how to live successfully when they are diagnosed. The Center provides services and support around all of this and all the donations let them continue this work. Please donate today and help bring an end to HIV/AIDS.