The 2017 Team Volunteers at LBJ 100

Driving west on 290, the sky seemed to open up as we traded densely situated buildings for rolling hills dotted with live oaks and Ashe junipers. On the first Saturday of April, the 2017 team provided ride support while the 2016 team rode the 62-mile route in the LBJ 100, a bicycle tour that starts and ends on the famed LBJ ranch (home to the Texas White House and a former Air Force One.)

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Promotional graphic for this year’s LBJ 100 Bike Tour

 

For our first post of the day, my teammates and I were stationed at Rest Stop #4. Our main tasks included helping riders biking the 42-mile route stay on course, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for riders to refuel, and providing encouragement to participants. Several Texas 4000 alumni partook in the ride as well, and it was really cool to see them cycle by in their respective team jerseys.

Our second shift was at the LBJ ranch itself, serving food at the finish line. My car got a bit lost navigating from Rest Stop 4 to the Ranch, and we ended up driving along the 42-mile route for a bit and “meeting” a llama and some cute baby bovines.

 

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Adrian, Rachel, and Becca (team 2017) making delicious PB&Js at Rest Stop #4

 

When we finally got back on track, we caught up with several 2016 riders as they neared the finish line. It’s hard for me to describe how I felt, seeing packs of riders whose backs prominently read, “FIGHTING CANCER EVERY MILE.” The experience was very surreal… it hit me that in a year, it’d be us on the bikes, cycling through the Hill Country in preparation for our summer ride to Anchorage. I think it was the first time the gravity of the ride became quasi-real to me — it was the first time it really hit me, “…holy moly, we’re biking to Alaska to fight cancer.”

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2016ers approaching the finish line!

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2017ers serving food to 2016ers after their 62-mile ride during the LBJ 100

 

Volunteering at the LBJ 100 was one of my favorite T4K experiences to date. I had a great time getting to know my teammates, seeing alumni and the 2016 conquer the hills like nobody’s business, and spending a beautiful day outdoors. I’m pumped to continue volunteering and fundraising through the rest of the semester/the summer, and to begin physically training for the ride itself in the fall!

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My favorite 2016ers! Olivia, Alex and I are in the same Texas Spirits pledge class.

 

Written by 2017 Texas 4000 rider, Audrey Nguyen