It’s the day before Solvang and the day before the SAT, and I’m dealing with my nerves by gazing out into the future:

This ride looks appealing: it’s to fund research for an HIV/AIDS vaccine at UCLA (my backyard) and Emory (where a former student of mine is headed next year), it goes from Burlington, Vermont to Portland, Maine (so, by the Intermediate Value Theorem, it must pass through New Hampshire), and it doesn’t overlap with my other rides.

On the other hand, it backs right up to Cycle Greater Yellowstone, which means my bike will be headed to Bozeman, I’d be away from tutoring for ANOTHER week in August, and – and this is probably the biggest drawback – I’d have 24 hours to get from Portland, Maine to West Yellowstone. No fewer than three flights. On United and/or Delta. With pending FAA budget cuts affecting small airports more than others.

Oddly, the idea of two weeks of averaging 80 miles a day doesn’t enter into my calculations.

This ride strikes me as a no-brainer. I’ll already be in New York for Bike to the Beach, it has variable lengths, it’s supporting another, local, autism charity, and I don’t have to raise any money beyond my entry fee. I just have to arrange a bike and mobilize the outlaws (the domestic partner’s people in New Jersey) for a little ground support.

What am I waiting for?