I plonked the bike in for a quick tune-up before the big ride. For only $40.00 I thought it would give me some extra piece of mind before I took it on long distance rides. The gears were playing up a little bit, especially in the mid-range, and I figured this was just the new cables loosening up after a few months of use.
Turns out I made a good move. The rear derailer was actually bent outwards, which the bike mechanic thought was rather weird, and the bearings in my headset were a bit rough. So, he fixed it all for me and now it rides like a real dream!
I also bought a new Giro helmet today. I needed something with a bit more ventilation than my current helmet and a sun visor to help with the sun, and found a good model for sale pretty cheap at the local Academy (the same model was $15.00 more at a dedicated bike shop).
All I need now are some new gloves, and to keep up the training, and it's time for the big ride (Hotter 'N Hell 100). It's two weeks away now and I think I will be safe and not try and do the full 100 miles. There is a decision point where the riders can decide upon 100 miles or 100 kilometers (a.k.a. "Metric 100"). I feel good about 100 km's, much better than doing 100 miles. But, I'll make the decision on the day!