In anticipation of riding Livestrong, I decided to upgrade my wheels to something really nice, since my current set of Shimano 105's have over 4500 miles on them and they are getting kinda tired. After meeting a few people who were riding (and raving over) Dura Ace Road Tubeless, I decided to upgrade to this technology for my new hoops. I had been lowballing wheel auctions on ebay for about 3 months and finally got lucky the Wednesday before Livestrong. No way they would leave California on Thursday and get to Dallas by Saturday (unless I wanted to pay, like, $200 to Fed Ex - which defeats the purpose of winning a low-ball auction) so I accepted the fact that I'd have to ride my current rig and paid just $15 shipping by USPS (the seller's preference).
To my utter surprise, the wheels arrived on Saturday after my training ride! WTF!! A quick call to Performance Bike revealed they do not locally stock the Hutchinson tubeless tires required. I made a quick jaunt to my local RBM, and luckily they had them in stock, but unluckily they were $15 more expensive (full retail) per tire than Performance. No discount for riding Livestrong either.
The tires went on real easy. No problems there. I also squirted in some sealant as recommended. And they pumped up no problems either - just used my regular old pump. And they held air!! So I decided their maiden voyage had to be Livestrong, and I moved the rear cluster over from my other wheels and mounted them to my bike. I was a little nervous not having ridden these wheels at all before an important event, but I had faith in the system.
Now, in order to pay for these wheels (which cost me $750 for everything when all was said and done), I took had to take on an extra $$ gig. Unfortunately, the gig was the Saturday night before Livestrong, which meant that I'd have to do the live event, come home and prep my kit, then drive to Austin, and then ride the event (and then since Greg's wife is ready to have her baby we'd have to get our barbeque, and then immediately return to Dallas by 4:30pm).
Yikes! This meant we had to change our plans from 90 miles to 45 miles. More on that later.
So at 3:15 am, we were "south bound and down", the Eurovan loaded and the iTunes pumping out Willie Nelson's "Heartaches of a Fool".