Sunday, June 11, 2017

Take THAT MS! Hail, heat, rain, lightening and wind can NOT stop us!!

Well, we finished. No flat tires, no road rash, no broken bones … we are all in one piece and had a banner year in terms of fundraising.  Let’s start there …  the good news …

Fundraising – WOW, you all blew me away!! I raised $3,450 on a goal of $3,000!!! Woo hoo!! And, Ned, Wendy and I were a power house team in many ways.  Ned raised over $5,400 and Wendy raised over $1,000 – Take THAT MS!!  There were 3,900 people signed up and 3,200 showed up to ride. I am really hoping they had their best fundraising year ever. We all earned it!!

The Ride - My 23rd MS150 ride…. Where do I start?!  I am sure many of you watched and/or experienced the weather this weekend and yes, it did suck.

Day 1 – This was the worst first day EVER. There was a crazy thunderstorm at 4am with a pretty amazing light show.  The good news was, the rain cleared. The bad news … it brought with it 20 mph headwinds (with gusts up to 30 mph) and heat/humidity.  Fortunately the 1st day is on the Munger Trail and so is relatively shaded and we didn’t need to worry about traffic.  It was hot, sweaty and a major mental feat to stay focused pedaling.  I would say, it was a good lesson in ‘being in the moment’ since moment to moment the ride was fine, difficult, fine, hard, hot, frustrating, fine, hot, etc….  THEN .. when we finally made it to camp, we learned that the shower trucks and sleeping tents were about a ½ mile walk from the team tents and food tent.  I’m not kidding, a ½ mile away. Thank god for Polaris and their dedicated fleet of 4x4’s that shuttled everyone back and forth all day.  Yeah Polaris!!  After quenching our thirst with beer and our bellies with pulled pork, pasta, ice cream and pie, we were ready to hit the hay (can anyone say ..9pm and it still 85 degrees???). Luckily riding 75 miles in the heat and wind knocks you out, no matter how hot your tent is.

Day 2 – Now this is MY kind of weather! We woke to low 60’s overcast and no wind. My favorite kind of biking weather. Thanks to the great volunteer masseuses on Saturday, we were feeling good and ready to go! The 1st 2 legs of the ride were wonderful. Then … we watched a thick black wall of clouds coming at us from the east.  No kidding, it was a big front.  We managed to avoid rain until about 35 and then – the storm sirens started going off. Luckily we were near a house with an open garage and a nice man named Steve. He managed to house about 30 of us in his garage while we watched the front come through.  There were gusts of 60 mph winds, a lightning strike within ¼ mile and it was raining sideways.  What did we do before radar weather on our phones?! We tracked the worst of it and after about 20 minutes realized, while still raining, it was safe to get back on our bikes.  We did get wet (and a little cold as it was now 60 degrees) but the worst was behind us!  We managed the rest of the day in relative peace but did bike by tons of down branches, leaves, trees and piles of hail.  Too crazy.  In fact, despite the severe weather issue, this was the easiest second day I can ever remember.

So, there you have it. We experienced all the weather MN has to offer, in 2 days, over 150 miles and on our bikes.

Did I mention I signed up for next year?! J

Thank you all for your support, whether $, prayers or good tidings – they all paid offJ



Thank GOD we are done, a bit dirty and tired but none's the worse for wear

Bright and chipper on the bus to Duluth to start the ride

Ned and I are top fundraisers

Yummy cake and pie for the top fundraisers - the MS society really knows how to do this thing RIGHT