Tuesday, June 10, 2014

20 years of the MS150 - WE DID IT!!

As background, I have been doing the MS 150 for 20 years! (holy cow I'm old!!) Its a 2 day bike ride from Duluth to MPLS and is an important part of my personal traditions. My Uncle Alan lived, fought and passed away from complications with MS 18 years ago. I have great memories of his humor and attitude but I can also remember his decline. I raise money for him, everyone living and fighting MS and all the families, friends and caregivers that fight equally as hard against this disease. The MS150 is SUCH an inspiring ride and tribute to my uncle (plus a whole bunch of fun which he would have appreciated). As I have the last few years, I rode with Team Target- we are now a team of well over 100+ strong. I literally pulled and was pulled on the ride by my MS family of 15+ years; Dick (78 years young and 2200 miles already logged this year!) Allen (Ned's Dad) Ned (work and St Olaf friend - note: this is year 18 for Ned and Allen) and Wendy (the whole reason I learned about this ride, she's been riding 24 years and we've been riding together 20 years!!). And... We did it! It was an incredibly fun and exhausting weekend. Thank you for ALL your support; financially AND mentally. Here’s the run down This year, there were 4,000 riders and 2,000+ volunteers and the ride raised over $3m for MS – Think about that, it’s AMAZING not only from a logistic perspective but from a support perspective as well. This money will make a VERY real difference in the lives of Minnesotans that live with MS. AND…its great fun T -1: The bus ride up was great fun, caught up with friends on Team Target and even had a few beers We got to camp in Proctor (Glamping this year, a company sets up and takes down your tent AND, you get a chair and sleeping pad – genius!) and immediately headed to Canal Park for our yearly tradition Lil’ Angies Mexican with Ned, his dad Allen, Wendy and our friend Dick. (Side note: Dick is 78, retired from the Navy and Post Office and bikes in his retirement, he had logged 2,200 miles already this year BEFORE the ride, he’s a machine!!) The food was great, the margaritas good and the company outstanding. From there we walked along Lake Superior and just relaxed, it was the perfect summer night in Duluth. Day 1 – We woke up to rain – yes, it started to rain about 4am and by 5:30 was pouring and about 48 degrees. Thank GOD for glamping and warm pancakes for breakfast! We headed to the start and we asked to “wait due to an incident” , we (along with 50+ other riders) waited in the rain for 15 min’s as the MS crew got things under control. Very scary. One of our Team Target riders was riding with his Dad. On the 1st hill, his dad had a heart attack. The MS crew and Duluth emergency crews were wonderful and got him to a hospital quickly. (Please send all your thoughts of healing and recovery!) Once we started, we biked in the rain for about an hour until it cleared up. The rest of the day was “easy”; tail wind, low 50’s and the gorgeous Mungar Trail from Duluth to Hinckley ( a paved railroad bed through a state forest, including a waterfall - lovely!!!) We arrived in Hinckley and guest what?! Our tent was set up !! Nice!! Off to get a beer from the Target tent and then a hot shower (in a semi-trailer, everyone should have this experience at some point) followed by relaxing, catching up with friends, massages, more beer, more food, music and general good will. The best part of the MS150 is finishing the 1st day (only to be outdone by finishing the 2nd day) Day 2 – woke a bit later than normal but – what the hey – we didn’t have to take down the tent – sweet! (totally glamping again next year) It was very dewy and in the low 50’s without a cloud in the sky (and another tailwind!!). The day was extremely uneventful (which is good!) and while the wind shifted a bit to a cross wind, we finished in record time. Annemiek (Wendy’s wife) road up from Golden Valley to White Bear Lake (go Bears!) to meet us at the finish, that was an awesome surprise! We all went for DQ to celebrate. Fundraising – Thanks to a sprint towards the finish, I ended at $3,045 – RIGHT over my goal of $3,000 – THANK YOU! (and up from $2,980 last year – nice!) It’s good to know that we can still do this ride, have fun, be safe and make a difference. Join team Target next year?!  Peace, tailwinds and GET ON YOUR BIKE! 