This weekend was a 150 miler. I did the Bike MS 2 day, 150 mile ride with my Fiancee (75 per day). Despite a chaotic morning start on Day 1, it ended well. We packed our overnight bag (between day 1 and 2 they put us up in the dorms at Michigan State University), but 5 miles from the event (which was an hour drive from our house) we realized we left the luggage at home. An impromptu stop at a Wal Mart at 6:15am meant that we had re-purchased the essentials. When we got there, it started raining, which turned into a downpour (with thunder and lightning and all). This delayed the start of the event by an hour and a half (8:30 rather than 7am). We left around 8:45, in the rain (thankfully the thunder/lightning had stopped), which let up about 10-12 miles in. Skipped the first rest stop, hit the second one, complete with soggy shoes/socks.
Day one was the hardest. I need to train next year. My longest ride to date, in one sitting had been about 25 miles. This was 75 per day. Big difference. The route was pretty hilly on the first day, and the last 15 miles were thru open farmland, with 30mph crosswinds. We finished, and the next morning realized that our tires were SERIOUSLY low on air (I'm not even going to state what the pressure was, as it's embarassing). I physically started to run out of gas at about mile 60, and the last 15 (in the wind) were a little difficult, I'm not going to lie.
After getting off the bike, my butt was quite a bit sore, and my Fiancee complained of serious knee pains. I raised her seat up, and magically, the pains went away. The first few miles of the 2nd day were pretty hard, but my butt became accustomed to the slight pain, and with correct air pressure, was going ALOT faster. The return ride was mostly downhill, rather than day 1. No winds, beautiful weather. Day 2 I knew what to expect, was in the zone mentally, and we just hammered out the miles. We didn't ride at a crazy pace, but I'd say on day 2 we averaged 15mph, which i was just fine with. It was humbling being passed by quite overweight people on Wal-mart/K-mart mountain bikes. I'll chalk that up to training and experience.
I'm really impressed with how the Fiancee did. She's more of a natural athlete than I am, and for one strech of about 15 miles, I had run out of steam, and had a hard time keeping up with her. Kudos to her for it!
At the end of the day, it was a great ride. The MS Society is a VERY proffessional/organized group, and put on a stellar event. The ride was for a Great cause, and it makes the thankful that I can actually get on a bike, and pedal...Fun times, and I'd definately do it again, knowing more of what to expect....
Here are some photos:
^Fiancee at a rest stop
^The Fiancee's bike. I made decals for it, they said "I ride for Julie!" and one is a heart with the word MOM in it, since her mom has MS, and we were riding for her.
^another rest stop
^I should have put sunblock on in the AM the first day
^^Free Massages at the end of day one.