Last weekend was the MS150, which, for those of you who might be wondering whether that is some sort of giant strawberry festival, is a 2-day bike ride to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis advocacy, programs, and research.
This year we decided 75 miles a day was for babies. The route is nice and flat, but since it's near the coast, there's usually some wind to contend withand this year was no exception. With hurricane Ophelia brewing just to the East, we had bands of 20-30mph winds that blew into or across our route most of the time. Luckily, there are so many people on the ride that we usually had someone in front of us to act as a windshield!
Day 1 we finished the 100-mile ride in a little over 5 hours, at an average speed of 18.7mph. Three stops: mile 38, mile 50, and mile 78. We both felt great pretty much the whole time. And we met some really fun people. Whose names I promptly forgot. And Boy, howdy was it ever windy. I felt my bike being swooshed all over the road at times, and really worried that I'd be blown right over.
Day 2 we had an announcement from the Local Weather Guy (LWG). LWG told us that because the hurricane was getting closer, the wind would be even worse than on Day 1, and there was a possibility of some really severe weather. As a result, they were going to need extra volunteers available to drive SAG wagons in case riders were being blown off their bikes and stuff. So they cancelled the century loop on Day 2. (!!!) There was nothing for it. We rode the 75 mile route instead. I think day 2 was much harder than day 1, and not just because of the 100 miles we'd already put on our legs. We felt really pretty strong in the morning, and skipped the first 2 rest stops. Which was a mistake, because almost everyone stops at the 1st or 2nd rest stop, even if it's just to use the portajon, so the only people on the road in front of us (or right behind us) were the Serious hammerheads going 25mph into the wind. So in spite of our best efforts to hang on with the big kids, we rode alone for the next 15 miles, until we reached stop #3, the lunch stop. There we grouped up with some of SNG's office buddies and got some protection from the (by now Howling) headwind. The group stopped briefly at mile 55, but SNG and I just wanted to KEEP GOING! The skies were getting darker and darker, and I really hate riding in the rain. We finally finished, averaged 18mph, in just over 4 hours. And no rain.
We made it to the finish in time to eat our weight in BBQ and fixins before heading back to the in-laws' to shower, eat some more, pick up the dog, drive back home, and eat some more.
The whole weekend we slept like rocks! Which is saying something, since I tend to get nervous insomnia before any kind of big event. I guess since this isn't competitive, there's less to worry about. And we ate! Oh did we eat. Friday evening SNG's folks made a birthday dinner and Blueberry-peach pie! Oh, yeah! And Saturday evening we had as many brownies as we had plates of pasta-chicken-vegetables-salad. And I mentioned the Sunday BBQ business...
Now that we've finished our longest rides of the year, SNG and I will need to get out of the habit of measuring our dinner portions with a shovel, and go back to using kitchen utensils like everyone else. And sweetheart, your daily ice cream ritual? needs to go on wintertime hiatus. *sigh*
A side note: I had a masssage on Saturday from a guy who claims to hold the world record on longest running chair massages-- 52 hours. Can you imagine? He gave me a table massage, and at the end did this funny thing where he grabbed my ankles and shake-a shake-a shake-a shook me all around until everything was all loosie-goosie. Try it with a friend- it's a pretty cool feeling. He didn't do as good a job on my shoulder as Lal, my regular massage dude, but the shake-a shake-a business was fun.