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June 30, 2013

Another one bites the dust…another MS150 that is. Too bad MS hasn’t bit the dust yet, but everyone’s donations have helped with new and improved drugs. Now some with MS no longer have to take shots; they can take an oral medication assuming their insurance will help cover the $50,000 per year cost!

The weather this year for the ride was much cooler which made it much easier to ride. Thank goodness given my training seems to get worse every year…Eight rides of 10 miles or less, one 20 miler and one 40 miler, before I was faced with challenge of riding 75 miles two days in a row.

The event is so well run. We arrived at the Front Range Community College in Westminster bright and early in the morning. Utilizing our VIP parking, a perk from raising over $2,000 the previous year, we parked right next to the bag drop location, aired up our tires, and grabbed a bagel and peanut butter before crossing the start line at 6:15 am. I rode the first leg with the Steamboat portion of our team, Ain’t Too Proud Too SAG….Bart, Katie, Shannon, Wendy, Doug, and Mickel. At the first rest stop, we broke up….spreading out a bit. I rode a few miles with the fastest rider on our team, Mark, who caught up with us, but spent most of the next 35 miles until lunch on my own.

At lunch, I reconnected with Doug and Mickel and we rode from rest stop to rest stop preparing for the climbs, in particular Horsetooth Reservoir. After enjoying our snow cone, we took to the slow climb. I went into granny gear early on which concerned me, but kept it up. Doug and Mickel took a break before heading up the big climb so we separated here, not to mention, they planned on riding the century. They kept encouraging me to go on the century with them…yeah right…they trained…I didn’t! I knew how my knees would feel on day 2.

I was unfortunate to come down off the climb onto a very bad bicycle accident that had just happened. As I kept going multiple emergency vehicles passed me by…fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. It plays with your mind a bit. The course ended up being closed and the rider was care-flighted out. Hopefully, she will be OK.

I’m not sure if I was distracted by all the commotion or just exhausted from the climb on the 70th mile when I followed the left-hand turn toward the century ride instead of going straight! Thankfully, the rider next me asked if this was the century or the regular route? Then I looked up at the giant hill and promptly turned around! Whew…he was my savior!!! I didn’t remember that left-hand turn in previous years, but with the head wind, I had a difficult time hearing the volunteer directing us to the left…he was calling out, “Century left”.

Speaking of volunteers, they are awesome on this ride. They man every rest stop making PB&J’s, filling water bottles, and thanking us for riding. They sit on the side of the road with cow bells and cheer. They stand at every intersection and point us in the right direction. They couldn’t be more inspiring or make the ride any easier, especially for those of us that train improperly!

So thankfully, I did not add an extra 25 miles to my ride, crossed the finish line just after noon, dropped my bike off at the corral, picked up my overnight bag, and found our team tent. Food, drinks, a few team family members, one teammate, and massage therapists awaited. I got my massage first! After an afternoon at the tent, we took the shuttles to the hotels, went to a 5:30 dinner, and turned in for another early morning!

I started the morning with a 4:45 wake up call and Advil…yep, the knees were unhappy with me! Shuttle, aired up tires, water fill up, breakfast…day two start…6:45. Wow it’s tough to sit on that bicycle seat the first few miles!

This year at the MS150, two routes were offered. The regular 75 mile route over Horsetooth and a shorter base route that was designed last year during the Fort Collins fires when we could not ride the regular route. As such, we had to be more familiar with the turns. I planned on riding the Horsetooth route again, but missed the turn. I followed all the riders that went straight in front of me thinking everyone in Colorado is so hard core, they do the hard route, but this time they were not. Yesterday, I followed everyone in front of me, and they went on the century! I guess I shouldn’t follow and do a better job of reading the signs! I was looking for the poster sized cardboard signs that are posted at every turn. I didn’t bother reading the giant electronic boards that I thought were construction signs…ha! How could I have missed that?!? Well I did, and by the time I realized it, I wasn’t turning around! Though I did make up for it and ride the additional miles on Monday.

Given the tendons in my knees were snapping toward the end of the day, I’m certain my knees were thankful I missed Horsetooth. It sped up my ride a bit though, and I made it across the finish line before Mike got there, so he missed me crossing it…Oh well. My niece and nephew missed their mom and dad cross the finish line too. We all got across earlier because it was so much cooler. The good news was our team raised the most money in a one week time span, that we won a tent at the finish line, so we all got to hang out together for a while before the rain came in.

I’d like to say the ride is a lot of fun, but for those of us that don’t train it is more like grueling. But I don’t ride for fun. I ride for a cure. I ride for my sister-in-law. I ride for those who can’t. Thank you to all who donated. Every dollar makes a difference! I’ve already reached my goal. I’ve probably already made it into the top 100 fund raisers with your support. If I were to raise $5,000, I could ride any MS150 ride in the United States. Donations are accepted until September 1. http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/COCBikeEvents?px=4628235&pg=personal&fr_id=20901. If anyone has the chance to go to the event in their area, just stand at the finish line. It is so inspiring to see the riders, the families and their signs of support, MS sufferers in wheel chairs, MS riders, volunteers, and more. RIDE FOR A CURE!  ETB

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