January 6, 2015
Why? Because this past Saturday I signed up for the National MS Society Upper Midwest Chapters MS 150. 150, as in one hundred and fifty miles. Why did I think that was a good idea?
The Upper Midwest Chapter covers Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa and puts on three bike events in Minnesota alone. One is the Trek and is a week long (5 days I believe) trip that’s usually across Minnesota. The other, the one I was really considering and probably should have signed up for, is around the Twin Cities. That one offers three different mileage options; 15, 25 and 50. I really should have signed up for that one. Instead I decided to try the 150. After all, this is Minnesota and not Florida, it should be easier, right?
Why do I think it’d be easier? Well for one, it takes place in Minnesota in June. The Mid-Florida Citrus Tour takes place in April or May and by then it’s already incredibly hot. Minnesota in June usually is pretty decent and not too hot. Also the Minnesota MS 150 goes from Duluth to the Twin Cities; that’s mostly downhill (I hope!) so there shouldn’t be a whole lot of hills for me to worry about. And Minnesota is full of amazing bike/walking/hiking trails. The MS 150 is supposed to be on one of those trails for the majority of the ride. So hopefully the scenery will be much prettier than orange trees that don’t provide any shade.
While I’m a bit apprehensive, I’m also looking forward to this. I enjoy participating in Bike MS in any way I can. Now I just have to get ready for this. Last month I signed back up at the gym; I decided that currently I’m NOT an outdoor runner in the winter. Nope, I just can’t convince myself to do that. So back to the gym I went. And while it’s not ideal, the gym at least has stationary bikes so I can use those to train while waiting on it to warm up and the snow to melt some. In the meantime, I also need to work on fundraising. The minimum to participate is $300; I set my goal at $500, but honestly I would love to actually raise $1,000. I want the jersey that comes with being a VIP fundraiser. Go here to help me meet my goal.
May 5, 2008
Actually, I’m not sure if this can be considered ironic or not. But, since this is my blog and therefore my little world, we’re gonna say it is 🙂
Everyone everywhere is getting hit with the high price of gas. Many people are cutting down on extra trips and expenses because they’re having problems affording gas and other necessaties. I’m no different when it comes to the cost of gas. But I finally put my money where my mouth is so to speak and started doing what I’ve been saying I’m going to do. Last Thursday I rode my bike to work. For me, it makes a ton of sense. I live less than 5 miles from work and I belong to the gym at work so I have access to the on site showers. It takes me only slightly longer to bike than it does to drive.
Not only am I so close to work, but I’m also very very centrally located to everything else. Within probably no more than 2 miles I have at least one of: Super Walmart, Sam’s Club (ok, that’s actually only a block away!), Costco, Target, Mall, bookstore (3 within the same distance!), Public and various other stores and restaurants. With everything so close, it really doesn’t make sense to drive every place all the time. Except for the summer heat and the storms. So I’m working on getting some panniers for my bike so I can do my shopping by bike. And I’m trying to ride to work more on days I’m not working my part time job.
That’s how I started out today actually. I got up, packed my work clothes, put on my bike clothes and headed out. And made it less than two miles. This is my irony part. When we did the MS 150 we were kinda laughing at all the uber bikers with the super skinny tires. Those tires tend to blow out a lot quicker and easier than our fatter tires. So neither of us had to have a tire replaced at all during the ride. This morning however, my front tire went flatter than a pancake. And I couldn’t get the cap off of my valve stem to try and fill it up with air to at least ride home. I guess when my chain was being repaired and the guy put some air in my tires, the sealent glued the valve cap in place. So there went my good intentions for today.
February 23, 2008
Our local MS Society chapter held the first training ride for the Tampa area today. So J and I joined in since we really do need to start doing longer rides. The ride took place at the Suncoast Parkway trail and the email I received said we had the choice of 40, 45 or 55 miles. When we got there (at 10 to 8 this morning!) it turned out the 40 mile one was changed to 32. Which was ok, we had previously only done 28 miles.
The coordinators said heading out should be pretty good, we were to have a tailwind. But coming back they were anticipating rain. So J and I join the slow riders for the 32 miles and head out. We went 10 (from State Road 54 to State Road 52), took a short break, then headed back 6 miles to Jay Starkey Wilderness Park. Our next rest was at the restrooms in the park, at mile 22 (we did a very short rest just before entering the park). Heading back out of the park it started to rain. It was coming down steady, not really heavy thankfully. However I decided I don’t like riding in the rain. I couldn’t see, I had to wear sunglasses because of my contacts. And the rain on my bare arms and legs started feeling a little too pricky.
By the time we completed the ride we were soaked through. I took my shoes off in the parking lot because it truly felt like I had a small pond in each toe. Although my shoes gained water weight (they were retaining water, is there a water pill for that?) not all that much water came out. I think it’s going to take a few days for them to dry. J carries an older blanket in his truck and we sat on it for the drive home. The blanket was just to keep the dirt that had kicked up onto us off of the seats. When he left my place about 5 hours after getting back, his seats were still very wet.
We enjoyed the ride overall. It was nice riding with a group of people and surprisingly the headwinds were a little easier for me because of the group. I’m very proud to say that the “slow riders” was the only group of the 3 to actually complete their intended milage. The other two groups wimped out because of the gray clouds. We did our 32.something miles in about 2 hours 40 minutes and I honestly felt like I could continue riding for awhile at the end. So bring on the 150 miles!
Oh, and I have to mention the two animals we saw! The first one had the tail of a squirrel, but the face/body of I don’t know what! Some of the group members were thinking it looked like a lemur. The second was a white tailed doe as it bounded across the trail just feet in front of the group leaders. I didn’t bring my camera, and I’m glad I left it home because of the rain, so I sadly have no pictures. There was no way I could have taken pictures of the deer anyway, it was in too much of a hurry to get away from us 🙂