Monday, September 17, 2007

MS 150 Report

Here's a group photo of our team from College of the Ozarks.Bikers assembling out in front of the Willard High School.
Lajunta and I before I headed out. Lajunta was a volunteer, helping with luggage and other miscellaneous duties.Lajunta took this photo as the bikes left Willard. They go out in groups of a couple hundred, or so.There were some "cheerleaders" along the route, many that I assume were afflicted with MS.There were some nice level stretches to ride. The bike in front of me is a "recumbent". I've been thinking about one of those. They are supposed to be more comfortable to ride. I once read where most recumbent riders are over 50 (check), have beards (check), and are over weight (check). Sounds like the perfect bike for me!I have ridden the Arkansas MS ride 3 times, so this year I thought I'd do the Missouri ride, which I thought would not have as many hills. WRONG! There were MORE hills!Riders at the first rest stop.About every 10 miles or so, there were rest stops. There was plenty of snacks, Little Debbie cakes, cheese crackers, fruit, peanut butter, water, and poweraid.You didn't have to worry (too much) about getting lost. The route was well marked. At every intersection, there were directions painted on the road, signs posted, and sometimes volunteers stationed to give directions.

This was a father and daughter who were riding. The daughter was only 11 years old. They were very pleasant to visit with. Reminded me of when we had a bunch of little girls around our house. I think they out rode me!I stopped to visit a minute or so with these folks. This vehicle was parked in their driveway. The fellow told me it was a 1923 Ford "Music Wagon". It was playing circus music. He told me that many years ago, when a circus was coming to town, this type vehicle would arrive a few weeks early, drive around town playing music, and advertise the coming circus.
At each rest stop, there were mechanics available to fix problems on the bikes.

FedEx trucks hauled our luggage.
Several young volunteers were on hand to unload and sort the baggage.

Lajunta took this photo at the finish line in Joplin on Saturday. It was 51 degrees, 13 mph wind, and rain. Many riders came in shivering, saying they had never been so cold. These two ladies, Michelle and Kathy, rode along at about my pace (ok, they were a bit faster), so we visited for awhile. It always helps you forget the aches and pains of riding if you have someone to visit with while riding.
Lajunta said she over-heard that the rider of this bike crashed.
Lajunta caught this photo of me "relaxing" on the sidewalk after the ride was over. That concrete sure felt good!

Well, I survived the ride!
However, the weather did not cooperate. On Friday night, the weather man predicted a high of 68 degrees, and chance of rain near the Missouri/Kansas border. We set the alarm for 3:00am, and drove to meet the PLUMS team at CofO. PLUMS stands for "Point Lookout Underminining Multiple Sclerosis". We left there before 5:00am. We arrived in Willard, registered, and were ready for the ride to begin at a little after 7:00. There were a little over 1,000 riders!
As the morning passed, more and more clouds rolled in. Then at about 40 miles into the ride for me, it started to sprinkle (I'm a slow rider, so I was near the end). Then about 45 miles it really started to rain. Boy, was I glad I'd wore my wind breaker and pants over my biking jersey and shorts! I got soaked, as I rode about 5 miles in a heavy rain. Actually, it sort of felt good, as the cold numbed my muscles! I rode slow, as I wasn't sure how slick the road might be, especially with puddles starting to grow on the road (I was riding with those tiny road bike tires, with 120psi). At about 50 miles, a "SAG" vehicle came along, and I called it quits for the day. Lots of riders were in their jerseys and shorts (without jackets), and some were shaking they were so cold. Found out the temperature was 51, with a 13 mph wind! Many of the faster riders rode 100 miles that day, but I heard some say they had never been so cold in their life! Hands were so cold, they could hardly get their shoes off!
On Sunday morning, David Summerlin, a photographer friend from Joplin, picked us up at the hotel at 6:00 and we had breakfast. He then dropped us off, and took some photos. Thanks a bunch, Dave!
It was a hilly ride, as we rode along the secondary/county roads between Willard and Joplin (I thought the Missouri ride would be on more level roads than the Arkansas rides.. ..WRONG!!!) It was some nice scenery. The next day, I got in 45 miles, and decided it was time to stop. So I rode a total of 95 miles. I did a little metric conversion, and found out I actually rode a little over 152 kilometers, so I get in 150. . . .just not miles. I was sure glad I caught a ride back in, because, once again, rain drops fell, but this time, lightening was popping around! But the bikers kept on going.
Thanks to everyone who contributed. I hit my goal of $500.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Larry,

It's five days after the ride, how are those legs? Just wanted to let ya know I loved your write up and pictures of the ride. It was a hard, hilly, cold, wet ride, but had a lot of fun too. Very well worth it for the cause. I hope to see you next year!!! Maybe there will be less hills?!

Take Care,

10:24 AM  
Blogger 5kdad said...

How's my legs? Hey, when you are a conditioned athlete like me, you don't notice things like
I'm about back to normal. Not been on my bike this week.
How's things with you, survive with no permanent damage?


12:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home