Sunday, August 03, 2008

MS Bike Tour Recap

The MS Pedal the Plains ride for 2008 is now history and for a brief moment I thought my marriage was too. Some of the looks I received at the very end of the ride from Laura told me that there will be days/weeks/months of sucking up to commence immediately. I can't tell you how proud I am of Laura for gutting it out for such a wonderful cause. The most single day miles she had ever put in was 50 (followed by a 30 the next day) and I was going to be pushing her to 75 in back to back days.

The first day was a brutal test for Laura. The winds this summer have not been too bad at all for the most part. We probably haven't ridden in anything about about 15mph all summer. The forecast on Saturday: HOT and WINDY -- 20 mph with gusts over 30 out of the SSE. Guess what direction we were headed?

We pounded the first 2 hours about as hard as we could before the wind got ridiculous. We managed to get about 35 miles in when the wind started to just get absolutely brutal. By the time the Big Blue Tandem rolled into Beresford for the lunch stop, the flag in the picture below told the story of why it seemed like we were rolling backwards.

We survived day one even though the 75 Laura just traveled was equal to a century ride on a non windy day (at least). Laura soaked in the tub for about an hour - the beauty of riding to your hometown on day one - and then I massaged her legs out to try to give her brighter hope of surviving day two.

Day two started out warm with humidity in the 95% range as we were just absolutely dripping standing around outside. Once we got going on the road some of Team Road Kill hooked up with the FAB boys and we were screaming along at 20+ mph with a steady stream of sweat dripping on my top tube. After we split up we really lost some speed until we realized that our front disc brake was rubbing. It's the difference between about 20 mph and about 13 mph in case you are wondering.

At Beresford I had a Gut Check flashback as Snakebite and the Big Blue Tandem hooked up for the ride non stop to Lennox. That was going pretty well until about 5 miles before Lennox when I realized that the heat and sheer volume of miles was taking effect on Laura. We took a long stop at Lennox to give her a "butt break" as we call them.

Shortly after that I realized she was still hurting and I cut Snakebite loose as we pulled off to the side of the road at the Tea turn to get her off the bike. Here we were, about 14 miles from the finish and I seriously thought it was all over for Laura. The pain was all over her face and it didn't take long for a tear to roll down her cheek.

I felt horrible and asked her point blank if she wanted to quit. To her credit, she didn't and we rolled on to the next rest stop. From there she toughed out the last ten miles and finished. All 150 miles. I couldn't be prouder. Her back side is not happy with me. I told her that I'd give her tomorrow off. She informed me that she sees me getting re-introduced to my road bike for a week or so. I offered two days in return. Her bartering didn't budge. A week it is.

For those of you who rode with us, you know that the BBT moves right along. You also know that WHEN (not if) Laura becomes stronger that keeping in the draft of the BBT will be tough. And for those of you who graciously allowed the BBT and Snakebite's Big Dummy to break wind for you and then dust us on the long hill, I predict flat tires in your near future. I'm not sayin' how, I'm just sayin'.

I leave you with one final shot. The one that Snakebite made a comment to Laura NOT to take: A moving picture of my butt with our new camera. Here's hoping you don't go blind!


Anonymous said...

Great wrap-up of what I'm sure was a very rewarding ride for both of you. Congrats.

In the words of Al Bundy, "I'm Bliiiiiinnnndddd!"

Anonymous said...

Awesome Job Laura!!! JLF

Ham(m)er said...

Good job Laura! It wasn't an easy MS ride by any means.

Tez said...

Way to hang with it Laura! You are the woman! Great to meet you both and I am sure we will see you at the Marg ride in September! Make sure Mr Brady does pay!...haha! Take care!

Anonymous said...

I was happy to back there going up as well as going down. Good to see you guys again.

DIRK said...

Don't wish a flat tire on me!! I got up front and pulled you guys for a while. Sunday was a blast, and I am going to keep training so I can keep up with you guys next year.

bikingbrady said...

damn it Dirk, now I have to come up and pick up all those tacks I laid down....

Briman said...

I was hoping that my short stint at the front would be a help up the hill over the bridge, but the physics of the Big, Loaded Dummy and the tandem dictated otherwise.
(I thought I blocked about as much wind as a tandem!)
Great job, Laura! I remember my first 72-mile day, two years ago... and how challenging it was.