The plan was, since my son had a football game on Saturday, my husband would be home Friday, I would leave Friday night, get pre-checked in at the ride, and get into my hotel. I’d do Day 1, then he would meet me Saturday night, and be there on Day 2 when I came across the finish line. Then we would just stay in New Bern through Monday, he’d leave New Bern and head to the airport and I would head home. Seemed simple enough, right, lol

I got there Friday and went to the convention center and checked in. I expected to have to write a check for the $150 in donations that I still needed, but they are giving me until Oct 14th to get that, Yay! (that’s the downfall of not telling anyone you’re doing this, lol). After getting checked in, I met Larry. Hisgroup, the MSFITS wereselling socks as part of their way of fundraising. Him and his wife are super fundraisers they usually average about $10K every year. So, he pitched his socks to me, lol and then sent me to the table to buy a pair (or 2, hey they were cheaper if you bought 2). While I was there I met his wife Blanche. She’s had MS for 12 yrs. Anyway, while there they asked if I was with a group, and I told them nope, I was all by my lonesome. They said that couldn’t happen, I had to ride with them. I said “I’m really slow” they said “So are we”. Well, I’ve learned that when most people say they are slow, they mean they average about 15mph, lol…my “slow” is about 10. So, anyway, in talking they asked what route I was doing. There was a 100 both days (some people did a double center!! They were awesome), 75, and then a 30 mile option both days. Well, I was doing the 75 and they were doing the 30, so riding together wouldn’t work, but they offered to ride the first 15 with me, just find them in the morning.

Well, the staggered start had the 20+ line up in front, 15-20 next, 10-15, after them, 10 and under in back, then the 30 milers went last. Even though I had been averaging about 11.4, I decided to line up in eth 10 and under bunch. I woudl rather start in back and move up then be run over by faster people behind me. So we didn’t catch up with each other on day 1.

Saturday’s ride was very surreal. It was like every mile I went was just that much closer to the finish. By the time I made it to mile 50, I figured I had gone this far, might as well so the last 25. A lot of people were getting sagged at that point, but I was bound and determined to finish. I got to the last rest stop and there was supposedly “10 more miles). The last stop was also the first stop and I knew based on my cue sheet that stop 1 was 11-something into the course, so it wasn’t really 10 more miles, but, ok, close enough. By the time I got to the finish my bike computer read 77+ miles. I know it had been off by .3 miles.

Anyway….New Bern is mostly flat, but the hills we had were good ones. It was a nice ride. Winding through some really beautiful parts of the coast. AT the beginning and end we had to go across a little draw bridge and also a bridge and on ramp onto the highway. That was THE HILL. The really big one. I came up on that bridge…started climbing it and was just done. I had to pull from the very last bit I had left to get across that bridge. Once I hit the peak it was all downhill the rest of the way. I was in tears by that point. Just knowing I had made it. And with the crowd lining the street cheering me on, it was just too much. Also, our rider numbers were color coded, so they could tell I was a new rider, and I was also coming in alone, so they gave me a little extra cheer. I had to duck into a bathroom and finish off my cry. Then I had strangers coming up and hugging me and saying “Thank you. I have MS, and I really appriciate everything you do”. OMGOD! That made me loose it even more.

So, like I said, after that I was so tired and sore I couldn’t even stay and party with eth rest of the cyclist. I just went back to my hotel and crashed

My husband had left me a voice mail telling me to call him when I got the chance, so I called him on the way back to the hotel (I was outside of New Bern about a 20 min drive). He told me that his car was overheating really bad and he couldn’t drive it. Then he told me about his mom, and I could hear the hurt in his voice. I wished I could have been there with him. He said he didn’t want to mess up my weekend, so he was trying to get a ride to the airport on Monday. He knew that he woudln’t be able to get to New Bern, but wanted to see if he could get a ride so that I could stay through Monday like we planned. He called his mom, who had said anytime we needed a car, hers was sitting there. He asked if he could borrow it and she said she guessed so but she would prefer if her boyfriend just came down and gave him a ride. He said he would rather not, because it just wasn’t this guys responsibility to drive from Greensboro (1 1/2 hours to my house) then to the airport (another hour) then back home. That’s when she started getting pissy and finally just sighed and said “I’m just so disappointed in you…” and he just stopped her and said “If you can really say that after all I’ve done for you, then just go right ahead and be disappointed because I’m done” and then he hung up. He told me he’d had enough. I’m sure that he doesn’t really mean it. I hope he does. But I’m sure he doesn’t. Anyway, she’s a bitch. That’s all. I’m sure she was being that way just to fuck with me. He needed a ride so that it wouldn’t mess up MY weekend, so she was bound and determined to be the problem that screwed it up. Whatever. So, anyway, I told himthat I felt like I had been hit by a semi and I would probably just do the 30 anyway. And since I was doing the short ride I would go ahead and come home.

Saturday night, I didn’t think I wanted to ride again. I hurt, really really bad. I had taken an Aleave that morning before riding, and then took two more before I went to bed and was still sore.

By the time the alarm went off at 5:45, I had talked myself into going for the 30. So I got up, got dressed, packed up and loaded the car and checked out and headed to the park.

I lined up with all teh other 30 milers and really though this ride was gonna kill me. The route went out 10 miles, rest stop, out 5 miles, turn around, 5 miles back to the rest stop, then back to the finish. Very easy. When I got to the first stop, I met up with Larry and Blanche again. This was the first time I saw their bike. It was the coolest tandem recumbent, low to the ground 3 wheeled bike (2 wheels in front on in back). It’s perfect for Blanche because she has a lot of balance issues from the MS. I spent waaaaaay too long at the rest stop chatting with them and had to get back on the road. We went out and I got to the turn around and was behind two ladies who were going r e a l l y slow. I decided it would be a good rest for me, I’ll just hang back and once we get back on the main road going back, I’ll pass them. The lady right in front of me was too the right and I was staggered behind her to the left. Then she decided to stop. I figured I’d go around her since she stopped. Suddenly she turned her bike SIDEWAYS!!!! I ran right into her front tire and lost control. I sawa bush and aimed for it, went through the bush and into a yard and finally fell over. People came running out of their houses to see if I was ok, which I was. The yard was MUCH softer than the road would have been. The lady was very apologetic and kept saying if there was damage she would pay for it, but it was ok.

BUT, then I couldn’t get my cleat to snap into the pedal. I managed to make it back to the rest stop and had the REI guy look at it and he said I would probably need new cleats. I rode the rest of the way with only one foot snapped in, but still managed to average 14MPH.

Larry had told me to meet him at the finish line and he would give me a team jersey since they had recruited me to the MSFITS, lol, so I waited around a bit. Bought a hat that says “Bike Naked it will put color in your cheeks” then “MS 150 Bike Tour” on the back. Oh, yeah…this leg of the MS 150 was called the Magical Mystery Tour. How cool is that given I’m a fan of the Beatles. I bought my pictures. They had ON SITE picture printing, so cool. I loved those guys. I told them to contact the ADA and get on with the Tour de Cure. Then I finally met up with Larry and got my jersey YAY!

I decided since I was leaving early anyway, I would go see my mom. Her birthday was Saturday and they were having a get together for her on Sunday and my dad was giving me a hard time about not coming. I’m glad I went cause my dad actually behaved himself and I got to see my favorite aunt. My brother was there too. He tried to give me a hard time about biking. He asked if I “learned my lesson”. I said “Yeah, next year I sign up earlier and get more donations”. Then he said “I get tired just driving 75 miles” I said “Hmm, I guess my balls are bigger than yours then”. He shut up after that cause his new girlfriend got a huge laugh out of it.

Then I came on home and enjoyed a shower and a beer. Ahhhhh, good to be home.

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