OK, Before I tell you about the actual ride, let me preface by saying…I wasn’t going to ride this year.
I haven’t been riding like I needed to be. The anemia has pretty much wiped me out and I had no energy, no motivation, no drive to get on my bike. The other week, I rode 6 miles to the garage to pick up my husband’s car and that was the first time I had been on the bike since November. In top of that, my husband wasn’t able to get off work to be here with the kids, so I told him not to worry about it, I was just gonna skip it this year and focus on the MS 150 in Sept. Then…..

My kids rebelled. They said no way was I gonna cancel this because of them. They all went and found places to go. I asked my 7 yr old why it was so important to him for me to do this and he said “you always give up stuff you want to do for us, you shouldn’t have to do that. I want you to do something that you want to do”. So with that, I emailed the ride coordinator to see if I could get on the Saturday shuttle back to the start (that way I could just do one day). I planned to just do what I could and be happy with that, even if it meant not completing.

I started out and ran into a girl who had ridden maybe 5 miles before that day. She was on a mountain bike, had never ridden on the road, and didn’t know the “rules of the road”. She was a couple steps behind where I was last year. I told her I’d stick with her as long as she could go and we’d look at it as 10 miles at a time. A couple of times she told me I was hard to keep up with, which I thought was funny since I’m still really slow, lol But we made it to rest stop one and one of her friends was there saying that she was quitting, so the girl I was with quit too. So, I plugged away on my own to rest stop 2 where I met a man and his son. He was keeping about the same pace that I was, so I asked if he minded company. he said not at all, so I fell in with him. He told me that at rest stop 4 he had his truck and was planning on stopping there. I was struggling, so I asked if I could join him and he said sure. So that was my plan. Get to rest stop 4 and ride in with Bob. We leave and head to 3. I was less than a mile from rest stop 3 and I started getting sick. I stopped and got off the bike for a bit to try to regain my senses. I walked the bike up a hill thinking “when I get to the top, I can get back on and ride it into the rest stop” I got to the top and could see the rest stop. I clipped in on one side and tried to push off and didn’t even have the strength to get enough speed to balance and clip in on the other side. I was all over the road, just a wobbly mess. I was done. The ride supervisor was riding SAG and saw me and pulled her car over in front of me. I was hoping she was with ADA, but at that point I didn’t care. She could have been a kidnapper as long as she let me in the car, lol. So, I rode the rest of the way in with her. Along the way of riding back in, we ran across another rider who was showing signs of heat exhaustion (it was fucking HOT!!) It turns out that I had met him at last years Tour, and again at the MS 150. He’s also gonna be at the 150 this year too so we have a standing date for a beer at the finish line. When we got to the finish line, I got an awesome sports massage and Outback catered us. At 9:30 the shuttle came to pick us up and take us back to the start line and I came back home.

So, that’s my story. I didn’t finish the whole 75 miles, but I’m perfectly ok with what I did considering the lack of riding I had been doing. I’m proud of my efforts. I quit when it stopped being fun. Now I am focused on the MS 150 and completing both 75 mile days this year (remember last year I had to do the 30 mile option on day 2). I haven’t decided if I’m going to do this ride again next year or just volunteer.