Monday, August 07, 2006
This past weekend was the MS150, which is a charity ride from Waukesha to Madison over 2 days, and other than being rained on all day yesterday, it was a wonderful event. We started out Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with a leisurely stroll out of Waukesha with a group of almost 1500 riders heading towards our destination of Whitewater where we would stay the night. The first 3 or 4 miles were pretty slow as everyone made their way out of Waukesha and thankfully the groups started to thin out as the miles went on which allowed me ride in a straight line instead of weaving around all of the slower riders. The weather was perfect on Saturday with overcast skies to block out a lot of the sun and keep the temps manageable in the mid 80s, and the wind was pretty much non-existent. Dave and I rode the 100 mile route and it was a great ride with plenty of opportunities to eat lots of food at the rest stops along the way. I may have actually gained a pound or two during the weekend. After the ride we had a large dinner at the dining hall of the UW-Whitewater campus, basically all you could eat spaghetti, chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, and I also ate a corn dog....yum, yum. We awoke on Sunday morning to cloudy skies at 5:30a.m., but with hope that the rain would hold off we went to breakfast for our fill of waffles, juice and a couple biscuits with gravy. We changed right after breakfast and walked out of the dorms with our SS jerseys on only to find that it was now raining. I quickly threw on my jacket and unfortunately that was not an option for Dave as he didn't bring one with, so we headed out knowing that we were in for a long day of riding in the rain. Immediately we both were pretty wet and chilled and knew that cutting it short and doing the 62 mile route would probably be the order of the day. I have a lot to race for yet this year with the State Crit Championship coming up so I was not ready to catch pneumonia by riding in the rain for 6 hours on the 100 mile route. After about 26 miles we hit the 2nd rest stop and the ride organization was making everyone stay at that stop as the local law enforcement were not allowing anyone back on the road as there was way too much lightning and supposedly hail heading our way. We all huddled under a carport and tried our best to squeeze out whatever water we could to help dry out a little sooner than later. After approximately 45 minutes of standing around they finally allowed everyone to continue on and the rain and wind combined to chill us to the bone, reaffirming our decision to cut our route short and do 62 miles. We finished the ride in Madison filthy with mud, manure, worms, and whatever other road grime we accumulated along the way. Luckily for us one of the buses was getting ready to leave to take people back to Waukesha so we quickly threw on some dry shirts and shorts (or wet shorts in Dave's case) and jumped on the bus. It took about all of 10 minutes before I was almost drooling on my shirt as I slept like a little baby on the ride back. After we got our bikes and gear we packed up and I headed for home with nothing on my mind but a warm shower and a plate of leftover lasagna from Friday night. I showered, ate, and then went to Starbucks with my wife for a nice big coffee and then relaxed the night away watching a DVD in the recliner. All in all, it was a great ride and in spite of the rain, a great weekend. I was proud to raise some money for MS and hopefully I can make it back next year to do it again.