Posts Tagged ‘Biking’

h1

Whoohoooo! We did it :)

June 10, 2009

MSride09

We made it through the MS Ride last weekend! This is a picture from my camera phone of the two of us at the second rest stop on Saturday.

The ride was good, I made it through 114 miles all together (62 miles on day one, 52 on day two). I wasn’t sure how the second day would go, especially because the terrain between Frankfort and Lexington is more hilly than what we had the first day of the ride. But, I did it! And even though I was thinking on Sunday that I might never want to ride my bike again, I am already thinking about what other rides I can do in the future.

We even made it home in time to get a brief rest and get cleaned up before heading to our friend’s wedding that afternoon. Congratulations to Karin and LeAdam! We are so glad we got to be part of your big day. 🙂

Now, a new development: I found out that there is an official 2009 Bike The Bluegrass bike jersey that is awarded to any participants who raise $500 in donations. I managed to raise just over $300 before the event, and donations are still counted up through July 7… so, if any of you out there haven’t already donated and would like to help me win a bike jersey (I don’t have any jerseys, so I’m not one of the “cool kids” yet), please visit my online fundraising page and make a tax-deductible donation online. OR, you can mail me a check made out to the National MS Society, and I’ll turn it in. You’ll be helping a great cause, and you can help me get a nifty jersey commemorating the weekend that I biked more than I ever have before!

More details about the actual ride to come soon…

Advertisements
h1

Countdown to Craziness…

June 5, 2009

It’s about 9:30 p.m. and I need to get my shower and get to bed. We will have to wake up tomorrow around 4am  in order to get ourselves over to Keeneland and ready to hop on the shuttle that leaves at 5am for Churchill Downs. Assuming everything goes OK, we’ll return to Keenland sometime Sunday afternoon. Then we get to go to a wedding! (Hi Karin and LeAdam!)  I hope I’ll be still be able to move my legs at that point… we’ll see 🙂

Here are the images of the routes we will take both days:

Day One: We plan to do the pink route, 62.1 miles…

dayone

Day Two, we plan to complete the green loop, 51.2 miles…

daytwo

Assuming I make it through, this will be the most miles I have put on my bike at one time.

I guess I’d better get some rest…

h1

Again with the craziness. (This one’s for you, Connie!)

April 24, 2009
A shot of me and Glenn at the first rest stop on the Bike Trek to Shakertown last fall. My very first bike trek. Now I'm doing another one!

A shot of me and Glenn at the first rest stop on the Bike Trek to Shakertown last fall. My very first bike trek. Now I'm doing another one!

So, I’ve done it again. I’ve signed up for a ridiculously long bike trek, and this one will happen on June 6 and 7. It’s the MS150: Bike The Bluegrass – a benefit ride to raise money to fight Multiple Sclerosis. The ride starts on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in Louisville… and finishes on Sunday afternoon at Keeneland race track in Lexington. There are different routes available each day, with different mileages to choose from. My current goal is to ride the 50-60 mile rides on both days, totally somewhere around 110 miles over the two days. I hope I can do it without embarrassing myself too much!

In order to participate in the event I need to raise some money for the National MS Society. A very worthy cause! And I also wish to point out that this is the first time I have attempted this ride (although my husband has ridden it a few times in the past), and I will be riding this year in honor of my friend, Connie Goehner. I have known Connie since I was a little girl growing up and attending my home church in Maryland… Connie has a son a few years older than me, and she is the first person I ever knew to have multiple sclerosis. For years she was confined to a wheelchair… but one day something was changed in her treatment that resulted in her leaving that wheelchair behind. Obviously she was not cured of the disease, but just the fact that she was able to get out of the chair was a miracle to me! Although I haven’t seen her in years, I hear that she is still doing well today.

Through the years Connie has dealt with her disease with grace and perseverance… and so this is my way of letting Connie know that I admire her spirit. Raising money to fight MS is the same as raising money to help my friend… so please, consider pitching in!

I am required to raise a minimum of $200 but I’d love to raise more than that. If you can see your way to contributing ANY amount, I will greatly appreciate it. Please visit my personal fundraising website (here) to make your tax-deductible donation.

And now… I need to get back out on the bike for some training rides.

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, CONNIE!  🙂

h1

The Trek Report

September 16, 2008

For all my die hard fans — and by that I mean the two or three people who like to follow this blog — I will now recount for you some of the adventures from this past weekend.

Part I

Glenn’s Constitution: The Preamble

On Friday evening my parents arrived to spend the weekend with our boys while Glenn and I went on the Trek. But just as we were sitting down to have some supper, Glenn disappeared. At first I thought he’d gotten pulled in on a late conference call (it happens) but after some time I went to look and found him lying in bed. Fully clothed. Feeling ill.

“What kind of sick? Is it your stomach? Your head?”

“I don’t know.”

Oh, GREAT. Not to sound too selfish… but this was to be my very first organized bike ride, and I dreaded the thought of going down there and riding all those miles myself. My goal of riding the long distance on Saturday was quickly fading to obscurity.

With great resolve I gathered up all the things I would need to take with me, set the kitchen timer for an alarm, and slept on the couch. Hey, I didn’t want any part of whatever Glenn was feeling! And, we have a very comfy couch.

Part II

On a Hot Day You Can Ride Forever

Saturday morning came early. I checked in with my sickly husband and found him feeling better, although not totally up to speed. He said he was going to go, but he would definitely not be up to the long ride. We packed our bikes and our gear, but took a little longer in so doing than we originally planned… which meant that we did not have time to stop for breakfast before we got down to our starting point in Harrodsburg. Oh, well.

At Old Fort Harrod State Park we checked in. And all I saw was a parking lot filled with people who clearly know what they are doing when it comes to bikes. Bike jerseys everywhere, with sponsor logos on them. Padded shorts, fancy bikes, and lots of people walking around with a funny gait as their specialized bike shoes with the pedal clips tap-tap-tapped on the pavement. At least I do not walk like a duck, I thought.

After gathering to review rules of the road, safety tips, and other important information, we all started to head out. And as we began to spread out a bit over the first mile or two, I thought “this will be fun.”  I was bummed about not attempting the 69-mile route… but at least I would not be alone while I rode the “short” distance of 36 miles.

Then we hit the first major hill. A dreadfully long incline that had at least one deceptive area where you thought you had reached the top but then turned to see the hill go on upward for another mile or two. OK, I could be exaggerating about the distance… but it was a really long, slow incline.

When we finally reached the top, there before us was our first official refreshment stop. Except, once again, I may be exaggerating. Because I would have expected a “refreshment” stop for an organized ride of about 200 bikers to be fully stocked with water and gatorade… but while we had plenty of apples, bananas and cookies to choose from, the liquid refreshments were not exactly flowing. This was a bit of a disappointment… and now I am not exaggerating.

After the rest, we headed on. For the better part of the day, everything was a blur of country roads, hot sun, and what some describing the Trek refer to as “gently rolling hills.”  [I have other special names for them myself.] It was hot. I remember feeling pretty good, though… like I was accomplishng something. And did I mention that it was hot?

The route we took on Saturday was officially 36 miles. Glenn’s odometer told us we’d gone about 38. Either way, it was the most miles I have ridden on my bike in one spell, and I was proud of myself for completing it.

Part III

[Almost] Gone With the Wind

I told Glenn I wanted to attempt the longer route on Sunday since we hadn’t been able to do it the first day… we were both feeling pretty good and he seemed to be over whatever bug he’d had Friday night, so we signed up for the 55-mile ride. The day promised to be not *quite* as hot as the day before, but all trekkers still got a lecture on riding safely in the heat. We also heard that it might get a bit windy. A bit.

The first half of the ride was really quite nice. There was a bit of a breeze that seemed to keep the temperature down. The ever-present “rolling hills” were still there, but at this point I was getting used to them. I was definitely one of the slower riders among those taking the long route, but I didn’t care. All we had to do was get to Shakertown by the end of the day… it was not a race, after all!

We made a couple stops (basically, whenever we saw one of the sag trucks setting up drinks at the side of the road) and I really enjoyed a few of the little country roads we took that day. We worked hard going up some long hills but were equally rewarded with some thrilling downhill rides, too. Everything seemed to be going along great.

Then the winds picked up. And I do mean “picked up,” because they were picking up everything that wasn’t nailed down. Somewhere around, oh I’d say mile 30 or 35, it got ugly.

Imagine riding a bicycle along a country road… no shoulder to speak of, with cars needing to pass you periodically… and, in addition to the regular challenge of climbing hills, you now have 55+ mph wind gusts to contend with. You are in the middle of tornado country, with clouds gathering above. Overhead power lines swaying wildly. Branches and other debris whipping through the air. You can’t even enjoy going downhill anymore, because the wind is so strong that it threatens to take your bike over into the ditch at any moment. You ride while leaning into the wind at about a 30 degree angle, just to avoid blowing sideways. Even on the flat stretches of road, you find yourself straining to pedal forward because the wind is just that strong. It’s exhausting. It is not fun.

When we finally made it to the main rest stop on the route… the Village Inn restaurant in Burgin, KY… we had gone about 47 miles. We were hungry and grateful to get some lunch. And it’s remarkable how a little food and a good rest can refresh you, even after such a horrid experience just prior. As we waited for our food and chatted with some of the other bikers who had gotten there before us, we were psyching ourselves up for the last leg of the ride, which was about 8 miles. Several riders had chosen to “sag” in, meaning they woud get a lift from one of the trucks. We really wanted to tough it out and finish the route since we were so close. But then we were told that we needed to take a ride in on one of the trucks, too, because the trek officials were getting worried about the safety of all the riders. Thus ended our bike trek for Sunday. 😦

Part IV

The End

Shakertown is a really nice place to stay. The guest rooms are very comfortable and the dining is great. In fact, the main reason Glenn has always tried to raise money to do the 3-day ride is so that he can stay over at Shakertown and eat dinner and then the big buffet breakfast there.

We checked in to our room and had a nice rest before it was time to head over to the dining room for supper. Unfortunately, Glenn was starting to feel poorly again and he had to excuse himself before he ever got to eat on Sunday evening. His little bug was not quite finished with him yet, it turned out. I ate my supper with some friendly strangers and then avoided all the other entertainment for the evening and returned to the room.

Hey, Shakertown has Tempur-pedic “DaySpa” beds in all their rooms! And they are wonderful. And I want one.

I had originally planned to ride one of the shorter Monday rides that would return us to our car at Old Fort Harrod State Park… but Glenn really needed to get back home and get to work as soon as possible, so we opted out.

Trek Totals:

38 miles on Saturday

47 miles on Sunday

$1080 to date* that I raised for the American Lung Association.
*This number can still change! Donations will be accepted through mid-November and credited to my account if you visit my personal fundraising page. Thanks again to EVERYONE who contributed to my ride this year.

h1

You Are So Proud of Me!

August 31, 2008

I rode thirty miles on my bike yesterday. Let me clarify: I pedaled thirty miles on my bicycle yesterday. I do not want any one to be confused and think that I took a ride on Glenn’s motorcyle!

Things I learned on yesterday’s training ride:

  1. Thirty miles is a long way.
  2. Hills make it a longer way.
  3. I like Gatorade.
  4. Gatorade is too precious to squirt at rogue bike-chasing dogs.
  5. Barking at the dogs works pretty well.
  6. Those “granny gears” on the bike serve a purpose.
  7. I am officially a “granny” when it comes to hills.
  8. If you look up the hill, it always looks steep.
  9. If you look at the road right in front of your tire, the hill isn’t as steep anymore.
  10. The holes in your helmet are not big enough to get your fingers in if you have an itch.

So, I’m feeling slightly more prepared for the trek… but I’m still iffy on whether to do the long ride on Saturday. After yesterday, I would almost say that 30 miles is my limit – so the shorter ride would be the one for me. But then again, if I can do 30 miles in less than 3 hours, with only a limited amount of training… surely I can force myself to tough it out for 60 or so, with some good rest stops and no particular time limit to complete the distance. Right?

Here’s your chance everyone… tell me I can do it!

h1

Second Thoughts Haiku

August 25, 2008

[aka “Bike Trek training is hard!”]

Pedaling uphill
is less fun than riding down…
but I must do both.

What silly person
thought it would be good for me
to take this challenge?

Oh, that was just me
feeling like a teenager
instead of forty.