Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MS150 - I LOVE the BIKE!

I knew I would enjoy the opportunity to ride my bike in some warm weather, but I had an amazingly good time at the MS150 this weekend. Hats off to my cousin Stephanie for getting the family together to ride in honor of my Uncle Don!

Not only was it nice and warm (after about an hour or so each day) and mostly flat (save a trip through a national forest on day 2) I got to ride with Tom... which doesn't happen that often. Kids and all. He even had a good time. He wasn't really sold on the organized ride thing.. lots of people he doesn't know (or trust on a bike) riding right next to him isn't exactly his idea of a good ride.. not to mention the fact that he hasn't exactly been riding. We're not even going to talk about the fact that he can NOT RIDE at all (mostly) for years and then drop back to back 50 mile then 75 mile rides. How does he do that!? I mean we didn't hammer it or anything, but come on! He's even asking what event we are going to do next.

The first day we did 50 of the 75 miles of the ride. We started in Waller, TX (apparently there were three start points) then stayed in some cabins (instead of camping in La Grange w/ the 13000 other people riding) and this was a good call.

As we were headed to the ride start I was saying to Tom that I didn't think I needed to eat lunch on a 50 mile ride. His response was that 'it wasn't about me' and I was thinking he meant that the ride wasn't about me and that I was making a judgement that they were offering lunch.. which I wasn't. As we came into the first rest stop and we were discussing stopping he again mentioned that it 'wasn't about me' and that's when I realized what he meant. That this ride was about the family and 'doing it together' not about here we are at the start and we'll see you at the finish. That husband of mine... he's a good man. So I begrudgingly stopped and waited for the rest of the family to join up with us at the first stop, and everystop after. I'm glad I did. And if Tom actually read this I would thank him for helping me not be an asshole... :) We met up with mostly eveyrone - except Tina because she thought we were out front and was trying to chase us down I think. We sat and had lunch together and were able to catch up on how everyoen was going. Which turned out to be a very good thing because dad got FOUR flats in a row and blew threw one of our tubes and ended up with a second of our (Tom's and mine) tubes. Tom changed the flats for dad which made it go much quicker for him so I'm really glad we held back.

Everything held together for dad for the rest of the ride.

The stops actually made the ride go by really fast and likely contributed to my lack of soreness for day two. The cabins were fantastic. Tom threw together a nice meal for us all to share while sitting and talking on the large front porch while watching the cows do their nightly routine. Did you know that they don't use horses to herd the cows anymore? At least this cowboy didn't. We saw an SUV out in the field and weren't sure what he was doing out there, but it quickly became obvious that he was using it to herd the cows back to the barn.

Above is the view from our cabin. We were out in the middle of no where and it was GREAT! Nice and quiet with a great front porch. Hmm here's an idea. I could have taken a picture of the cute little cabin, but I was so taken by all the cattle doin' there thing around us that I didn't even think about it. Plus there were cow pies everywhere. If you look REAL close you can see a little pile on the bench of the picnic table.
I drank about one glass of wine too many and had to get up in the middle of the night to drink an entire bike bottle of water before I could go back to sleep. Morning came quickly and we hit the road. Three of us had decided to do mostly the entire second day so we got sagged to a good jump in point, tucked some plastic grocery bags in our jersey fronts to block the early morning cold and set off on day 2. Legs felt just fine... saddle area not so much. Lot's of TUCK YOUR HIPS to stay on your sit bones .. OWWIE!! Spin saddle NOT the same as bike saddle...

At one point you could stay on the main highway course or break off into a state park that had more aggressive hills. Tom and I opted to go the park route and it was AWESOME. We got to bomb up and down hills in the shadded forest for about an hour. It's the only part of the ride that we really pushed and felt my legs getting heavy, but it was GREAT! I had a blast back in there and was happy to see that all the hill work in spin class is definitely paying off. I used to be HORRIBLY weak on the hills, but was able to hang on the climbs. Tom - without riding for a long time - can still kick my butt, but I was CHICKING some riders... and at one point a guy said "AGAIN?" as I raced past him on a hill.

We got back on the highway and settled in to a nice easy pace for the rest of the day. We had wind at our backs most of the day. Just a small section at the end with the wind at our faces.

All in all it was a great experience to be able to ride with the family and have a planned route. "Riding" is much different from racing and I really really enjoyed the no pressure atmosphere and seeing so many people that I know were out there conquering this distance for the very first time! I have to say that this years MS150 was a VERY different experience from my first MS150 over 10 years ago. The MS150 did an amazing job of organizing this HUGE (I already said 13,000 riders right!?) event. Not one cluster the whole day. I would highly recommend this ride. Get your family and friends organized. 2012 will be here before you know it!

Now I can't wait to get home and get into some serious bike riding. 100 miles... bring it!


  1. Great report Laura! And I'm so glad that Tom put you in your place a little! :) Just kidding... but it did sound like you were able to enjoy the entire thing so much more!

  2. Hi there!

    Nice riding experience for sure.

    ANd i also like your new blog colors;-)