OK, maybe not quite dead, but it's been ridiculous Chez Fat Bottom of late. Anyway, I owe you all an update!
FIRST: A gigantic THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU to everyone who donated! We raised $450 for the National MS Society! You are all made of Win and Awesomsauce, and you have helped make things just a bit brighter for people living with MS. Every penny raised goes to help fund research to fight this awful disease, and help MS patients in need get medical care and equipment. I met some folks on the Ride who are just so grateful and excited that people are interested in helping in whatever way they can. Meeting them and knowing the good the MS Society does for them made all the training pain worth it.
If you wanted to donate prior to the Ride, but couldn't, you still can until August 31st.
So, about the Ride...
If you know me IRL, you know that I did not succeed in the planned 100 miles. I did, however, make the full 50 on the first day, and I think for my first distance event, that's pretty damned good!
(That's me on one cup of coffee.)
We got to the Lucas County Fairgrounds bright and early to check in, have a little breakfast, and get started. The place was jammed with veteran riders and n00bs alike, and the atmosphere was one of party and fun. Everyone was so excited and ready to roll, and when our group was ready, we took off like shots!
A few miles in, VG blew a flat, so we had to SAG it over to a bike mechanic to get him sorted. To our delight, the mechanic at that station was VG's regular dude from The Bike Route here in Toledo. He had VG re-tubed and re-tired in no time flat, and we were off again.
Right into a hill. OMG. Now, if I had still be riding Red, it would have been all over for me right there, since Red's gears didn't shift any more. But I had my shiny new bike, so all I had to do was downshift, right? Well, in theory, that's how it works. But my bike decided not to get into gear, so I really struggled in third until everything finally clicked over. If you ever want to feel like you're getting nowhere fast, try pedaling uphill in third gear. OW!
From there, though, it was smooth sailing, and we had fun at the rest stops!
(There was a group of women with these T-shirts. Each had a word on the front that, when they lined up, spelled out "We are on our cycles", and one had a giant period on her shirt. Because they were. On their periods, I mean. I was vastly amused by this novel way to build a cycling team.)
I can't decide if my favorite stop was Tontogany, where we got to go into the Firehouse and have HOMEMADE BROWNIES OMGSOGOOD!, or the final stop in Gibsonburg, where I swear it was an Angel handing out Dreamsicles as we rolled in on an 85 degree day.
There's something delightful about somebody's Grampy handing you a pair of Dreamsicles after 50 miles of riding, really. I hopped off my bike and gave him a hug and a kiss and told him he was an Angel, and he just BEAMED! But he really was an Angel! What else do you call the guy waiting for you with something cold and sweet?
With the appearance of the Dreamsicles, we were done for the day, and we were loaded up and taken to Port Clinton High School to store our bikes for the night, pick up our Jet Express passes, and get our transportation into town. We had the option to camp at the high school, but the fact is, I don't camp. Ever. For any one or any reason. It's never been fun for me, and it's just too hard on my joints besides. So, VG and I booked a room in town at the Super 8, which is just across the street from the Frisch's Big Boy my Opa and I used to spend a lot of time in every summer. I hadn't realized that's where it was - the Super 8 wasn't there when I was a teenager spending summers in Port Clinton - but I was tickled when I spotted it.
We got checked in, and trundled upstairs for a shower and a nap. I howled when I spotted this:
You know you're in a Summer Town when... Hee!
After I had an hour to recover, we hopped on the Jet Express to South Bass Island and Put-in-Bay. Now, Put-in-Bay was rather important venue during the War of 1812, and if you get me started about War of 1812 history here in my area, I won't shut up, so just go read about The Battle of Lake Erie.
We wandered around the Island and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, had some dinner, and headed back to the hotel to crash.
When I awoke on Sunday, my legs looked like this:
When getting ready for the Ride, we had put zip ties on my water bottle holder to stabilize it and make sure I didn't lose my nice Camelbak bottle. By the time I noticed that I was getting scratched up, the damage was done. I did fix the issue, but by then, I had mangled myself pretty good. It didn't really hurt until Sunday, though.
We packed up to head out and get the day going. The first transport shuttle skipped us. The second one picked us up, but we got there mere minutes from being able to get on the first bus over to the start point. We were put on the bus for the second wave...and waited for 45 minutes to get on the road. While on the road, the bike truck kept getting lost. A 20 minute ride took more than an hour, so we spent 2 hours crammed into a bus. Ugh.
At the Gibsonburg start point, I realized I could not get on my bike. Try as I might to stretch, I couldn't. I was a Walking Cramp, and was in a lot of pain. I tried a double dose of ibuprofen and a lot of walking and attempting to stretch, but my calves and thighs were having none of it, and after about 45 minutes of trying to work it all out, I called it off. I had to decide whether I wanted to try and end up injuring myself badly, or be happy with what I had already accomplished. I chose the latter, and I don't regret it!
I will probably do this again next year!
In the in-between, I've decided to do a 62 mile road rally in Perrysburg next month. It's not a fundraiser ride, it's just a bunch of people riding for the fun of it, in honor of General Mad Anthony Wayne and the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
(Yes, I know a lot about the Battle of Fallen Timbers, too. I'LL SHUT UP NOW!)
Stay tuned for more cycling adventures! And, you guys? For all of your support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
--Missy, the Fat Bottomed Girl