Sunday, September 13, 2009

My MS Tour for Cure 2009

I was really looking forward to this ride/event for a long time. I had spent the spring and summer training for it. My training went well and I was able to ride both 75 miles ride and really enjoy myself. I was tire and am a bit sore but it is not too bad. I lost over a pound during the ride taking me to a new low weight of 351.4 pounds.
Team CBC, my team, was wonderful - everything was well organized, managed and fun. Sitting around our tent village or the gathering at the B&B talking and visiting with the members of the team was a lot of fun. I only know a few of the members but everyone was friendly and pleasant. We had great weather but some of the roads could have been in better shape.
I had never been on this ride before but I have done 12 MS Tours when I lived in Louisiana. I did two from Lake Charles Louisiana, one form Shreveport Louisiana and rest from New Orleans even through we started from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. These rides were different we would start at one place ride 75 miles spend the night there then ride back on a different route. I think I like the setup in New Bern better.

When I arrived they had a lot of the tents setup including mine. I help setup about five and the large team tent shelter, I was not much help but did what I could.
I went over to the convention center and picked up my packet - I was rider 1876 - sounded like a good year to me. I heard there were over 2400 riders - I saw a rider with number 2537 so there may have been more than 2500 of us. I saw about a dozed recumbents but I was the only trike.
At 6:00 PM Team CBC had a gathering at a Bed and Breakfast about two blocks from our campsite for beer of course and conversation, it was a lot of fun. I believe the B&B was called Harmony House but am not sure. I walked back to camp at about 9:00 PM and some of us gathered around and just talked and visited. I went to bed about 11:00 PM

Saturday - My GPS data is HERE
I slept well only problem was getting myself to go to bed - was enjoying sitting around talk with everyone so much.
I got up at 6:20 took my meds. and got dressed to ride then to retrieve my trike from the van. The morning was beautiful and it looked like a great day. I ate breakfast - PB&J on a bagel - I only allow my self PB&J at rides where it is provided - lol.
Then we gathered together for our team photo - what a crowd. I did not know how the start of the ride was set up so when I went to line up I could not get to the area where the 17 to 18 mph and got stuck by the 11 to 12 mph average group. It did not brother me much but I would liked to have been with some of the Team CBC riders. By the time we started there were a lot of riders on the course and a lot of the were going a bit slower than I wanted to go. I spent the next two hours passing a lot of other riders. I really enjoyed riding with so many people but I found some of the roads to be in pretty poor shape.
The rest stops were very well done. The voluntaries and MS Staff who maned them were great, the stops were well provided at least to me.
I had a bit of a problem with flats. I had four, yes four. I have only ever had one other flat while out riding. I believe the first and second were caused by the same piece of glass that cut through the tire. I could not find it when I got the first flat. I never did find what caused the third and forth - these were both slow leaks and the forth flat was fixed at the lunch rest stop by the bike shop folks, thankfully it held. Theses flats added about one hour and twenty minutes to my ride time.
I was riding well and did not have any problems until mile 62 - some parts of my legs just started to ache and even feel like a pull. I did well but was tired and once finished I worried that I might have to shorten or skip my Sunday ride. I really did enjoy my ride even with the four flats. Arriving at the finish line and having the MS folk cheer was really special and made me feel good. I am sure that for a lot of the cyclist and most of Team CBC riding 75 miles was not much of a challenge but for me to ride 25 miles farther than I have ridden since I started riding again was a real victory.
When I was riding in Louisiana I rode 5 centuries and 12 MS Tour as well as several Tour De Cure for the ADA. At that time I rode 100K often. But that was about 10 years ago and a lot of pounds.
After the ride I meet my Dad who was there volunteering with other Ham Radio operators providing communications and driving SAGs (Support And Gear vehicles) - Dad was SAG 13. Dad offered me the shower in his room and them took me to dinner. We then walked a round a bit and listened to the awards. When Dad went back to his room I drifted back to the Team CBC camp and a bunch of us sat around and talked about our experiences on this and other rides and about life in general. This was a real special time. There is something I like about spending time with cyclist. I was hard to make myself get up to leave and go to bed but I did so a little after 10:00 PM. Man oh man did I sleep.

Sunday - My GPS data is HERE

I woke up at about 5:40 AM but did not get up til 6:15 AM. I packed up some of my stuff. I should have packed up as much as I could and get more of it to the van in the morning - I only took one load in the morning. Next time I will do as must as possible because it was really hard doing it after the ride. I took my load of stuff to the van and picked up the trike - all tires holding pressure - nice.
Breakfast - PB&J on a bagel again - cool. I still was not able to get with the group for the start but was not as far back as Saturday.
There was a police car partly blocking the left hand turn right after the start line so the whole group went straight, the wrong way, with a few turns we got back on track.
It was a bit cooler and I took it a bit easier - I kept my speed between 17 and 19 mph - I ended up with the same average as Saturday but I did not get as tired. I had a real good ride - in spite of how I felt the night before I was feeling strong and was riding well. I spent some time drafting when ever I could find a group. I am too short for DF(diamond frame) cyclist to draft off of, other recumbents can but DF cannot - I feel a little guilty drafting when I can not pull but if I could find a group where just one person was doing all the pulling it did not hurt the group. I would just ride my 17 - 19 mph pace and wait to see if someone passed me then I would try to jump on the end. I spent a good deal of time drafting a group that including four other Team CBC riders - I am sorry I do not know their names but it was two DF cyclists and one tandem couple. I estimate that I estimate I was able to draft for about one third of the route compared to almost none on Saturday.
The rest stops I stopped at were great again - well done, well stocked and well staffed - my thanks to the rest stop people. I only used four of the seven stops I was just not use to stopping so often but it was nice to know one could if one needed to stop.
Six miles past rest stop four, the lunch stop, I came upon a accident, at the time I did not know who it was but I did know it was a Team CBC group of riders, They had already made a cell phone call but I knew from listing to my radio that the Tour staff was not real sure where they were - I called net control and reported the accident. I was able to provide net control with more location information, the riders number and a description of the accident and his current status. It was nice to be able to help, it is one of the reason I got into Ham Radio.
We had a pretty rough hear wind for part of the ride but toward the end of the ride we turned and it became a tail wind. Usually when I turn from a head wind the wind turns to so I still have a head wind or at least it seems that way.
The rest of the ride was quite and pleasant - I rode most of the time solo passing others from time to time and getting passed also. I tried to jump in and draft off some of those passing me and was able to a little but most were too fast or we would come to a rest stop and get separated.
I had a real good ride - my legs were kind of like on auto pilot. I would be just riding along not really thinking about riding and I would then check my speed and I would be doing 18 - 19 mph. Kind of like my legs were set to pedal that speed - now I just had to increase that setting. When I arrived at the finish line I enjoyed hearing the MS folks cheering us for having done and finished the ride. I felt well, I was tired but well.
I put the trike away in the van and walked back to the campsite. There I rested a bit, talk with others who had or were returning from their rides. Then I began the task of finishing up my packing and hauling my gear back to the van. Two things, next time I do something like this I will pack up as much as I can the night before or the morning of the ride and haul as much as I can back to the van before the ride because I would be not as tired and it would be a lot cooler in the morning and second I want to get some sort of cart or wagon to use instead of carrying everything.
Taking down the tent I had never setup was interesting and trying to pack it back into a bag that was way to small for it to have ever have come out of was interesting shall we say. Once again doing so when so tire was not fun but the tent was wet so had to wait until after the ride.
Need less to say I got everything packed up and drove home with no trouble and I am looking forward to doing this again as well as some similar events.

Team CBC raised the most money and won the largest team Big Wheel. I though we should have won the jersey contest also but we did not even place.

My pictures from Saturday are HERE.

My pictures From Sunday are HERE.

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