The Rona MS Bike Tour

I feel like I ought to have written about this last week, as a reminder of the ride, but I was feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing.  I figured, just in case I failed miserably, no-one in blogland would know to ask about it.

The Ride for MS was this weekend.  I got out on a few rides in the past months, but the temperatures here have meant that even going out at 8 or 9pm, I was biking through pretty heavy humidity – so I hadn’t done any very long rides since going on the winery tour trip in the early spring.

On Saturday, we started in Acton, Ontario.  We biked about 100 km to Waterloo, including a 25 km optional loop near the beginning of the ride.  I did the optional loop… perhaps not my wisest choice, considering my qualms about my ability to complete the 75(ish) km to Waterloo.

The Team - four average sized people and a giant.

I made it to Waterloo, though, with a total time from Acton to Waterloo of somewhere between 5.5 and 6 hours.  Pretty good, considering we stopped at every rest-stop for a quick drink and a piece of fruit.  We averaged about 20 km/hr.  Just to give you an idea of how… average… that is, one of my friend/teammates finished the ride in under 4 hours… he averaged a bit over 30 km/hr.

We stayed in residence at the University of Waterloo, got free massages (glorious), relaxed and ate lots of corn before dinner (glorious-er), partook of some beverage, and sat down outside to listen to the speeches and awards ceremony.

I had been getting gradually more and more tired as the post-biking events of the day progressed.  When we sat down to listen to the awards, my legs hurt so much it felt like there were bees crawling around under my skin.  Gotta say – I’ve never felt that much pain-soreness in my legs before.

my legs were like this... but it was under the skin...

I went to bed with the fear that, by morning, my legs would be the equivalent of petrified wood – not useful for walking or biking.  I woke up, rolled out of bed, and felt… nothing.  It was like I hadn’t spent the entire previous day either biking or trying to massage the bees-under-skin feeling away.

The second day of biking came out to about 65 km of riding. I skipped the 25 km loop, not willing to risk having to drive home with the same leg pain I’d felt before.  It was a surprisingly easy ride, although I did notice that my speed was a bit reduced from the day before.  My teammate I rode with the day before was nice enough to slow her pace to keep company with me, and would wait for me at the top of many of the tougher hills.

The same teammate who finished a few hours before us the previous day did so again on Saturday.  He hung out and grabbed some food at the finish line, then biked out about 10 km to meet us along the trail.  He generously let us draft behind him for the last few uphills, and it is amazing how much easier the last little bit of biking is, when there’s someone there cheering you on and telling you exactly how many blocks you have to go still.

All in all, it was a successful event – the weather was great (cloudy and not as warm as it could have been), they had plenty of rest stops to break up the ride, and everyone was really encouraging throughout the ride.

My donations page will continue to be open (link on the side of my blog) for the next month or so – if you’re interested in supporting the MS Society of Canada, feel free to follow the link and donate to my ride, or go straight to the MS Society page and donate there.  There are also still opportunities to participate in rides this year (including a one-day ride in Toronto) – go to this link to find a ride near you, if you’re in Canada.  You can also help out by volunteering during a ride.

My heavy mountain-bike and I at the starting-line - at least I have road tires!

Thank you again to everyone who supported my ride, I really appreciate it, and the MS Society will be putting that money to good use in the search for a cure.  In the past twenty years, the radical changes in treatment and diagnosis have helped increase lifespans and improve quality of life, and the MS Society plays an important role in this.

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  1. Congratulations on completing the ride Lexy! Great job. The picture of the bees really freaked me out…. LOL first I thought you participated in some bizarre experiment.

    • haha, no… much as I like honey, bees, and the possibility of getting stung… no… never ever going to willingly coat myself in bees.

  2. Well done Lexy! My husband did the MS ride here earlier this year – 170 miles, 2 days. He found that doing Spin class all year plus participating in a few other smaller rides helps to prevent those nasty leg reactions.

    • I did spin classes in the fall… mainly, I think, I didn’t train enough for it. That, and I ride a mountain bike with road tires… there is a fair bit of energy lost to counteracting my shock absorbers, much as those come in handy on some of the rougher roads. I’m just impressed that my legs weren’t all stiff the next morning.
      Congrats to your husband on participating in MS rides 🙂

  3. Woot! Woot! Great Job! I wish I was as ambitious as you!

    • this type of event (walkathon, fun-run, bike tour, etc) is a lot of fun, including the one-day events… I highly recommend it 🙂 The volunteers really put in the effort to make it worthwhile.

  4. Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations on doing the ride. I thought the bee picture might have been some sort of weird biking initiation rite….lol.

    • haha… I’d have been out of there so fast, they wouldn’t have even finished saying “BEE” 😛

  6. TheIdiotSpeaketh

     /  August 17, 2011

    Congratulations! I am sorry I was unable to get there to virtually have you pull me along the route! You do it next year and I will be there! Seriously, this is wonderful accomplishment and your support of the MS Society is greatly appreciated! It takes a great person to do something like this to support others in need, you and your group should be very proud! Great pic of you! (I need to find me some gloves! The gloves make ya look like you are ready for action…and physical violence….while remaining real stylish….at least on you….:) ) Have a great day!

    • It’s too bad your riding this summer has been kind of slowed down, but entirely understandable – if the skin cancer doctor says ‘don’t bike’, then ‘don’t bike’ it is. We will definitely virtual-meet-up next summer and participate in a ride 🙂
      The gloves are key – even with them, my index fingers tend to start to go numb after a while. And, of course, stylish. Especially the tan you get from them – white hands with a dark spot on the top – if you forget to apply sunscreen liberally 😉 My little cousin got my old bike gloves as hand-me-downs a few years ago… she looked pretty ready for action for the 6 months or so in which she insisted that her ballet tutu and black bike-gloves was the perfect ‘any occasion’ outfit 😀

  7. Congratulations on finishing! That would so not be easy! I think it’s awesome you signed up to do this. I’ve always thought I should participate in a fun run one of these days to raise but I’ve never made myself do it. Judging by your photos, you looked like you were having a good time, despite being in massive amounts of pain.

    • You should definitely try one out! Lots of fun, though, yes, tiring as hell. Check in your area for a humane society type fundraiser – there was one in the GTA that was a dog-and-you run/walk to fundraise for an animal adoption agency. Then at least, you could consider it further doggy activity 🙂

  8. Dude. Awesome! Especially since you don’t have a fancy-pants racing bike. That makes you an Honorary HoneyBadger. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, email me. 🙂

    • haha… I might just make myself an “Honorary HoneyBadger” badge for my blog 😛 it could be a thing! We could be on to a new and fancy blogaward!
      And, I’m not sure if you’re referring to the honey badger video (hilarious) or the Glee teacher’s ex wife in … well… Glee 🙂 Either way, awesome, thanks 🙂

  9. Congratulations!What an accomplishment. I’ve recently started biking and I love it. Yay, you!

  10. Hi, I came across your blog while searching for some post-ride photos. I rode in the MS bike tour this year too! It was a total blast! Can’t wait for next year 😀

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