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.
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.
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.
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.