I know I’ve been neglecting my blog and I apologize. I will say, in my defense, I have been training for this day for the last couple of months. What day is this, you might ask? It’s BikeMS weekend in Oregon, and today was ride day! Last year was my first year riding BikeMS, and I was not able to finish the whole ride, calling the SAG wagon about 3 miles after the Buena Vista Ferry crossing. This year, I had been training 2-3 times a week in Spin Class (Les Mils RPM interval classes are my favorite-shout out to Erin, my amazing instructor), and my goal was to go further than I did last year.
Now I’ll walk you through the day, but mostly there are a bunch of pics! 🙂
After getting up at 5:50 AM to head down to Monmouth, and driving the hour drive, we were all unloaded and I was ready to roll. Up first was going from Monmouth to Independence where you cross the Willamette and head towards I-5/Ankeny Wildlife Refuge. Below is looking towards the Refuge, and I kept thinking the first rest stop was around the corner. Nope, I forgot it’s a bit of a “drive,” roughly 12-13 miles from the start. I swore I had gone that far, but I guess I was wrong. LOL.
I stopped at the rest stop, and was able to fuel up with some peanut butter pretzels and grapes (shhh, don’t tell my nutritionist). I got a cup of water and wet down my cooling towel and made a bandanna out of it under my helmet. That was a brilliant idea, if I can say so myself!
It didn’t make me look pretty (see pictures below, trust me). But when I was at the rest area I ran into some of the people I met last year. One was Karen and her riding buddy Dane. He was in the SAG wagon last year, when I was having my “MS mental breakdown.” He was so supportive, making me feel good and praising my success (it was a success!). When I saw him this year, I thanked him profusely for his support and I told him that I often thought of him when I’d reflect back on my BikeMS 2014 experience. Both of them had noticed that I had lost weight, another bonus. 🙂
After chatting with them, and Amy Harris who was the BikeMS coordinator, I met another group of people who I had spoken with at the first water stop. Kris has MS as well and her friends were riding with her; they were on the team Butts on Bikes (love the name). We agreed to continue together and enjoy the ride at a nice pace of 12-13 MPH. Next stop was the ferry to cross back over the Willamette River and a nice hilly ride to Buena Vista.
After the ferry, we went up the hill (I swear it’s 1/3-1/2 mile long and nice and steep), walking a bunch of it. Then I decided I could start riding and I clipped in. I was going slow and I thought I had unclipped, NOPE! I hadn’t and I totally biffed it. I fell, thankfully, into a grassier area and not the pavement. But I hit my head and instantly got a headache. I didn’t pass out or get blurry vision, but once I got to the finish line, I did get checked out by the EMTs. As of now, I am headache free, but my neck has had it. I think I have some whiplash, and will be taking it easy for a few days. So I got up and kept riding, and rode to the spot where I tapped out last year.
We kept rolling and here is where the climbing started. There was 1100+ feet of elevation gain, and I swear most of it was in the last 10 miles. OY! It was hard! But I kept going and took breaks. For the record they called this route FLAT… Flat isn’t 1100+ feet elevation gain, but I digress.
I had texted Rob when I was 5 miles from the end… little did I know the amount of hills that would be ahead. So it took some time to get there. But when I did, I crossed the finish line with Kris (Laurie jumped into the SAG wagon earlier) and got my 2nd BikeMS medal.
I had two teams that I rode with, simultaneously: Missing Spokes and I Ride With MS. Below are my two team photos.
So to conclude this long ass post, I had a great time, finished the course, and so far I’ve raised $600 to cure MS. Missing Spokes has raised $26,582 as a team. Our goal is to hit $30,000. In order to do that, I’d love to raise $400 more. If you can help me out, please visit this link and you can make a tax deductible donation.
Thank you for the support! I will be riding next year, so be ready! I am going to try and convince my husband to ride with me. 🙂