Saturday, June 29, 2013

How 75 miles and the wrong size shoes can humble you.

Sunday's 35 mile ride
As many of you know, I rode in the National MS Society's Tour De Farms in DeKalb the 22nd and 23rd of June. It was my second charity ride, but it was the longest ride I have ever done.

It's a two day event, with the big mileage day on Saturday (126) and smaller on Sunday (75,50,35). There were other mileage options on Saturday, 75,50,35 as well.

On Saturday morning, I was nervous. My bride woke me at 5:05am, not allowing me to wake to the horrible cry of the alarm clock. That was nice. She also had fresh coffee and peanut butter toast with a side of banana waiting for me both days. As I drove to my friend Todd's house, who has two family members with MS, I kep going over the routine of getting my shoes on, clipping in and out at stops and so on. I was a nervous wreck.

I also looked at the radar before I left. Alot of nasty weather was already in DeKalb, and was rapidly approaching the Aurora area. I knew from the information I read in the rider packet, they would still ride even if it rained. Thunderstorms would delay the ride.

And so they did. For an hour.

Todd and I trundled into the stadium where a variety of high carb breakfast foods were being offered. I chose to stick with a bagel and cream cheese(that was in a squeeze bottle too!). No coffee, only for the simple fact that I wasnt sure how long we would be waiting and I didnt want to make a hundred trips to the bathroom before the start.

Saturday's ride was good, however very painful for my feet. I was having a shoe dilemma that has since been remidied. Getting the right size shoe would make things alot easier. Logged 75 miles on Saturday. My longest ride ever. I was surprised at how well I felt after the ride. Yeah, I was tired, but I wasnt dead, like I thought I would've been.

Come Sunday, same routine in the early morning hours. However, alot less stress and nervousness. It was a sunny day, but there was a bit of a wind blowing southwest to northeast. I checked the weather, 12-13 mph winds with 22mph gusts. Shouldnt have looked. But I did, and so I try to put it out of my mind. Todd was gracious enough to let me draft through most of the ride.

As we were finishing up the ride, say around mile 30, I see a rider in the distance flailing his arms, almost as if he were riding no handed in a strong head wind. We were heading west bound, and there really wasnt a strong wind. As we approached the wobbly rider, I then noticed he was on a uni-cycle! Wow! Not quite sure how many miles he did on that unicycle, but wow!

At the end of the weekend, I was thinking of how I didnt reach my goals of 100 on Saturday and 50 on Sunday. I was getting pretty bummed about it too. Shan finally knocked some sense into me: "It's not 'only 75' it's SEVENTY-FIVE!"

Though I had accomplished a long distance ride, this weekend was not about me and my goals. It was about the thousands of people living with MS everyday. To be a part of the event, well, it's humbling at the least. Alot of the people who are stricken with the disease are not able to live normal lives. For me to ride for them, well, it is an honor. I need to put my selfishness aside and pay tribute to those brave people. They have made more accomplishments than I.

I did this for them.

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