Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"With a rebel yell- "more, more, more"

Today was day two of the 2008 Alabama MS150, and we had more miles, more hills, more heat, and more wind than we did yesterday. Other than that, it was easy peaszy. There were no emergency runs for misplaced items, and I woke up on time, so the day started better than yesterday. Breakfast was served at the check in tent. Pancakes the size of a 9" skillet, still liquid in the center, OJ, and doughnuts. As many caffeine addicts noted, there was no coffee. The quicker cyclists in the bunch did early morning sprints to Starbucks and came back in time for the ride. I had some AWFUL cup-at-a-time stuff at the hotel lobby, and called it good. As I expected, I only saw Darren and Chad at the start. I did snap a picture of the Floyd Landis autograph on Darren's bike:

I couldn't find my riding companion from yesterday, Camille, so I rode solo a while until I saw that Luther and his pal were riding at a perfect pace for me. Both wore yellow "Top Banana" numbers, meaning they were very successful in fund raising last year. My number was white this year, but has been yellow before, and may be again as well. Luther pulled in at the 1st rest stop 11 miles out, and there we parted company. As I did yesterday, my plan was to pass that one (we also passed the final one on the course, only 6 miles from the end). I rode by myself again for a while and then saw a familiar figure and even more familiar yellow tires ahead. It was Camille. The two of us then ran into Lin and Aaron (who Camille knew) and the 4 of us pretty much took turns pulling all day. It worked out well. The ride today was prettier than yesterday, and would have been more enjoyable, had I not started out with tired legs from yesterday.

The rest stops were well placed and the volunteers were generally very freindly. Here is a picture of Fullylugged and Camille at the "Disco Divas" stop. They had a boom box going and provided a meal and show to each new batch of arriving riders. Y-M-C-A, Saturday Night Fever, and other hits were danced to. I am in wool shorts, and there is a wool Tee shirt under the Copaxone jersey. My dear friend in IL, Rhonda, sent it to me for this ride. She has far more experience with the effects of MS than she would prefer, and Copaxone is a treatment used for MS. Camille is wearing a top banana jersey from last year. I have so many jerseys hanging in the closet that I declined one for this year's ride. They are the nicest looking so far though. I did get a tee shirt and a hat for having ridden several times over the years.

Most of the rest stops had various themes. The number of riders was less and less as we progressed. For one thing, many riders opted for the shorter route today, and many were faster than we were. We were not the last ones in though and were well ahead of the time deadline. Some of the stops even provided a security detail to watch our bikes while we were away from them. This fellow was actually a little too friendly to be much use as a guard dog. The crowd he attracted did the job just fine though. At several stops I got a lot of questions about my bike. Those who know me are aware that I'm usually tight lipped about anything bike related, but it can pried out from me after a while. Okay, actually I'll plaster you with bike talk until you cry "uncle."

So, we ended the day with 79.4 miles and about 5 1/2 hours of pedal time. My seat is a bit sore and I got too much sun, but not seriously too much. I'll be sending out a thank you to all my supporters, but if you were one of them, THANK YOU. If you weren't and you want to be, my donations web page is open for 30 more days.

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