The 2008 MS Bike Ride was a great adventure this past weekend! The start time is always early (we got up at 6am) and still didn't get there in time for the group picture...but we made it to the YMCA in Lebanon for the start time of 7:30am. It is so great to see all the riders on Day One, so excited, a little nervous, just ready for the adventure of the day out on the road.
And what a day it was, the weather started out great, a bit over cast & cloudy, but man did the skies open up around Mile 35...first like sprinkles of rain came down, okay no big deal...I've ridden in the rain before. At this point I was still on pace to attempt the 75 mile route, but then the rain started down pouring...loud rumbles of thunder, cracks of lightening...I've never ridden in conditions like this. Kind of scary actually, we finally got to the rest stop and gathered with the others under the open air shelter. At this point, I wasn't interested in continuing to ride in these wet conditions - and the organizers decided to close the longer route, so after the rain let up, everyone got back on the route and rode back to the YMCA.
One fun highlight of Day One's route was the ride past the Solid Rock Church along I-75...and if you know this area, you'll know that I'm about to show you a picture of what I like to refer to as the "Touchdown Jesus Statue"! Others have named it "Big Butter Jesus", which is good too, and of course I had to detour off the route for just a second to capture a photo in front of this awesome site!
I'm thankful for my riding buddies through the weekend...I call us "The Three Musketeers"! Only this year, Andy decided to become a "Beast on the Bike". Last year, we were all riding at the same pace, mostly at the same cadence, but Andy got himself a new bike and took off this year! It was awesome to see him pound up the hills and we mostly only saw him at the rest stop (only b/c he waited for us!!).The route for Day Two of the ride was a bit more challenging than Day One...more hills and steeper climbs, in fact the 1st hill was so tough that many of the riders (myself included) had to hop off the bike and walk up the windy roadway. Despite some challenges with my chain & gears not cooperating, I pushed through the miles and finished strong one the 50 mile route for the grand total of riding just over 100 miles, over the 2 day weekend event. I feel very accomplished to have completed this ride for the second year and to help raise money to benefit the MS Society.
Thank you to everyone to has encouraged me to keep going with my training and a special shout out to everyone who donated to my fundraising web page!