It started out a rainy Saturday morning at 5:30 am, when my mom woke me up to tell me to get ready. It was about a half hour drive to the starting point, and we needed to pack my step dad’s car with all our gear. As we groggily loaded up out gear and started the drive out to the meeting point, I looked outside as the rain continued its steady pour. My mom turned to me in the back seat and asked if I still wanted to do the ride.
“It’s up to you, but if you want to bail out, I’ll understand. It’s really rainy, and that makes it a little dangerous to ride.”
It reminded me of the time we drove 2 hours from my small hometown of Albany, MO to go to the amusement park in Kansas City circa 1985. It was down pouring, and my dad offered me and my brother each $100 if we DIDN’T go to the amusement park, and go to the nice, DRY Toys-R-Us instead. Now, being a kid who gets to go to the big city amusement park once a year, what do you think we did? Yep. Got soaked riding the Zambezi Zinger all day! Ahh. What parents will do for their kids!
So what did my mom do for me? She went ahead an rode with me on the ride, in the soaking rain.
The ride broke down like this:
Ride 10 miles
Hit a rest stop to eat, pee, and be merry.
Ride 10 miles
Hit a rest stop to eat, pee, rub my butt and stretch my legs.
Ride 10 miles up and down hills
Hit a rest stop to eat, and try to regain feeling in my hands
Ride 10 miles UP and down HILLS
Hit a rest stop to eat, drink mass quantities of water, and ring out my jacket
Ride 10 miles UP MOUNTAINS BOTH WAYS
Hit a rest stop, eat lunch, take off the camelbak, pee, allow my vision to return, and fall on the ground.
Vince (my step dad) picked us up close to Warrensburg, MO and proceeded to load our bikes up and take us to the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, MO, where we were to set up camp for the night.
After riding 50 miles in the rain, I was so tired, I wanted fall asleep in the car! But my step dad kept driving all crazy (albeit he drives like that normally) to keep me awake. He said I couldn’t sleep but had to walk off all the biking so as not to be sore the next day! I relented, and as we got to the grounds, helped set up camp.
After my step dad left, my mom and I took showers, ate a free spaghetti dinner, and wandered around camp checking out all the other riders. There were ALL types of people riding and supporting! Many riders had family that came to meet them at the campgrounds! There were kids, old people, spouses and even a 1 man band! People rode on tandems, recumbents, tagalongs, mountain bikes, and kid trailers! It was very impressive. By 8pm, we were pooped and both of us fell asleep feeling the air mattress in our tent was more like a Sleep Number bed!
Day 2 started out with (my favorite) pancakes and sunshine! We hopped on our bikes at 7:30 in which the ride proceeded like this:
Ride 10 miles
Hit a rest stop and almost fall off my bike as my legs were still wobbly! But don’t worry, I ate!
Ride 10 miles UP DEVIL’S TOWER
Hit a rest stop to eat, and decide to take a SAG vehicle to the next rest stop. We were pooped! And boy, were we glad we did! As we rode to the next stop in the back of a truck, it looked like you had to bike up the Grand Canyon! Who knew Missouri was so diverse!
Hit the next rest stop, and I decided to ride to the next stop, while my mom stayed in the truck.
Ride 6 really good miles
Hit the rest stop and decided to SAG another 10 with my mom (after eating)
Hit the next rest stop, eat, chatted with mom in the truck, and decided I was rested and ready to ride!
Ride 6 more really good miles
Meet up with my mom at the last rest stop before the finish!
We rode the last 8 miles together, and ended up crossing the finish line in Knobnoster, MO at just around 2:30 pm!
It was a great feeling to come across that finish line, and grab my medal!
90 miles ain’t bad!
Needless to say, I was pooped when I got home, and ended up going out for dinner with my family and my friend, Greg afterward. And what happened after dinner? Mass quantities of beer. Heck YES!!! I’d like to say a short THANK YOU to Greg, for the tall cans. I think those make you get drunk faster! It had nothing to do with the fact that I rode 90 miles and burned up an assload of calories!
It was fun, the weather was good (I’d take rain over 110 degree humid Midwest heat ANYDAY) and I ended up raising over $600 for Multiple Sclerosis!
Thanks everybody who helped out!!!! And THANKS for the support!
Will I do this again next year? You bet! Only this time, I’ll train for rolling hills, instead of in the city where everything was FLAT like Kansas! BOY did I bust my butt!
Anyone like to join me?