We did it!
Honestly, I was a little freaked out, given that I hadn't been on my bike for the two months leading up to our "tour de Tejas". And, it did take me almost this whole past week just to recover.
Last weekend, my sister Caitlin and I completed the MS150: a weekend bike tour from Houston to Austin to raise money and awareness for the National MS Society.
I just kept thinking about how many miles 150 are:
But, it was awesome! Seriously, last weekend was such a great experience! Word on the street was 13,000 people participated. I seriously had no idea that many people existed in the state of Texas who own a bike and like riding it.
We started bright and early Saturday morning:
Can I just take a moment to shout out how awesome B was helping us out??
He drove ALL OVER the city of Houston to help us out: picking up our packets ahead of time, picking both Caitlin and I up from hotel's and airports on Friday, driving back to Katy Saturday morning for the start, and then to La Grange Saturday morning to set our tent up so it would be ready and waiting for us when we pulled in exhausted later that day.
Ok, so back to the ride. Like I said, tons of people everywhere. I was a little worried because bikers can be quite the snobs, especially if you put thousands of them together with all their gear. The atmosphere was surprisingly positive and no gear bashing! Amazing. Everyone was truly there to have a good, positive experience and to raise awareness of MS.
The ride went through gorgeous Texas country side and the wildflowers were in full bloom. Unfortunately, trying to take pictures while you're biking is kind of unsafe...and those we did pull off were through plastic bags because of the rain, so we didn't get the best pictures during the ride.
Rest stops and one lunch stop each day were set up every 8-14 miles so we could refuel with water, gatorade, snacks and the ever-present Port-a-Pottys!
Saturday night was spent camping at in La Grange at the Fayette County fairgrounds. Every corporate team had huge tents and were BBQ-ing; plus tons of individual tents set up as well. There was a great celebratory atmosphere (heck, we had all accomplished riding 85+ miles that day!) complete with BBQ, fair food, live music, and plenty of free beer. Things didn't get too crazy though, we still had a full day of riding ahead of us to get to Austin. One thing that just feels wrong to pass up when you burned thousands of calories that day and are at a small town fairground: Funnel Cake!
But then the British couple next to us made some crude comment about how the funnel cake was great athletes food. I wanted to say something about the pitchers of beer they were drinking being great athlete food, but instead Caitlin and I just got really quiet and stopped eating the cake.
Sunday morning was another early morning with loudspeakers and music starting around 5. Thousands of us had to leave through one exit this morning and if anyone has clipped into a bike, you can imagine how dangerous that could be. They had everyone line up and then regulated the exit, only allowing a small amount to leave at a time. They didn't let anyone leave until 7, but some people began lining up at 5 to make sure they would be the first to leave...Crazies!
We didn't even get in line until 7:15 and finally got on the road around 8:30 or so.
By the time we were riding into Austin, we were both ready for the ride to be done. Whether it be a knee, bike chains acting up, or some seriously sore butts; it felt good to ride through the finish line. Caitlin celebrated a little more than I did =)