This year's bike MS: Tour De Farms ride was, in short, HOT! The temps were way above normal, in the 90's I think, and not a cloud in the sky. This is the short story of the ride the bonks and the pickle juice lady.
Todd and I pedaled on in the morning, then after about 1/3rd of the way, I started to bonk. It came about suddenly, and I didn't know what was really happening. I felt tired all of a sudden and couldn't catch my breath. We turned a corner, and I just couldn't pedal any longer and had to stop.
Now, I had bonked earlier in the month on a training ride, and I swore that I would not let that happen during the event. Things were the same and it happened anyway.
A SAG vehicle stopped by and Todd convinced me to take the ride to the lunch stop. He called the girls to have them meet us there and to get some food in me, with hopes of finishing the event. My goal of 100 miles was quickly dissolved, and really, I was ready to quit the ride all together. However, Todd, again, pushed me to finish the ride, and I am so glad he did!
After gulping down a cheeseburger and Gatorade, we rode off, and decided to take the shorter route instead of going for the Century. The farther we rode, the hotter it got. There weren't as many rest stops along this route, with only one being about 7 miles from the finish. When were were about halfway to that stop, we pulled off onto a shaded driveway of a farm. AS we were standing there, hydrating and catching our breath, two ladies rode up and decided to take a break with us.
We began conversing about the weather, and what not and the topic of drinking pickle juice to beat muscle cramps came up. I had never heard of such a practice, but the one lady insisted that it actually does work (there was to be an article in Bicycling magazine about it published). I thought it odd, but I also entertained the idea.
Then, the one took out an autograph book and said that she collects signatures just for fun and had Todd and I signed it. In a sheer chance of being famous, I asked the two if either of them had heard of The Accidental Cyclist on ChicagoNow. The one with the book said she had and loved the works. I smiled and said "That's me! I'm the Accidental Cyclist!" I signed the book with my moniker and handed it back to her. We shared laughs and smiles then parted ways.
As we made the last stop, I was tired. I was ready to give in, but I really didn't to. The girls supported us, my wife wrapped a cooling towel around my neck and making sure I drank. We mounted up again and moved on, finishing the day with smiles and a nice 35th Anniversary medal!
In the end, it isn't about what my physical goal is, or how far I rode. It's the lives that everyone who generously donated to the ride touched and helped and will help to live better and get closer to finding a cure for MS.
I've registered for the 2017 ride. With a better mindset, I'm pretty sure that this next ride will be even better!
Until next time...
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