Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MS 150 Ride

The MS 150 took place on the Virginia Eastern Shore this past weekend. It is a ride consisting of 75 miles on Saturday and again on Sunday. We rode from Cape Charles, VA to Silver Beach, VA through mostly flat terrain and seaside villages.

The ride’s purpose is to raise money to find a cure for MS and each rider is responsible for raising a $250 minimum. What a great cause; like I need a reason to ride. One fact of note, one gentleman from Virginia Beach raised more than $22,000 by himself. BRAVO.

For this ride, I took the opportunity to try a few nutritional changes. The first is the pre-ride chow during the days leading up to the ride which resulted in a 6lb weight gain. This worked wonders. I’m not exactly sure why I have quit doing this during the past 8 months. I will definitely keep carb loading in the toolbox.

The second change was to chow intake while on the bike. The basic formula for this ride was ½ Cliff Bar every ½ hour. In addition, I ate many oranges and bananas at the rest stops. For the most part it worked but it isn’t perfect yet. I did eat 1 pb& j at a rest stop…made with Wonder Bread. It killed me; the bread spiked my blood sugar and the hot jelly sat in my stomach for about an hour.

Note: the ride did not have any coffee at any stops. I really could have used a cup of coffee at about 100k on day 2. They did have some Red Bull, I gave it a shot…not a good fuel. It is pretty much a gut bomb but I did feel alert for 20 min.

The first 8 miles went smooth without incident. I should say it is annoying maneuvering getting around all the comfort bikes with aero-bars. WTH! This theme would continue for the whole first day. At this point, I heard a SPRAAAANWNG from Greg’s bike. He lost a spoke. I pulled over with him and waited for the sag. They got him up to the first rest stop so another mechanic could look at it. I rode to the stop and waited for an hour for this process to get completed. This hour would haunt me later.

Broken Spoke

The wheel was good enough to roll but the mechanic was unable to replace either of the broken spokes which were on the drive side. We continued up the road and I explained the how wheels and spoke tension worked. For some reasons, his wheels were built with uber-tension in all of the spokes.

The last 30 miles of the first day proved to be a treat. The wind was whipping at 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph. We had the good fortune to spend 45 miles with it as a tailwind or cross wind. No more. The final miles were hard fought in the wind and heat. About 15 miles from the end, Greg lost a third spoke and I wouldn’t see him for a few hours.

Day 1 stats: 75 miles: 4.5 hrs ride time – 6.5 hrs on the course.

Lodging for the evening would be in my tent. The tent’s virgin outing would turn out to be a test for the gear. At 7pm, a powerful thunderstorm began to bring havoc upon the camp site. All of the gear in my tent was dry as a bone. It survived heavy rain that fell down, sideways “and it even fell up (F. Gump).” Interestingly, the stuff I left in my Berthoud bag was also dry! I am impressed.

Day 2 began with a leisurely pace for 4 or 5 miles. Then the pace picked up as a group passed. I hung with them until the 2nd rest stop. They were lollygagging at the stop and I needed to go. It is ok to stop for a short time. Often it is what the doctor ordered but the marathon 30 minute stops are for the birds. I want to stay warm and reduce the shock of hopping back on the bike. The route finished in Cape Charles and the reward was a cold towel and a pulled pork sandwich. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Day 2 Stats: 75 miles: 4.5 hrs ride time – 5 hrs total.

Overall, this is a nice ride with fantastic support. It is some of the best support I’ve received on a ride in a long time. Of course the majority of my miles have been unsupported RUSA events.

The Coho Randonneuse was a joy to ride through the Virginia country side.

What is the fixation with aero bars? I can’t believe how many people use them on their bikes. It doesn’t matter what type of bike. Beach cruiser, hybrid, tri-bike….

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