Monday, June 9, 2008

MS-300 recap

Friday - 150 miles (241 km);
It was 0730 before Kevin, Nick, and I started pedaling east from the National Sports Center hot in pursuit of the 8 or so roadies that left just before us. The wind was at our backs as we turned north towards Lake Superior, the dark and stormy skies rolling past us on the east and west. We made a pee stop on the trail not far from Wyoming, but didn't stop again until the half-way point of Hinckley, where we had lunch in Rosie's Cafe. Five minutes after sitting down at Rosie's the rain hit with a vengeance. Well, it's going to be a very wet ride from here out - I looked out the window and saw the roadies fly past, rain jackets on over their team kits. The skies cleared just as I was finishing up my dessert of pecan pie a la mode - luck is with us on this day. Nick's chain broke just after being accosted by two missionaries and then hitting the Munger trail - quick fix with the proper tools and spare link in standby. Spent 30 minutes looping around Moose Lake where the trail suddenly vaporized and signs pointed incorrectly. The rest of the 150-miles to Proctor we kept dry with smooth riding, with the last 8-10 miles mostly uphill, but what the hell, it's going to be a fun descent in the morning. So our average speed over the 150-miles was 20mph (32kph) - that's saddle time, not including lunch - The wind surely helped, but we hauled ass.

Had to hang out an hour outside the Proctor high school while we waited for the buses to arrive - my tent and sleeping bag was on one of them. Got my bag, showered in the high school locker room, set up tent, headed to the bars in Proctor for several pitchers of PBR. Highlight of the night was walking into the Keyboard lounge and seeing the same locals from a year before followed by a haunting karaoke rendition of Tiffany's 'I think we're alone now' by Jess and Annie - nary a dry eye in the house. Rode back to the campground and hit the sack just after midnight.

Saturday - 75 miles (121 km);
Woke at 0530 - took down the tent, went down to drop my bag off and saw a line that stretched around the high school and up the road - oh my god this is not how I wanted to spend my morning. Didn't roll out until 0730 but quickly got up to pace into the wind. Two of our knees were starting to feel yesterday's long push so the 3 of us stopped at the 2nd rest stop for a pain pill - got a lecture from an out-of-shape and overweight first-aid guy telling me I wouldn't need to take a pain pill if I hadn't been out all night drinking - I kept my mouth shut and rode on. Pushed on to the lunch stop where we sat for 30 minutes - rode the rest of the way to Hinckley, arriving about 10 minutes after noon.

In Hinckley I was lucky to quickly find my bag as the trucks hadn't finished unloading, but I set up the tent, and hit the shower truck. Went to the team tent where 4 kegs of beer were waiting - 2 of them Finnigans - thanks to Amy for ordering these. I sat around the entrance to the bike corral, beer and camera in hands, waiting for friends to arrive - saw a few of the Friday morning roadies arrive on their clean bikes - there's a story there but not now. Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening drinking beer, eating a bit of food, chatting and meeting people, and heading to the casino for Ms. Pac-Man action. Kudos to the Mpls-5 who rode up and met our party in Hinckley for the night.

Sunday - 75 miles (121 km);
Got up and hit the road by 0700. The wind was slightly with us this day as we progressed to the lunch stop at the half-way point. Kevin got a nasty flat after running into a long and narrow pot-hole while in a draft line - the 3 of us routinely attracted 12+ behind us as we sped south. His flat was quickly repaired and the hole in his tire was covered with a glue-less patch and a Gu wrapper. Stopped for lunch, ate leftover Subway from the day prior, headed back out and made it to Blaine by about 1115.

Hung out in Blaine and watched the bicycle races at the velodrome for a few hours (photos) - good times are always in store at the velodrome and shame on the rest of you MS riders who didn't stick around for this hot racing action.

Overall not bad for not having boarded a road bike for several years. Next year? I'm signed up but will decide later whether or not to make it year 3. This year I raised more than one-thousand dollars for MS research - thanks a lot to my sponsors!

Peace out.

[edit - here's the bike I rode]
2008 MS-150

1 comment:

chris alme said...

Yeah, sorry about that logistical snafu on Friday (i was one of the roadies - black cervelo). And you suckas stayed dry!!! Good times...