I really don't remember a lot of teams in this event that had young children with them. It presented quite a challenge in teaching them the rules of the road. It was also a great way to teach them about the problems of one particular disease and that they could help by getting donations and challenging themselves. It is one of my favorite memories as a family.
Day two and the ride home was always rough. It was nice to start the morning with a pancake breakfast provided by the MS Society after you camped at the high school the night of the first day. But then you had to face the reality that you had to get back on that saddle. Any benefits that "Doc" may have had from baby powder had disappeared. It got bad enough that we poured ice water on our seats periodically to cool things off and hopefully ease the pain.
The ride home was always a little quieter. We would amuse ourselves by spotting new spandex violations and enjoying the more athletic competitors and the view that both groups offered. The ride home was also more challenging mentally. Although the mileage each day was approximately the same, it always seemed so much longer the second day. The first year that we did the MS 150, "Mommy" got within about 20 miles of the end and couldn't go any further. "Calvin" was struggling too, but he refused to give up. We lied to that boy for 20 miles and kept telling him that we only had 5 miles to go. For every two we actually rode, we cut the number by one so that mentally he thought he was close to home! "Mommy" was waiting with friends at the finish line. We all backed up and let him be the first across the line. Of course he didn't hesitate to put his hands in the air to claim victory over us all. The vision of her younger brother crossing that finish line really impacted "Mommy". She was so angry with herself for getting so close and quitting. A good lesson for her. I don't think she ever did that again with any challenge that she has faced. It was worth every painful mile to see "Calvin's" face when he crossed the finish line. The joy and pride was beyond anything that I can describe!
Everyone earned their "high fives" on these trips! We got off our bikes and loaded them in the truck. None of us walked well. It was sort of a waddle in a wide stance. I don't know why we never thought to have pillows in the car to sit on for the ride home. I do remember how great it felt to take a warm shower, sit on the couch and finally put my head on my pillow that night. I was so proud of these young children who persevered and did a great deed by donating to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
To "The Ninja" and "the Blonde" - be safe and be smart and try to take a few pictures of the best and worst to share with the rest of us! Proud of both of you for taking on yet another challenge for a worthy cause!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!