About 15 years ago, give or take a year, "The Ninja" got our family involved in the MS150, which is a two day 150 mile bike ride to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. Every rider has to collect donations. It ended up being a great family to activity. We worked together to raise the money and get sponsors for our team, we designed team shirts and rode our bikes every weekend training for the ride. The first year, the two oldest kids went, although everyone went on the training rides. We bought two carts to attach to the adult bikes and the four youngest would ride in those. They took every book and toy they could find with them as entertainment and became our "road kill" announcers whenever we pedaled past an unfortunate critter. Eventually, they graduated to a tandem attachment and finally their own bikes. Sadly, the two youngest never experienced the trip.
This weekend, "The Ninja" and "The Blonde" are on the MS 150. We have been enjoying our stories from years ago, as they have prepared. I use the term "prepared" loosely. Years ago we rode hundreds of miles in preparation and took the kids up quite a few hills. We actually had one challenge hill that we set up as the marker for whether or not you could join the team. If you could make it up the hill on Fox, you were ready. "The Blonde" rode all of 15 miles to train for this weekend!
I am pretty sure she doesn't remember how sore your backside gets. Nothing helps that problem. Gel seats were better than a hard bike seat, and bike shorts were helpful but no matter what, your bucket was going to be sore. "Doc" even tried baby powder. Every time he would sit on his bike seat there would be a poof of powder.
We had a pretty good time on our outings and I really think I was in the best condition of my life at that time! Most of our training was uneventful. Cars tend to fly on our country roads, so we had some pretty strict rules for safety about riding together in single file, wearing helmets and knowing road rules. The reward at the end of the ride was a free ticket to the amusement park, which was great as long as you could still walk!
During the ride, you would see all kinds of people and bikes. I was always fascinated by the recumbent bikes. You would get passed by the "serious" riders who found it a particular challenge to do the 75 miles each day in record time. We were not in that group. We were into survival and completion. It would take us the majority of the day to complete the ride.
It was fun to ride behind people who were in great shape! The view always helped you continue the ride with a better attitude. There were always the fashion plates that chose to do the ride. Of course, you would also see the totally out of shape people. I don't mean to be catty, but spandex is not a good look at a certain weight. It got to the point where we would dub certain people as criminals guilty of Spandex Violations. These would be the people whose backsides were at least five times as wide as their seats. Occasionally the seat would totally disappear and you would be left wondering whether they were actually sitting on one. Believe me, I give all the credit in the world to anyone involved in exercise and donating to a good cause. However, at some point you have to look in the mirror and realize that maybe you should throw a pair of gym shorts over those tights!!! This is not isolated to bike rides. You have all seen women in the mall and other places in spandex pants that are stretched so much that you duck when you walk by them just in case the babies let loose!
Let the ride go on! The girls will be finishing the trip home tomorrow! Best of luck, stay safe. My butt will be o a soft couch tonight!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!