The run-in to the ride
So, what are you doing this weekend? I’m going to try and ride 150 miles over two days (duh, we know this JLo, it’s pretty much all you’ve been talking about for the past 9 months). I think I’m prepared – I’ve done training rides up to 70 miles and multiple rides over 50 miles. I’ve got the right equipment. I’ve figured out my hydration and fuel needs. Two days out though and I am getting more nervous by the minute. Biggest reason why? Take a look at the weather forecast for the weekend:
Now, I’m not nervous for my safety or anything. The ride organizers are very smart people and extremely concerned about our well being. They’ve already posted messages letting us know that they are tracking the weather and will adjust the schedule or, if conditions warrant, close the course and get everyone to safety. So that’s not a concern. What I’m worried about really is facing rainy or windy conditions that aren’t bad enough to cause a delay, but just make things that much harder. A howling 20 mph headwind or pouring rain may not be much of a nuisance for some more experienced riders, but I’ve no delusions about my own abilities and limits at this point. (No matter what the conditions are, at least it will probably be safer on the route than one of my usual training trails has been lately. Yikes.)
Anyway, no use in getting too worked up about it, there’s nothing I can do to control the weather of course. I did go out and find the ugliest, brightest orange rain jacket that would fit my gigantic frame, so at least I’m prepared for some rain. (Side note, I called around trying to find a local shop that carried my size and thought I had struck gold the first place I called, only to have the very embarrassed shopkeep at the store that shall remain unnamed inform me that this most awesome of all cycling rain jackets could be mine for $289! Seriously? Does it convert rain water to liquid gold or something? I’m glad at least that they had the decency to be embarrassed by the price).
From a practical point of view I’ll need to make a judgement call once I see what the conditions are like Saturday morning. While I’m committed to putting in the full 150 miles, I do have a fall back of riding a 50 mile route one or both days if I find the conditions are just going to be too much of an obstacle. 75 miles a day was always going to be a big challenge for me, but with age I’ve lost enough pride that I’ll be able to intelligently decide to fall back to a 125 or 100 mile ride if need be. Regardless of what happens, I’ll be back riding next year, so there’s always another shot at the full 150 and the one day Century ride in the future.
Keep your fingers crossed for us. The important thing of course is the money we are raising for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and I’m proud to say that I’ve raised over $2600 to date! If you’d like to donate and find that the IRS has left some money in your bank account, there’s still time for you to do so. Simply click this link to contribute online.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported me over the past several months while I prepared for this ride, either with donations, ideas or simple moral support. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to making the MS 150 an annual mark on my calendar and to continuing to learn and grow as a would-be cyclist. If you’re interested in following along and tracking my progress over the weekend, I’ll be posting updates to Twitter and Facebook from the route, and will try to post some updates to this space as well. (You know this is a big deal for me since I’m missing Record Store Day this year to ride, which is a bit like a 10 year old skipping Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving rolled into one. I’ll miss you, RSD.)