Friday, July 7, 2017

If you start you have to finish

     For the past several months you've watched me prepare for a ride I hold near and dear to my heart; Bike MS Bike To The Bay.  I want to thank all of you for supporting me, whether it was by kind donations, moral support or by simply listening to me as I stand on my soap box, in the hopes of ending MS forever.

     This is the final chapter (for now...), so please allow me to share with you how we all made it across that victorious finish line, ending our journey of "Bike To The Bay 2017".

     In past rides I won't lie, there was a point where I seriously thought I might not make it to the end. And when I did make it to the end I found myself barely able to walk for the next several days.  I wondered if I would actually hang up my bike and call it quits.
      This ride, however, seemed different.  First of all there was a wonderful tail wind that seemed to be on our side for most of the ride.  I was able to ride faster then I have ever gone in four years.

     Another reason, I believe, I managed to make it without temporarily destroying my body was my awesome teammates who made sure I rested at stops and hydrated, allowing the muscles effected by MS to go back to almost normal.

        Last year I really just wanted wanted to be finished, and we would have never taken the time for photos.  This year you can see we surely took our time.
     My Cousin Keith, who drove all the way from Florida, and my BFF Maryann never left my side the entire ride.

      Though team Leapfrog was made up of varied skill levels on different routes, there were several of us who stuck together, and it was because of that push from my friends that I was able to make it that 55 miles to cross that finish line. 

     I was never more proud of this number, or humbled by all of my friends by my side.

     My hope is that one day I can witness a cure for MS.  But for now I'll be thankful that I am surrounded by the most caring and loving friends who will do what ever it takes to help me on this journey.  I am truly blessed.

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 30, 2017

You can't have a finish without a start

     By now I'm sure you know team leapfrog took that leap over the finish line; but in order to do that we needed to make it over the starting line. This begins the jersey of our weekend at the Bike To The Bay.

       One of the first people I saw that morning was one of my biggest heroes, raring and ready to go!  Fred Lefevbre from 1370 radio has always gone above and beyond to help us in this battle to wipe out MS; both by raising a lot of money for the cause as well as the many countless miles to cross that finish line on both days.

      We did manage to wrangle up quite a few of the team members for a team photo before the ride.  One thing we were told by many was, you could spot us from a mile away. 

     I was somewhat apprehensive about how this day would end up, but I had faith that my teammates would make sure we all made it to the end. 

       You can see some of our team members were able to take photos while they rode.  And some of us would rather hold on with two hands and smile:)
     And taking a photo from ahead, looking back, was a skill I certainly didn't possess.  
     Tom Gary was one of the troopers who set out to ride 75 miles both days.  I was sure he would do it!
          While a few of the speed demons broke away from the pack, we actually had quite a few that managed to stay together.  I believe it was the team work that got me through this ride.  There was no way we were giving up.

     Take a look at Maryann Mahaffey, as she waves and smiles at the camera... 


    This would be the same look she would have at the end of the ride.  She had more energy that if she were an actual frog.

     The camera man actually managed to get himself in this photo; even if it was only his shadow.

     So you can see, team leapfrog was well on our way! Rest stop number one, here we come!!   Check back to see how the rest of the ride went.

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 23, 2017

I know I usually ride with pink; but this weekend I ride with MS


      We all know I absolutely love the color pink, and most people wouldn't even recognize me in anything other than pink; it's kind of like my security blanket and I don't leave home without it.   But as confident as I feel in pink, this weekend I ride with MS!

   Don't get me wrong; on Saturday I'll proudly be sporting my Team Leapfrog jersey.

     But my sidekick will surely remind me it's there.
    As I stand here, I want to believe I have this ride in the bag, but I won't lie, the memories of the brutal last few miles are beginning to surface again.

   This is where I take a deep breath and remind myself why I ride in the first place...

And my answer is quite simple; because right now I can:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 16, 2017

I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be!

     The old cliche' "I'm as ready as I'll ever be" isn't actually accurate for most people.  Given a little more time most people will eventually be better prepared.

     However, for me I could ride fifteen more times between now and next week but at the end of the day my crazy body is going to do what it wants.

     Of course, my test rides will give me an idea of what to expect, but right now I can honestly say "I am as ready as I'll ever be for this ride".

        I'm aware that during the ride it's highly possible that I'll be faced with some obstacles, so these geese on the bike trail are getting me prepared.
     Now if this person wasn't feeding them right next to the path I would have missed my test.
        I managed to adjust and I was ready for the next challenge.

     We know all too well that the wind can be brutal on the ride.  By the end of my ride I could swear I was in OZ.  As the clouds came out of nowhere, the wind was soon to follow, and I felt like I was pedaling through oatmeal.  But I sucked it up because it could very well be that way next week at the bike to the bay.

     I have no idea how many more test rides I'll manage to get in before next week...
          But again, I can honestly say "I'm as ready as I'll EVER be!" As you know, this ride is all about raising money to find a cure for MS, and with only a week to go, with the help of all of my amazing friends and family... I HIT MY GOAL!! I'm now well over 2500.00!!  Thank you so much!! Now all I have to do is ride:)  Wish me luck!!

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Oh yeah... I forgot about the hills.

     Knowing that 55 mile ride is just around the corner, I've been trying to get on my bike as often as possible.  I mentioned that riding around the lake at Olander park was a safe and perfect way to build up my endurance.  But I decided I needed a ride with a little more challenge.

     As I think back to last fall, I remember that Wildwood Park had quite a few challenges.  It was the ideal place to ride; it was close, as well as safer than a traditional bike trail by my self.  So I headed over to refresh my memory with just how challenging it was.

   I'll admit, this park is more interesting than Olander, but what I had forgotten about was those crazy hills.  I remember all too well that the bike to the bay had some monstrous hills.  Some of them I couldn't even make my way up. I needed to be proactive.  

     The first hill of the season was a real eye opener, as I found myself unable to remember which gear changer controlled which chain ring.  At Olander I stayed in a middle gear the entire time.

     My bike has two gear shift levers on the left handle, and two on the right, and remembering which one does what is a little confusing.  On my way up the hill was no time to refresh my memory.  It's hard enough to focus on pedaling up that hill, with out trying to watch my chain to see what ring it's on.

     Of course, on my way back down the hill was no time to figure it out either.  I was too busy trying to remember which brake to ride, and which one to stay clear of.  I do remember if I hit the front brake going barreling down a hill could send me flying over the handle bars. 

     That old cliche', it's just like riding a bike... well the mental part will get you every time. 

     Racing down hill on a cement bridge, surrounded by wood was a disaster waiting to happen.  But an accident was also possible on the ride to Port Clinton.  I may as well figure it out ahead of time.
     I wonder how much it would hurt to crash into this covered bridge... let's not find out.

     After numerous rides through the park, I was finally remembering all of the gears and brakes.  And I have to say, this ride was both mentally and physically exhausting.  But I've come to realize that my favorite part of the ride is when I'm on the last leg, and I'm looking for the friendliest face to ask to take my picture. 

      It started out being a way to journal my bike rides, but now every person I ask to take a photo becomes engaged with my life story and learns all about the bike to the bay. I meet so many neat people by simply asking them to help me out.  Everyone wants to feel helpful. In this case it was four college age girls, who were thrilled to help and totally inspired as well.
         I tell people all the time that this ride isn't about the bike ride, but the message I'm trying to send.  And at the end of the day I'm sure we all learned a lot.

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 2, 2017

If Fred will listen anyone will!

    It may have been to simply get me out of his hair, but Fred Lefevbre from 1370 WSPD did a great job of helping me educate his listeners about MS, and why I ride my bike 55 miles.  The photo shoot, however, took a little convincing to get him to attempt a smile.  But I wasn't giving up!

  If I was a betting girl, I would bet my life on the odds that everyone knows someone who has MS. If not themselves, a family member, friend or co worker.  I would also be willing to bet there is not one person who totally understands this crazy disease 100%.  

      I Spend countless hours on research of my own, in the hopes of being able to completely understand what my body is going through.  But I live in it, and I'm at a loss most of the time.  Though, I had to try to shed some light as I knew it.

     Fred asked plenty if questions, to which I tried to somewhat enlighten him.  And he, of all people, knows what it's like to ride countless miles in the Bike To The Bay.  He rode his bike 100 miles last year.  I can't even imagine what that felt like.

     He jokingly asked me why I insisted on correcting him when he asked about me riding 50 miles. I made sure to let him know it was, in fact, 55.  

     At this point I felt it was necessary to explain just how brutal those last five miles are to someone with one leg that doesn't work.

     finally empathetic with what I was going through, he now understood why I had to claim credit for every single mile I rode. 
     As he promised, Fred gave me my moment in the spot light, in the hopes of wrangling up a few more donations.  The out pouring of compassion was overwhelming.  My 2500.00 personal fundraising goal is actually looking achievable!

     Now getting Fred to crack a smile was still a work in progress.  But I wasn't leaving until I got even a half a smile... 

          If that bike ride is half as hard as this was, I really have my work cut out for me.  but wait... look!! Call it what you want.  It sure looks like a smile to me!
          All kidding aside, Fred is an awesome friend, and I can't thank him enough for everything he does just to help me on my mission to end MS.  And I know one day it will happen!!  

Please help us!!

Have a great day!!


Friday, May 26, 2017

This trail isn't big enough for the six of us!

     With the bike to the bay quickly sneaking up on me, I've started to realize, I just need to hit the trail when ever I can find the time.  Schedules with riding buddies don't always match mine, so Olander park, my safe trail, has become my go to.
     As you can see, the trail is perfect!  And an added bonus is, I get to enjoy all of the beautiful wild life while I ride.

     Remember a couple months ago I was so excited to see all of the baby geese... 

What a pleasant treat to help me pass the time.

     However, I had to realize those babies wouldn't stay little forever.  They were now almost half the size of their mother.  though every bit as cute as before.  I could just watch them frolic in the grass by the lake as I rode around it.

    Of course, these cute little creatures were also getting very comfortable with all of us intruders who invade there home from day to day.  They weren't about to let us alter their lifestyle.
     As you know all to well, you never brake for birds because they always fly away at the last second, as you approach them.  But not these guys.  They never even skipped a beat.  I found myself coming to a complete stop time and time again.  As I hollered "shoe!" They gave me a look as to say "you shoe; we live here!"
     They had a point.  I was encroaching in their space and I had to adjust accordingly.  I guess it's no different than my life in general.  When I get thrown a curve ball I just have to adjust and move on.

      If I really want to live life to the fullest, I have to accept the changes; hurdles and all.

 But I do have to admit, it is so much cuter watching it from the sidelines.

Have great day!!