Friday, July 8, 2016

I didn't "bike to the bay"; I flew!!

     So by now you're well aware that I rode my bike all 55 miles, and crossed that finish line in Port Clinton.  But I have a confession to make... I didn't do it on my own.  Sure, my feet never left those pedals, but there were times I seriously wondered who was making them move.

     Like last year, the beginning of the ride seemed to go rather smoothly. But after my huge struggle to finish last year, my riding buddies, Keith, Maryann and Dave were there to make sure I did things different this time. I knew all too well that as my body got over heated and dehydrated was when everything would start to fall apart.
     Right out of the gate I knew this wasn't a race, and when I began to see a big gap between my peeps, myself, and the group ahead of us, it didn't bother me one bit.

     At first, I was a little confused, because these two white motorcycles appeared at every intersection.  The nice ladies riding them made sure the traffic waited for us to cross and then we continued on.
     It wasn't long before I noticed the same two ladies had become our "motorcade" for the entire ride.  There were only four of us in a group of around seven hundred, yet they hung with us like flies on fly paper.  One of the motorcycles had a pink wheel, no less!! Co incidence... I think not...

     This year I planned to take my time at the rest stops as well as hydrate, so my body could go back to "normal" (my normal).
    And every time the four of us left the rest stop to journey on, I would look in my helmet mirror and see Renee or Karen, our guardian angels, one behind us and one at the next intersection, waiting to stop traffic.
     Ironically, at first I thought there were several ladies that all looked alike...

     As the day went on, I noticed my body was beginning to feel heavier and heavier, but I knew If I just paced myself I would eventually see that finish line.  Not a stop went buy that I didn't get off, but I'm not gonna lie... I was wishing it was the finish line every time.  In fact, several times I jokingly asked if it was:)

    As we left one particular rest stop, just as I was starting to regret riding again, I noticed my gaggle of peeps had gone from 4 to 5 of us.  

     A random rider had decided to join us and asked me If I minded.  Of course my answer as always was "the more the merrier!!"
     My thoughts of "why did I ride again this year" were soon faded when my new riding buddy and I began to have a random  conversation about why we ride.  When I told him I ride because I have MS and right now I can, his eyes lit up!  He  said "wait until I post on facebook that I rode with someone who actually has MS!" Almost as if I was a rare breed:) But it was that moment when my 300 pound body (metaphorically speaking) seemed to go from cement to "Iron Woman".  Now I had to make it!

     However, at one point my random friend and I had to part ways, because his 75 mile route took a different path.  But not without leaving me with a natural high that would see me clear until the next rest stop.  And believe me, it did not look close; but I knew somehow I would make it.

          People always rave about the rolling hills going through the beautiful farm country of Northwest Ohio.  I'll admit It is absolutely beautiful... by car... but on a bike, I could sure do without those hills.  Luckily, one of my teammates, Dave, had every intention of being my power pack when my right leg quit working.  Oh, don't get me wrong; he made sure I pedaled, but his arm just replaced my week leg.
     This picture below was a very bitter sweet moment for me.  I could see that last hill going over the turnpike, which would be the very last hill I would climb before I would glide that last mile to the finish line. This was very sweet indeed.  But I also remembered last year it was brutal and it wasn't without help that I made it to the top.

     But the real panic set in as I felt my leg at this point was numb, and my "power pack" buddy was what seemed like miles ahead of me.  I could either speed up and hope that he would be next to me when I needed that push, or pray he eventually slowed down to wait for me.  My body said pray...

     Of course, right as I approached that worst hill of the ride, Dave was right there ready to rocket me to the top.
     So we practically glided that last mile, and I finally did it!  I crossed that finish line!

     I know this may not be what a super hero looks like; instead of a cape, I have my brace and nerve zapper.  But that day, along with all of my side kicks, I sure felt like one:)

Have a great day!!


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