I did it! With the help and generosity of so many friends and family, I exceeded my revised fundraising goal of $1200 for the Bike MS Utah ride last weekend. The final tally was $1225, and I thank everyone who dug deep to help me achieve such an awesome contribution. I promised to ride all 175 miles of the course if I reached my goal.
Then, disaster struck. A couple days before the ride I went to the dentist for some work on a problematic crown. Unfortunately, the appointment went bad and my tooth had to be pulled. Long story short, it really sucked and involved a gauze chomping drive across town to a surgeon to actually get the last of the tooth out. I was prescribed heavy pain killers and told not to participate in the ride. But, when do I ever take heavy pain killers or listen to medical advice?
We headed up to Logan early Saturday morning for Day 1 of the ride, and at this point I’d already decided to play it a little safe and cancel my Sunday participation. I took a “let’s see how it goes” approach and started the ride figuring I could decide along the way whether I’d ride 40, 75 or 100 miles. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to be out riding, and my first impression of Logan is…WOW. The scenery as we rode across the valley, then circled it along the foothills, was breathtaking and made me wish I was carrying my camera. My back would probably say otherwise.
At mile 20 we decided to proceed along the 75/100 mile route, rather than circle back to complete the 40 mile ride. It was still early in the day, and I was feeling good. This ride is extremely well supported and with more than 2500 riders that’s a good thing. Rest stops are plentiful and well stocked. Ride marshalls patrol sections of the route on bike, motorcycle and in cars. Support vehicles are ready to pick anyone up and take them anywhere on the route they desire. Each rest stop included limited bike maintenance to assist with any issues. Overall, the planning and attention to detail with this event was evident.
Things got slower as we proceeded. In addition to being tired, the pain from my tooth…or lack of tooth…was increasing and it definitely slowed me down. By the time we reached the 100 mile split, the decision had already been made for us: the split was closed. So, we resigned to completing the 75 mile route.
We took a nice break at mile 49 for the sponsored lunch, then headed out to complete the last 26 miles. It was later in the day, so it was hotter, and the going was much slower. I mentally broke the remaining miles up by segments between rest stops and that helped, but toward the end my mouth got worse. Let’s just say I hydrated over the last 20 miles, but not with water…it was gross.
We finally cruised into the fairgrounds around 3:30 PM, completing the 75 mile segment. It was the longest ride I’ve done, and it was a lot of work. But, it was also a blast and a great way to spend a Saturday.
I am keeping my promise to my donors to some extent. I will ride in the 111 mile ULCER ride in Utah County on 6 August to make up for the 100 miles I failed to ride in Logan.
Thanks again to everyone for making my first big ride so successful!