As karma for laughing (hysterically, I might add) at Whitney’s pain in last year’s MS150 in San Francisco, I had a very rough experience at my fourth MS150, in the ever beautiful Colombia, Missouri.
It all began with an email from the CEO of Sense Corp, the company that owns me I work for, asking (telling?) us to join the Sense Corp team in the upcoming Missouri MS150. I was lured in with the promise of a masseuse and cookies. I immediately signed myself up.
For those who are unfamiliar with the MS150, it is a 150+ mile bike rally, held over the weekend, to raise money for multiple sclerosis. In year’s past, I trained for the MS150 by spending half my Saturday biking 60 miles. This year, I did one 60 mile ride and considered my training one and done.
The MS150 has always been a brilliantly fun weekend, full of new scenery, interesting chats with strangers on bikes, and relishing the great outdoors. This year….not so much. Turns out biking 150+ miles is not so fun without spending some quality time in the saddle beforehand.
The night before the first day’s ride, a caravan of Sense Corp co-workers drove to Colombia and we all pitched in to set up our tent…in the freezing rain…in a tank top and shorts, as I had just come from the land of hotter than hell Dallas. After setting up, we ate dinner and began a grippingly exciting game of BS, where my strategy of calling BS on every other person utterly failed and I ended up with half the deck (note* goal of BS is to get rid of your cards)
We then played Mafia, where Danielle showed her passive aggressiveness by proceeding to be extremely persistent in her desire to kill me. A few hours later, I was extremely persistent in my desire to kill every man who snored in the tent that night…you know who you are… At one point, I turned on my flashlight, stalked over to a snorer, and began beating him senseless with my jacket. I was viciously attacking my co-worker. Danielle, also awake from the deeply uncomfortable camping situation, was laughing uncontrollably at the beat-down. Just another night in a Sense Corp tent.
The next day, I head out for a 100 mile bike ride, super excited to sit on a bike saddle for 8 hours. I fly by the first rest stop, and stop at the second rest stop. I run into one of my favorite SenseCorpions, who proceeds to ask me what is wrong, as my face is white as a sheet, and I can’t keep up with anybody else on the 100 mile route. I respond, “My body is betraying me, it’s no big deal”. For the rest of the day, I struggle to keep up with the 100 mile pack, continuously falling behind until Brittany the Energetic swings back around to pull me up. It’s too bad Brittany the Energetic is not Brittany the Enormous; a 100 lb girl is not the ideal person to draft off of.
I eat about two pb&j sandwiches at every rest stop, and 8 hours later… I have done it! 100 miles, done and done. My groin area is not happy.
As soon as I arrive at camp, I am immediately confronted with the numerous rumors about me (“I heard you shanked anyone snoring last night!” True. “I heard you got a ton of flats!” Nope, I was just going that slow. “I heard you got sick and vomited and couldn’t complete the century ride” I DID finish, sucker! BAM)
That night, I opted to stay in a hotel rather than listen to a symphony of snorers…thank you to my savior, Gloria Chan, for sharing her hotel room, and to Danielle, for consulting her way through how to fit 3 people on one bed and an ottoman.
I wake up sniffling and weak…thanks to the freezing rain from two nights prior. Uh-oh, this may prove to be another interesting day of the MS150. I pop some pain pills and opt for the 75 mile route…let’s get this over with.
Although I was supposed to ride with a Sense Corp group, I somehow find myself dissed and dismissed, yet again. I find out the group left 20 minutes before me; let the chase begin! About 10 miles in, I make friends with John, a 200+ lb man = my new drafting partner. He carries me 50 miles, at a speedy 18-19mph, until I finally reach the Sense Corp group at lunch. I knew I liked John, for the following reasons:
- Although our pace was set to skip every other rest stop and we had just stopped, I yelled out “We MUST stop here” after seeing a sign that said “Next rest stop, 3 miles. Home-made cookies”. John immediately agreed, and didn’t bother me when I hung out with the cookie ladies for 20 minutes.
- He pulled me 50 miles. FIFTY!
- Around mile 40, he asked me if I had a boyfriend…or a girlfriend. That’s when my love for him was solidified.
I only wish I knew his last name. Or remembered the company he told me he worked for. So, John, if you are out there, just know that I think you ROCK.
Peter drags me through the remaining 25 miles of the ride, we finish the ride like champs, eat dinner at 4pm (Grandmas!!!), and back to Texas I go. What. a. ride. Cannot wait for MS150 #5….maybe this time I will train slightly more effectively. Or, ride less than 175 miles. Either one. The latter. Definitely the latter.