Sunday, June 29, 2008

Same Ole Same Ole

I felt like i wanted to post about our sat ride.Knowing i still need to report on the tour which i will do as time allows! Sat morning we gathered @ Panera and decieded we just ride the trail for a out and back 20 m. Seems easy right??? 8 riders and 3 flats later. We rode 20 m!! How is it a team of 15 riders the week before ride in the

MS Bike Tour: and log over a 1000 miles as a team with no flats and we get on our home trail and we cant go 20 m??? Anyone else ever have this problem????

We had a new rider join us this week Michael Higgins a friend of John's and owner of Maldner's downtown....MMMMM i wonder at this pace if he will join us again??? Hey Scott if John wasnt so busy pulling weeds or ordering me to pull weeds maybe he would of seen your keys fall out of your bike???? All in All it felt great to be back on the bike!!! Now Terry butter up and get back out here!!!!!!

I did learn one thing on the ride today!!!! Michael had a co2 air pump... Thinking i need one of those??????Hint Hint team if you want me to change your tire's maybe buy your captain a little gift????
Okay if your wondering the picture has nothing to do with my story!!! Just wanted you to see how cool our tent looked from last week!!! Thanks to Ann Coombe!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

# 955

My first number. My first event. I know this technically isn't a race, really it was just a ride. No one was competing against anyone else. Except ourselves maybe? Yes I was really nervous about this and I know, no one I told that probably knew what the fuss was about. The fact is I've always admired athletic people. So I was nervous to be stepping outside (COMPLETELY outside) my comfort zone into the company of all these people. Nothing like shouting for a spotlight when you're a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. That's what it felt like, in my mind. Something else I learned this weekend - I'm not the only one that acknowledges a portion of completing some harder physical goals you may set for yourself is mental. You must have some mental toughness to go the distance.

In the days leading up to this - I was completely nervous. Although I had laundry all washed and packed and ready to go two days before I left (which for those of you who know me is a sure sign something is wrong!), the morning we were leaving I was at the grocery store at 5:30am - asking what time they started selling alcohol (needed to get rum for the tent - its 7:00am in Illinois, by the way - I'm sure the folks at Shop and Save were wondering what the heck?!) then baking brownies for the tent at 6:00am, I couldn't find my ipod or my camera charger and left without them. I felt completely out of it - like I literally would have forgotten my head if it weren't attached. Yes I was very nervous!

This weekend was really - phenomenal - it was amazing in so many ways. Our team was assembled with every kind of person - from the novice to the seasoned cyclist. Some of us knew about things to bring like sport beans and cliff bars - some of us knew the pockets in the jerseys were a perfect place to hold lip gloss. We had ages represented from 3 different decades. We were every kind of person - a receptionist, a lawyer, a carpenter, a teacher. We were business owners, computer programmers, investors, engineers. We were mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. We were friends and we became closer friends. There are 14 different versions of how this weekend played out - and I'm looking forward to reading what everyone else's take is - but this is my version :)

I was looking forward to it being an adventure - and I was not disappointed! There was limbo! There was a pirate flag! There were pirate tattoos and Jimmy Buffet music and singing! (Also Sweet Caroline 3 times in a row - papow papow papow!!!) There were also miles. Lots of miles. For me - there were 50 the first day and 40 the second. I really wanted to continue with my teammates and go the last 25 miles Saturday and finish the 75 mile loop. The last leg before the lunch stop that day just killed me. I ended up separated from my team, then it seemed also like I was separated from many of the riders period. There was wind - at times it seemed to be blowing me backwards and I struggled to keep moving forward at a mere 9 mph, then dropping to 8 - I really struggled. My mind was playing tricks on me - did I miss a turn or something? I wished so much at that point I had my ipod. But I didn't so I put my head down and kept going as much as I could. There were two points like this for me over the weekend. This was the first. I started thinking about all my friends that had supported me and my kids and how they always were cheering me on - those thoughts made those last miles possible. I never stopped. Finally the lunch stop came into view that Saturday - I couldn't speak much when I finished that last 50th mile...think it rolled over to 51 then I heard cheering and cowbells and saw the volunteers in the purple shirts smiling and shouting words of encouragement. I rode through a little of the crowd and my eyes finally fell on the sweet sight of about 11 red, white and blue team copaxone jerseys sitting under a nice big shade tree. I'm not even sure if I smiled, but I wanted to when I saw my friend Dodie jogging up to me to get my bike for me - she said let me take your bike - go get something to eat and drink. Not even sure if I managed to say thank you but I hope my eyes conveyed it to her! WOW that was a tough leg. All in all Saturday went well. There was some rain early - but the temperature was nice and cool at the start. There were stops every 10 or 15 miles and they were great! When we trained, we didn't really stop much so it really helped and we all stayed together pretty much till that last leg for me and the wind hit. Whew.

I took advantage of our dear friend and tent captain Ann Coombe, who came to the lunch stop to pick up anyone that felt they had to stop. This included me and two other teammates. We very gratefully piled into her van with our bikes and were about 10 minutes back on our way when her phone rang and we went to the next stop to pick up a fourth who had had their fill of the day.

I went back to the hotel and wanted to shower and just rest a little, but couldn't make it past the bed. Once I opened the hotel room door and the air conditioning hit me - well that was it. I set the alarm on my phone because I wanted to join my team for dinner later - and flipped on the tv and layed down. Next thing I knew and hour and a half went by and the alarm was shrieking at me to get rolling and get in the shower. Never in my life has a shower felt so great. As I was drying my hair, some of my teammates came in and the queue for the shower began.

After we were all fresh again we went back to tent village to get some dinner and see what the barn party they advertised was all about. They served us all chicken, pasta and broccoli casserole, corn and rolls. It was really good - not sure who the caterer was but they did a good job feeding 1600 riders! We all ate at our tent and waited (and yes ok, socialized some more) for our tent to win (we thought) best decorated tent. Not sure how Citgo pulled it off - but they beat us :( But we didn't let it dampen our spirits! Other riders stopped by our tent to socialize with us (we were at LEAST the most fun tent!!!). In fact when I was at some of the rest stops during the ride and chatting a few times with other riders - they said they would stop by our tent least twice I said - just look for the tent with the flag - both times they said - oh yea - I know right where that is! :) LOL

Saturday night was a blast - we had so much fun - getting to know each other more, singing and dancing and making our own party - because frankly - we couldn't find the barn party. Maybe it was the big screen showing the Disney movie Brother Bear? Who knows? We made our own and it was perfect. OMG I had no idea Tim Healy was such a good dancer! And Ann!!! You shared your birthday with us! You are so awesome - I didn't even know it was your birthday till the presentation of the cake began :) Shannon - as ALWAYS helped make the party complete with her awesome music collection. The details we all bring to the table made it a complete success. John Flahive and Bob Brandon - I was so happy to see you guys join us Friday night - and so happy you rode with us Saturday. John and Bob both went on for the whole 75 mile loop Saturday. You guys are awesome!! Trudy - no matter what anyone says - maybe you didn't get to 75 (you surpassed me and kept trying after 50!!) you did win the limbo contest!! :)

Speaking of ROCK STARS - Mary, Ann, John Coombe and Terry all went on to ride 100 miles Saturday - you guys are truly incredible and inspirational!!!

Sunday morning came pretty early but the weather was sunny and perfect again. We left as a team at 7:30am and headed out on a new route - this one was a 40 mile route. Again we had rest stops and that helped. The first stop was at 15 miles and it was in a clearing of trees just off the road. I'm so impressed with the number of volunteers that were there - serving us water, bagels, fruit (the best watermelon ever!!) peanuts, chips, pretzels - whatever we needed they had for us. They were always there with smiles on and something supportive to say. They were awesome!

Our team was incredible - thank you to you all for all the words of encouragement - Ann and Mary - always telling me "good job!" or "awesome!" - you guys always lifted my spirits. Ray - thank you also - even when you're flying by at 26 mph and flashing the uniquely Ray "rock on" hand signs - you always made us smile.

During the last leg again I about came to my breaking point. Again thoughts of friends and my kids sustained me. There was wind and pain. There were tears and fatigue. Then Shannon and Terry came up to me and we rode the last mile or so towards town together - just before town we came up to a turn and there was the rest of the team - waiting for us so that we could all finish together. And we did. As we rounded the last corner, we came up to the finish line and there was Ann Coombe and Beth yelling and cheering us in! Beth - we love you and you brought us all together!! Thank you!!

Can't believe its over. I also got my first medal this weekend. Our house has lots of them from hockey, soccer, baseball - even ribbons from swimming. But finally - this weekend - a girl brought one home :)

All I have left to say is..... what's next??

Monday, June 23, 2008

More pics from the Tour

Yes Dodie you're really going to do this!!! Right???
Who is this guy????

Did John ever find the Booty???

Is Terry grabbing my ass???

Are the girls ready to call it a day???

Are they in Pardise??

Did we really find the check in???

Who Knows??

Stay tuned...the answer to these questions will be coming in the days to follow.

Is there more to biking then biking?????

Sunday, June 22, 2008



Way to go Team Copaxone

There's so much to say about our weekend...but for now I'll just post a photo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thank You

Wow!!!! Was last nite our last tues nite ride in the park??? Not sure where to start?? But i thank everyone for there support!!! I wasnt sure when i thought about putting this ride together who what where would be doing this!! What a great group this has become!!!

Last nite show's us how far we have come. We killed 10-15 miles like it was nothing!! Laugh if you want!!!But you all learned how to KILL THE HILL!!!!

I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED THE RIDES AS MUCH AS I DID!!! Beth and I Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to join in our fight againest MS!!


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Flag Day Ride

I cannot believe we didn't mention our Saturday ride. I showed up at Panera with a small flag on my handlebars in honor of Flag Day. Just a small group this week to represent - Ray, John, Ann, Brenda and I headed out for our last team long ride!

It was a perfect day for a ride. The Saturday we've been hoping to have for weeks.

We did a quick ride up the Wabash and Interurban trails. So far, so good the ride was uneventful. Then we headed through Chatham into the country. But not so fast, a car didn't see Ann and Brenda behind me and papow....they came so close to being hit. We had the light and the right of way but that lady did not see more riders after the first 3 crossed. I am so glad you guys are ok! Way to be on your toes and peddles ladies!

Then still, heading out into the country, a doe jumps out from the fields and crosses right in front of Ray. She was gorgeous to watch once she passed - but she scared us all as she got so close.

We looped back around to Panera, Brenda and Ray peeled off to go head to their Saturday happenings. Ann, John and I wanted a few more miles and thought it was best to just do the trail again to get away from cars and deers; and that allowed Ann and John to go as fast or slow (back with me) as they needed to. Ann might have had another mishap while on the trail and John might have needed a quick pitstop - but that's not important now. ;)

In the end we hit a team high with 40+ miles. It was a perfect way to close out our Saturday training. Our team is MORE than ready for a weekend full of great miles and friendship. It's been a pleasure training with you all.

Now let's head to Dekalb Parrothead Peddlers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

WOW, i got the best fathers day gift!!! Cannondale 29 er!! Had to hit a little single track this am!! This bike is fast!!Thanks,Beth,Hannah and Rhino!! Now off to the boat and the Elks for a little family fun!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cheeseburger in Paradise Party - post 15 mile Sherman ride

It may seem by the pictures on this blog that we do some fair amount of socializing in addition to training, but as our captain has said, there is more to biking than biking!

We had a really nice ride Tuesday night - a change of scenery - 7 1/2 miles out, then back starting from the Larson's home in Sherman. Nice to have the Healys join us - we've missed seeing you guys! THANK YOU to Ray and Beth for hosting a GREAT PARTY! EVERYONE had a blast! If only I hadn't forgotten my camera - I only got a few pics on my camera phone - so I apologize for the quality...

Chilling on the back patio...

Here Ray is grilling for us (or was this when he was GETTING grilled? Next time try the Flowbee Ray)

The food was great!

Sunday June 8 - Lincoln's Home Recovery Ride

We couldn't complain a bit about the weather on Sunday - a beautiful day. We started at Panera - headed down the Wabash Trail, up over the Stanford overpass, past Four Seasons, and down 11th street. We looped around downdown past St. John's, then went down 5th street, turned down Capital, went up 2nd street and looped back around for a break at Lincoln's Home on 7th street. After a water break and a short picture session, we headed back out towards Washington Park, went through the park and continued on to our planned stop of day at Illini Country Club where our teammate Mary was just finishing her swim. We sat on the patio for some recovery refreshments - but no one knows for sure - were we recovering from the battle of elements from Saturday's ride? Or from the fish fry Saturday night at Dodie's? (where's my rum?) Either way it was a beautiful morning and a nice 16 miles.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not rain, thunder, flat tires or bulldozers can slow us down!

Saturday's ride - all 33 miles of it - was quite an adventure! From carrying our bikes through pastures, being chased by dogs, bleeding into our socks, washed out roads, surviving flat tires, rain storms - taking shelter at Sonic, random duplex garage overhangs.... you name it and we survived it Saturday! Even more impressive as you see by the photos - all with a smile on our faces :)

Friday, June 6, 2008


THAT'S RIGHT!!! Our team is clipping off miles almost as easy as i cliped off my shoes! Last night was my 1st ride with shoes and clips.Wow what a difference!! What seem to be a choppy sloppy pedal stroke is now a smooth and fast powerful rotation.I LOVE THEM!!!

I cant belive i waited this long. I guess it came down to money how could a guy spend 200 bucks on shoes and clips and only paid 300 for the bike?? Just made no sense!! stop laughing Heals i know what your thinking!!!
Bike - Sunglasses

Click on the link: I got shoes and clips for 75 bucks. What a great deal!! Ditch the gym shoes and get those goofy looking elf shoes.

Last night we meet at Corner Pub for a thur ride.We killed 22 miles and headed into the teeth of a 30 mph wind. But on the turn around how sweet it was to have that wind at your back FAST FAST FAST!!! WAS IT THE SHOES WAS IT THE WIND ???Who Knows it was just flat ass fast!!
At the post ride meeting Ann Showed up with a sign up sheet for our tent.If you have not signed up for something please get with Ann and see what you can bring.

Sat morning note new ride time we will meet at Panera Bread by 7 am wheels rolling by 7:30!!
Our tripmaster has a 40 mile loop planned for us.With a nice rest stop at the 20 mile mark.Dont forget your sport beans and water!!!

Green tip of the day:
Biking is Pollution -Free
For every Gallon of gas burned it creates 20 lbs of climate changing CO2!!
I guess you get burned twice!! @ 4 bucks a gal!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

yea - i'm a city girl

Another perfect morning - what a great weekend! I was happy to be back on the bike today - since I was all rested up from my rough day of photography yesterday - LOL. Today was a recovery ride just through town - 22 + miles. Perfect weather - sunny and warm. What I learned today is that I really am a city girl. 22 miles through town feels a whole lot different than 22 through the country! I enjoy them both - but have an easier time of it in town, that's for sure! :)