Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1

Well, I'm all packed. I've been dreading this weekend all week. First of all, I never feel like I train enough. Probably because I don't. Even though I trained more this year than I have in past years. But also because of the weather. The forecasts are not good.

I think the days leading up to BikeMS are worse than the ride itself. The thoughts of “why didn’t I train more?” and “this is going to SUCK!” and “What if it’s 1,000 degrees outside?” and “Oooh man, my crotch is going to HURT on Monday.” It’s brutal.

But the turning point is at 7 a.m., riding across the start line in a huge messy clump of slow-moving bikes, through the huge cheering crowd and the drumline playing a fun cadence. The turning point is the first rest stop, where you see scads of volunteers jumping up and down, cheering, and holding signs as they see you approaching. The turning point is when you see the volunteer in the wheelchair, helping hand out orange slices and Powerbars at the rest stop and saying “Thanks for doing this. I have MS”

And then it’s worth it.

The sweating, being sore, the hills, the begging your friends for money, and hitting that bump on mile 46 that hurts your crotch WAY more than the one on mile 2. It’s all for that guy in the wheelchair, or the lady who’s driving the SAG wagon with MS, or the name written on the rider’s blue bandana in front of you.

That’s why you show up, even though you’re not as athletic as the seasoned riders. That’s why you begged for money in a bad economy. That’s why you pant up every single hill.

It’s all going to be worth it.

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