by Michelle Moore
Hello Family and Friends!
Thank you to everyone that has texted, called, emailed, posted on Facebook, etc. to offer words of encouragement and to check in to make sure I made it through the weekend alive! This past weekend was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Having come from a background of running and triathlon, this was my first endurance event in cycling. I knew I could do 100ish miles in one day because I have done it a few times before, but trying to do 150-175 miles over TWO days was something I was unsure I could do, but knew I wanted to try.
The start of the ride was delayed a few hours on Saturday due to bad weather. Thankfully this weather produced an overcast sky with some wind and light rain – which believe it or not – made for a manageable 100 miles on Day 1. The ride is completely supported, meaning there is a rest stop every 12-15 miles with plenty of nutrition, water, bathrooms, sunscreen, etc. I can only imagine what kind of site it was to see nearly 50 of us in orange/black cycling kits roll up on each aid station. Most people would cheer for us, and shout “we love the Spidermonkey’s” which was exciting and made me feel like somewhat of a celebrity. While we tried to ride as a group of 50 for most of the day, as the miles progressed, some legs got tired more quickly than others. There was a natural split in the group, and I ended up in a very enjoyable group of about 8 for the last 30ish miles of the day. By the time we rolled back to the finish area, I was MORE THAN ready to be off the bike and enjoy a cold beer and some food. I camped out with some of my teammates near the football stadium at NIU (in DeKalb IL) which turned out to be quite fun, yet provided very little sleep.
Day 2 was much more tough. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing hard and it was HOT. We took at team picture and then rolled out around 8:30am. It was a much harder ride due to the humidity, but the wind didn’t do us any favors either. It’s nice to be in the middle of a 50 person pack because it helps block the wind, but you also have to be very aware at all times so that when the group slows you don’t crash into the person in front of you. I was tired, and had some knee pain. It turns out that my seat had been a little too high up during the ride on day one, and I think I strained or pull the muscle behind my right knee. So, unfortunately that plagued me for most of the day. And, without offering up TMI (too much information), my undercarriage was pretty sore from 100 miles the day prior. Ouch!
We rode for 21 miles straight before we stopped. I knew at that first rest stop that I wasn’t going to make it the full 75 miles the group was planning on traveling. One group broke off and chose to do 35 miles, and I ended up with just three other teammates doing 50 miles. I was bummed to have to make that decision because I mentally had committed to 75. But, I also wanted to be smart about my knee, and let’s be honest, I wasn’t enjoying sitting on that bike seat so much after day 1 – if ya know what I mean :)
I rolled back to the finish area around 12:30pm, having clocked just over 50 miles for day 2. I was so happy to be finished, so thankful for some of my teammates that really helped me get through that ride, and so proud of what my team accomplished to fight MS!
Nearly 50 Spidermonkey’s came together to ride and raise money for this event. I’m thrilled to say that we exceeded our team goal of $40,000…and have raised over $44,500…and counting! Below is a picture of my entire team from Day 2. I’m sure by looking at this amazing group you can see why I had so much fun and why I love being a part of the cycling community with them. Personally, I have raised over $1,500. That’s because of you! If you know anyone that still wants to donate, please send them this link: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/mishmoore Donations are being accepted through July 31.
I am so grateful for every dollar you’ve donated to help fight MS. Throughout this fundraising experience I learned of far more people that have a connection to this disease than I ever would have imagined. I am humbled at the amount I was able to raise in just a few short months, and hope that your loved ones will be free of this disease one day soon through donations like these. In the meantime, please know that each and every person you donated on behalf of crossed my mind over the course of 155 miles. And, I have a sore bum and sun burn to prove it! :) They are welcomed discomforts to mend, knowing that together we are all fighting for a greater cause.