I finished. The MS Ride up in McCall this year was terrific. It was tough. It was challenging. It was well-supported. I love the ride and I love the opportunity to participate in such a fantastic cause. I've got a few pictures from it--although only a pair of them with me, since I didn't really know anyone in the ride (that changed after I rode...I'm a talker), but enjoy!
On day one, I climbed the first thirty miles--seriously--it was an "out-and-back" ride of mostly climbing the first thirty miles--and left the lunch stop ready to head down the mountain. About a mile or two into it, I noticed something on my front tire that looked like tar or goo. I stopped and realized that I had a "herniated tire" and that unless I could find a tire (not a tube), my ride would be over, and I would miss the downhill I had earned. See the picture below for a look at what a herniated tire looks like (note the blisters):
So I hopped into the SAG wagon that would take me to the twenty-mile rest stop and waited. He was also the Sweep car, so we had to wait for the last riders to go--he couldn't use his radio because he wasn't "HAM-certified" or something. Yikes. On our way down the mountain, we came across two brothers (who I'd seen a few times already) who were having their fair share of mechanical problems. One of them had just gotten his third flat of the morning (that was about one per hour). His brother Jason had already flatted once and also broken a cleat on his shoe. Good times. I suggested the issue wasn't "tubular" but instead "rimular" or "spokular" and that he ought to check that out. To make a long story short, we swapped wheels, rims and all, so I could ride down the hill (he was done--plus the SAG wagon had beer and he was thirsty). Here's a nice picture of the "two wrongs make a bike" pair of wheels:
That night, I joined my family, was super grumpy and sore, and actually got a reasonable amount of sleep. Special thanks to my wonderful wife for putting up with me and allowing me to do this without too much "leaving the kids alone" guilt. I love this cause and I love this ride. Mostly because I love my Mom.