My husband and I rode in the MS150 this weekend. Two days, 75 miles each day. Got up at 4:30 AM Saturday morning to drive 60 miles south to Coral Gables where the ride started. We were part of the 90 member Office Depot Foundation Team.
ABOVE: Card Sound Bridge - 65 feet high, no shoulders.
Boy am I freaking tired after riding 150 miles on my bike this weekend. Wasn't supposed to have a headwind but we had a headwind both days - DANG. Pretty bad when you can only get up to 26 MPH going down Card Sound Bridge. Pretty steep bridge, should have been doing close to 40 MPH, but dang if that wind wasn't trying to push us back up the bridge!!!
ABOUT THE RIDE
Approximately 2,700 bikers participated in the MS150. They started the ride in waves, letting around 50-100 bikers start at a time. Took us an hour after the "official" ride start before we actually crossed the starting line. Day 2 we got closer to the start line - only took us 1/2 hour to get across the starting line.
On the first day, only 1.25 miles into the ride we came across the first of many ambulances we would see during the 2 days of riding. There were a bunch of round-a-bouts at the beginning of the ride. Someone rode right into the r-a-b, hit the curb with their front tire and crashed their bike. The biker was still lying on the side of the ground when we rode by - not the kind of thing you want to see at the beginning of a 150 mile ride.
RIDE THE RACE TRACK
On day two, at the halfway point we had a rest stop at the Homestead Miami Speedway. Got to do a lap on the extremely steep, banked race track - could you hear me screaming!?! Thought I was going to slide down the freaking side of the track, so I pointed the front of the bike back down and flew down to the flat part. Then I noticed everyone else was doing the same thing - AAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!! The rest stop portion, with all the food and drinks, was setup in pit row, you know, where the race cars stop to get refueled/new tires. It was pretty cool.
I just visited the Speedway's official website, I was curious as to how steep the track actually is: banking in turns - 18-20 degree variable banking. Yikes!!! Try riding that on a BICYCLE and see if that doesn't get your heart thumping!!! I think I was more scared getting into and back out of the track. Had to go down this steep, unlit tunnel which had metal speed bumps. Coming back out we were in a huge group of bikers, whoever was at the front started screaming so we all started screaming going through the tunnel, which echoed, it was hilarious.
WELL ORGANIZED EVENT
Well organized ride, lots of great food at the beginning of the ride, at all the rest stops and at the end of the ride at John Pennekamp State Park. Left our bikes at the park, picked up our luggage and took the shuttle 3 miles to our hotel. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, poolside room. Very nice, 2 pools, jacuzzi, Tiki Bar, right next to Coconuts Seafood Restaurant. We took a nap before eating dinner. I had a HUGE bowl of angel hair pasta with scallops - nice not having to count calories. I burned around 8,300 calories during the 2 days - food is my friend. Think we were back in our room by 7:30 and fell asleep by around 9 PM. Got up at 5:30 AM to do it all in reverse on Sunday morning.
RIDING WITH OUR TEAM
On Saturday we rode with some of our Office Depot team members for most of the day. Saw a lot of our other biking friends that were also doing the ride. Headwinds were a bit stronger on Sunday, or maybe I was just in a lot of pain and really TIRED. But the groups were spread out a lot more on Sunday, kind of hard to get the full benefits of drafting when you're only riding with 2 other bikers for the last 30 miles or so. My average speed for both days was pretty close, but Saturday we rode at a pretty consistent speed. On Sunday it was a lot of too fast riding along with a lot of too slow riding.
MY STATISTICS Here's my statistics from my 2 days of riding from my Garmin Edge 305 cycling computer. My husband says his computer showed we did 150.5 miles, not sure why mine says only 147.07. I think my heart rate monitor was also messed up a bit. It kept going on and off during the day, so I'm not sure how accurate the overall readings are. [TABLE=2] I rode 150 miles this weekend and all I got was a stupid t-shirt and a dorky medal!!! There were a couple of official photography points along the ride. If I can find any photos of Rob and I online I'll add them to this blog post - unless we look like total dorks, which is a pretty good possibility.
UPDATE: I just found 4 pictures of Rob and I on one of the official MS photographers websites. Here they are - the good, the bad, the "I'm too tired to pedal anymore." The photos show Rob and I coming down off the Card Sound Bridge, on the first day of the ride, and going around the Homestead Speedway on the second day of the ride. I look REALLY tired going around that race track!
Lynn AKA the Bike Diva