On Sunday I tackled not only my first long bike ride but I was able to give back to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in a financial way. My future mother-in-law, Rachel, offered to join me on this ride. Since Mike had to work this past weekend it was a girl’s only event.
We arrived in Prince Edward Country on Saturday afternoon. I booked us a hotel room in Picton by the harbour. We checked in and then headed over to the Community Centre to register. Because we were both able to fundraise over $1,000 each we were gifted with MS branded Jersey by one of the sponsors Louis Garneau.
In total, the Alpha Female team raised $2,310. To everyone that donated I’m very very grateful for your generosity.
At registration, we grabbed ribbons for our bibs. Since we are both rookies to the ride we grabbed the green ribbon (seen below), the $1,000 club ribbon and I will end MS (the black ribbon seen below). What grabbed my heart on Sunday morning was seeing that Rachel had also put a “Someone I Love Has MS” ribbon on her bib (the maroon one seen below). That might have made me tear up a bit.
We were only going to tackle the 40km portion of the ride since it was my first time on a bike. After buying the bike in the fall of 2015 and being absolutely terrified my first time on it I was a bit skeptical about how I’d do this time out. But after 2 rides the week before the ride with Mike coaching me (one 5km and one 8km) I felt great. We headed out Sunday morning with perfect weather. It was overcast but not too cold. The wind gusts were a bit strong at times but nothing unbearable.
I still wasn’t confident enough to clip in so I was peddling on clip pedals with my trusty Mizuno Wave Rider 18s. Around the 20km mark after one pit stop for snacks and water, we were feeling great so I suggested we bump our goal up to the 75km route and Rachel was game. I’m glad we did because the view of Prince Edward County and the Big Island was just gorgeous. There were minimal cars on the road and I loved hitting the downhills. To think that only last October I had tears streaming down my face in fear from attempting a hill for the first time.
There were 4 pit stops for the 75km route with ample water, Gatorade, port-o-potties, snacks (I loved the peaches at stops 2 & 3) and even a band to serenade us. The MS Society of Canada had put up signs thanking all the teams & top fundraisers.
I’m a little sore, bruised and tired but very very happy of not only the fundraising efforts of those in my circle but also my physical achievement on the bike. My foot was weirdly numb and tingly the whole ride but I felt strong. I powered up every single uphill and can’t wait to learn how to clip in so I actually have to do less work than my running shoes had to do on the clip pedals! The only potentially crazy part of the ride was when a hornet flew into my helmet on one of the long uphills. I didn’t want to stop so I prayed he would’t sting me until I got to the top. I stopped and ripped my helmet off and sent him on his way. Definitely a bee in your bonnet type moment.
I’m so grateful I had the bonding opportunity with Mike’s mom and I’m so grateful that we are contributing to a society that is working hard to find a cure within my lifetime.