Another year, another MS-150 bicycle ride, both Anne and I would like to thank our donors who supported us on this charity ride to help fight multiple sclerosis. We each exceeded our fund-raising goal of $250, the minimum. Thank you! This was my 15th MS-150 bike ride. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make our mileage goal of 150 miles. We fell short with a total of 97 miles, which just so happened to also be the high temperature yesterday, 97 °F. We have no idea what the heat index was, but my guess would be that it was hotter than hell. It certainly felt like that.
We went through Amish country on Saturday morning, before the heat of the day. Their community was out in force, with many buggies on the road and a multitude of youngsters lining the road. Both the cyclists and the children marveled at the novelty of the other. The Amish have an aversion to photography, which I respected, but I sure passed up some great photo-ops. Anne bought a piece of pie for a dollar. A full pie went for only three. Apparently, modern pricing as well as modern conveniences have not been adopted by the Amish. Missouri’s Amish population continues to thrive. Large Eastern families combined with our relatively cheap land prices have led to their steady western migration. Anne had the best Amish story of the day.
One problem with the MS-150 is that some guys treat it more like a race and not the ride it is supposed to be. They ride like bats out of hell and are pains in the ass. One of the most annoying aspects of this phenomenon is the pace line. This is where five or more riders ride single file, aerodynamically enjoying the slipstream that they generate. Like Canada geese, they regularly tradeoff the lead and consequently ride very fast. Unless you are the lead dog, you are single mindedly focused on the back wheel of the person in front of you. Any loss of concentration can lead to a horrible wreck. This being said, the lead dog is supposed to call out any obstacles. Unique obstacles in Amish country are road apples. With all of the horse traffic the road was paved with them. After a while, you started to ignore the old stuff and only worried about the new stuff. One of these pace lines came screaming past Anne, got a little further, when she heard the last rider in line yell, “Oh shit!” Sure enough, there was a hot steaming pile of it, with one skinny tire track through the middle of it.