Last weekend, Anne and I successfully completed another Bike MS ride, our 11th and 14th respectively, at least as close as we can figure. This ride used be called the MS-150, because there was once only one route and that route ran 150 miles. Now, there are four routes each day ranging from 25 to 100 miles. We rode 75 miles the first day and 50 miles the second, for a total of 125 miles. The weather this year was blessedly cool, maybe even a little too cool, not that I’m complaining. The previous weekend had featured highs in the mid-nineties, this ride had highs in the low seventies and lows in the forties. We tent camped, so those morning lows were pretty cold.
This year’s ride featured a change of venue. For a while now, the MS ride had been based out of Columbia, MO, but Boone County closed their fairgrounds and they had to move. We moved to Godfrey, IL. The new venue is Lewis and Clark Community College, a school grounds that began life as a private girls school. The facilities were really quite a step up from Columbia. New amenities included a swimming pool, locker rooms and the best one was delicious catered meals. As with any new venue there were a few glitches, but those should be smoothed out in time for next year.
Saturday was the busier, cooler and windier day of the two. We started off with the wind, heading east to Edwardsville, which was pleasant. The Madison County Trails were a big part of this route. Heading back though, we fought strengthening headwinds all the way. We had two brushes with “wildlife”. The first one involved a dog and a small pony. Anne was ahead and called out, “Look a dog and pony show.” Just then the dog commenced vigorously licking the pony’s crotch. I called back to her, “That’s not a very PG show.” The second incident was similar, except that the shoe was on the other foot. Whenever we see deer statuary, we call out to each other, “Look, Dear!” This call is answered with, “Oh, Dear.” We were riding through a rather tony neighborhood, when I spied some real deer in someone’s front yard. I called out, “Look, Dear.” At which point one of the deer proceeded to mount another one, “Oh, Dear!”
Sunday’s ride was more laid back. We started later; rode fewer miles and there was less wind. Near the end of the day, we were riding on a shady one-lane road. There were plenty of rolling hills, but unfortunately, the pavement was pretty beat-up. This made zooming through the rollers difficult. On the biggest one, the downhill ended with a sharp right turn, which forced us to come to an almost complete stop. This turn is pictured above. Making the turn, I saw that the uphill climb ended in a wall. Anne was ahead again and was making noises about walking it, so in anticipation I dismounted. She faked me out though and rode up the wall and then waited for me at the top.