Kansas City has a huge bike charity event called the MS 150. MS 150 stands for “ride a 150 miles over a September weekend and raise money for Muscular Dystrophy”.  The people who volunteer for this event are legion wide.  There are practice bike rides throughout the summer to help you get prepared to ride the MS 150.   Often times the rides have their own T-shirts so you start collecting some mighty fine T shirts to show the miles you have ridden.

There are MS 150 rides in different locations.  You can look at the web site and learn all about the rides.

I started riding in the preparation rides and was able to finish all but one.  Of course these rides occur in the heat of summer.  I had purchased bigger and bigger bottles plus multiple water bottles holders and always struggled to get enough water inside me.  During one of these rides in the hot August month, I started getting chills.  Chills?  The temperature was in the 90′s and I was cold?  I thought that was very odd.  I felt fine except for shivering.  I thought it was odd enough that  I stopped at a volunteer water spot and told someone that I was having chills.  (Volunteers along the route provide water and expertise in medical situations.)   Immediately I was told to sit down and someone plastered me with ice bags. Whoo!   I was given a water bottle to drink and then another.  After a while I felt good enough to let a sag wagon take me back to my car.  (If you sag, you get to ride the sag wagon-a volunteer car that carries non-finishers back to their car.) I had to lay in bed the rest of the day with my eyes glued shut, the blinds down and suffered from a headache and dizziness.

I had suffered heat exhaustion!  I hate heat exhaustion!

After that, I found the perfect solution to keeping hydrated, a camelbak water container.  It’s a long plastic bag filled with water that you wear as a backpack.  There’s a tube that you clamp to the top of your shirt and that’s how you suck the water into your body.  One hand or no hand and you are sucking water into your thirsty body.  You chill the water at home before the ride and you have a nice cool spot on your back.  Not only do you have water, but it keeps your core temperature down for a while.  This is one of the best inventions ever for bike riding!

Later in the summer, I discovered the Katy Trail.  Missouri is taking abandoned railroad beds and making trails to cover the east coast of Missouri to the west coast of Missouri.  That’s the plan.  At the time, the nearest Katy Trail was in Sedalia.  I would drive to Sedalia (fifty miles), get my bike out, ride a number of miles to the end of the trail and back.  Then  drive back to Kansas City (fifty miles).  It was far ways far to call for spouse-back-up if things went wrong. Also there was nothing that could be done if a stray thunderstorm occurred while you rode along. I got to enjoy one of those during my infatuation with the Katy Trail. There was no way to make the miles “from” lesser than the miles “to” (roundtrip). I also learned that hills are to be enjoyed rather than hated.  There are no hills on the Katy Trail so you have to pedal every single foot of the trail.  There’s no rest “coasting”.

I was biking along the Katy Trail.  I had made it to the end of the route and was on the way back to Sedalia.  I was exhausted.  I rode into a small town with a park.  It had picnic tables.  I got off my bike and staggered to a picnic table and sprawled on the top.  I must have looked bad because a nice couple came over and wondered if I was ill.  I agreed that I was near death.  They offered to take me back to the start of the route.  They looked innocent.  I was wondering about dying on top of a picnic table.  I accepted their offer. They delivered me and the bike back to Sedalia. Thank God for good people!

MS 150 - Official Phote!

The first MS 150 ride started in Kansas City and went east.  We rode the black top back roads.  I made it in fine style.  I had no problems.  My spouse served the ride by driving and picking up riders that couldn’t make the ride.  He was a sag wagon.  He was busy during the day.  One guy lost control of his bike and dove head first into a drainage pipe.  He survived.  The people that didn’t make it had equipment problems or got sick from lack of practice miles.  I made it and celebrated about a week after riding into the finish line. I still have my MS 150 medal. That was a triumph for fitness!  I was also a size less in those tight black bike pants!  YAY!

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