The bike tour is over for another year. We raised over $389,000 with more money coming in. We had newbie and veteran participants, younger and older, and it was truly a pile of fun. And, as always, very inspiring to everyone who participated.
One of the things our President (of the MS Society Atlantic Division) mentioned was how many of us achieved or surpassed personal goals, whether they were fund raising or biking related. I managed to bike 73 kilometres, averaging 14.3 k/hr. I made it up Mount Denson with only one stop. Last year, I made 3 or 4 stops. And I managed to make it up all but one kilometre of Gaspereau Mountain, which is an ascent of 140 metres in 4 kilometres. To those who are hard core bikers or participants in the Tour de France, it may not sound like much, but I'm impressed with my numbers. The one kilometre that I just couldn't bike was about 5 k from the end. I had come around the corner, thinking I was at the top, and there was more hill in front of me. I was literally devastated. I was out of steam at that point in time and gladly accepted a lift from one of the drivers. He dropped me off to finish the last few kilometres and I cruised into the university to end my Day One.
We had drizzle and fog for the first couple of hours of Day One and glaring sunshine and heat on Day Two. So I ended my second day a little early, with 15 kilometres left. The heat was sapping my energy more quickly than I anticipated so decided at the first rest stop that I would go until I got to the next rest stop and re-evaluate. After pulling into the small town where the 2nd rest stop was, I joined a few other team mates for a coffee at the local Tim Horton's (a national coffee shop chain). They carried on to the end and I called it a day about 2 minutes further down the road when I arrived at the rest stop.
Now that I've rested up today I can evaluate my body's reaction to the physical stress. I experienced a few spasms in my right calf while biking but they quickly subsided with stretches. My right forearm is a little sore today, but I suspect that was from coming down Gaspereau Mountain with a death grip on my handle bars to keep from becoming air bound. That should subside by tomorrow. Aside from that, my butt is fine, as are my legs.
Mentally, I was exhausted last night. I always go through so many emotions at this event as I see the struggle some people go through to bike the distance, the struggle many have had to raise funds during a time of economic difficulty, or to see the struggle some volunteers (with MS) have to go through to attend the event and participate as volunteers or participants. And of course, since last Thursday I've been trying to deal with my emotions about my employment situation. Many people were just finding out about it on the weekend and their reactions were universally ones of shock and encouragement. Their words truly lifted my spirits and even on Facebook today, I had a message from a participant thanking me for inspiring him to participate in the Bike Tour. It was wonderful to get that message. I often wonder if my words and deeds have any impact on people.
So now that it's all over for another year, I can concentrate with what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. Tomorrow I meet with a woman from a Human Resources company hired to help those of us laid off deal with the fallout from that. We'll figure out the financial and insurance aspects, and then sort out what to do about future employment.
Now for the pics:
I left before everyone arrived for the team photo so am not in it, but we all wore our super hero T-shirts with little capes on the back. We were known this year as the Super Cycle Delics.
We were all dressed in different super hero costumes for the banquet Saturday night. The Wookie was Superman, we had two Cat Womans, a couple of Incredibles, and a Spiderman. I was Myelin Girl and I was going around putting duct tape on people all night telling them they had been remyelinated. We were the 2 Runner up Top fund Raising team.
My hero: Wookie as Superman.
At the bottom of Gaspereau Mountain at the Gaspereau Winery. Many stopped for a sample of the wine there. I just wanted a picture with the vinyards in the background (it is called the Vinyards to Valleys Tour after all).