Bike MS 2021 – Progress Update

June the 1st

Bart’s Posse, left to right – Tiger, CB, and Captain Cookie

Eeeeek! Bike MS Tour de Farms is only 25 days away.

We’re only riding 25 miles this year.

I should be fine, right?

Two weeks ago, I didn’t think so. I started to let Tiger and Captain Cookie down easy. After each riding session, I’d say things like, “I’m in terrible shape.”

This led to, “I thought I was going to puke after my last ride. Maybe have a heart attack.”

Finally, I came out and said, “You know, I don’t think this is my year. I just haven’t trained enough.”

“That’s okay,” said Captain Cookie.

She was so understanding that I couldn’t stand it, so I softened the blow. “I’ll give it a couple more weeks and see if I’m doing better. I can decide then.”

“That’s fine.” Then Cookie took on undeserved blame. “Besides, as captain, I should have set up more group training rides by now.”

Nice of her to say, but I knew Cookie and Tiger were already riding many more miles than I was, and at a way faster clip. I was embarrassed to ride with them and reveal how dire the situation was.

Cookie set up a training ride about a week later. Previously, here’s what our training rides looked like:

Captain Cookie’s Wild Ride

Cookie rode 17.29 miles at an average speed of 9.54 mph

Tiger’s Swift Sprint

Tiger rode 13.15 miles at an average speed of 11.72 mph

My best showing (as of 5/24/21)

Aaand I rode 10.51 miles at an average speed of 8.79 mph

With a heart full of dread, I agreed to go anyway.

Now for a little background. I am not now, nor have I ever been an athlete. Being the slowest, weakest person in our little cadre brought back the trauma of junior high gym class, when two captains for [fill in the sport] took turns choosing people for their team and I was always picked last. Or at fitness test time, when they made you run a mile and the gym teacher finally gave up and told me I was done because there are only so many minutes in a class period.

But unlike almost any other physical activity, I actually love bike riding. I was never going to enter the Tour de France, but up until this year, I wasn’t embarrassed to ride in Tour de Farms. 

When I showed up at Busse Woods, Tiger said, “I was afraid when you saw my last ride it would freak you out.”

“You were right,” I said.

She made some excuse for her frighteningly excellent speed and said not to worry about it. Hmm. Then Cookie showed up and reiterated that they’d take it easy on me, it was going to be fine, etc.

You know what? It actually was fine. Cookie and Tiger took good care of me. They didn’t even sigh at my tortoise-like pace. They said it was comfortable, especially for a longer ride. They pretended I was doing them a favor! 

It always helps to ride someplace scenic and fun, and Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village is both. We saw elk!

A bull and a cow

Anyway, we here’s how we did:

I was encouraged enough to finally set up my Bike MS fundraiser, which you can access here: main fundraising page
or here if you’re on Facebook: Facebook fundraising page

We’re going to Busse Woods again in a couple of days. When we get up to 21 miles (or one more loop of the trail we did last time), I’ll know I can handle a 25-mile ride on June 26th. I’ll keep you posted.

2 thoughts on “Bike MS 2021 – Progress Update

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