MS: Tour de Farms

Team: Nancy’s Network
BJ and I flew to Chicago this past weekend to participate in the MS: Tour de Farms bike ride. JJ (BJ’s sister) flew in from NYC and BJ Sr. (BJ’s dad) picked us up from O’Hare on Friday afternoon. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to see [some of] my “family” (I use quotes because they aren’t my family yet.) We grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Sammy’s Bike Shop to pick up our rentals (shipping our bikes was too expensive). The owner of Sammy’s Bike Shop, Sammy, is hilarious – he thinks he’s Italian and outfits his store with mostly Italian bikes and gear. Fine by me. I picked out a super cute pink and white Bianchi. While I was there I decided to throw a delicious new seat into the mix (another blog to come on why this seat is *amazing*) and a bike computer. I felt pretty awesome. But, enough background information – I’m here to tell you about the actual ride.

Our team, Nancy’s Network, rode for Nancy, BJ’s stepmom who has MS. We woke up at 4:30am on Saturday morning, exhausted but excited about the ride. When we left the house at 5:40am it was pouring. Since the bike ride didn’t start until 7am we were hopeful that the rain would pass. It didn’t – so here’s a not-so-quick timeline of events.

4:30am – wake up
5:40am – leave the house (torrential downpour)
6am – arrive at Northern Illinois University, the race Start/Finish (torrential downpour)
7am – official race start is delayed until 8am (torrential downpour)
8am – race start is delayed until 9am (torrential downpour)
9am – race start is delayed until 9:30am (torrential downpour)
9:30am – race is delayed until 10am (torrential downpour)
10am – race is delayed until 10:30am (torrential downpour)
10:30am – race is delayed until 11am (torrential downpour)
11am – RACE FINALLY STARTS (lightly raining)

So, I bet you are wondering what we did for 5 HOURS while we waited for the ride to start?!

1) nothing
2) nothing
3) took a nap on the indoor track (Hurricane Katrina style)
4) nothing
5) nothing

We started the race in ponchos and about 5 layers on top – but (thankfully) after 10 miles, it stopped raining completely!!!! Due to the rain and late start they cancelled the 100 mile and 75 mile rides – but were still able to ride, which was the whole point anyway.

Once we started to ride and got into the grove of things, the ride was great. The course rode through beautiful Illinois farmland and was so well marked that it blew my mind. There were volunteers everywhere, plenty of SAG vehicles and police/volunteers at every major intersection (there were a few minor intersections that we were on our own). I was very impressed with how organized everything was, despite the rough/rainy start!

The ride ended with a big celebration: food donated by Kroeschell, Inc. (the owner’s wife has MS), free beer and *awesome* weather!! At the end of it all (and after our terrible attitudes went away) – we had a fabulous day! It felt great to finish a ride and raise money for a great cause – and do it with people that I love.

Nancy volunteered all day (go Nance!) and our team (4 riders) raised over $4,000.00. Our goal for 2010 is: 20 riders and $20,000.00.

MS 2010 – here was come!!!

PS – the rest of the weekend was gorgeous and we went to a Cubs game on Sunday. Finger crossed that the weather is better next year!

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  1. Sounds like an amazing day! After all of the rain ofcourse. 🙂 Great job!!

  2. Good thing your "family" gets a shout
    out in your awesome blog but still nothing for KP or LP. Ohhh Melody!

    P.S. 75x ha ha Dad, dad, dad….

  3. Awesome cause! Thanks for riding to raise funds for those who can't!!!

  4. Aside from how angry I'd be to get up at 4:30 and not run until 11, it looks like an amazing day. :o)

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