We rolled through another successful Bike MS Kansas City with 2,000 cyclists raising more than $1 million to help find a cure for MS. Our 65-member team, “The Other Team Garmin” (TOTG) raised $25,000 to help the cause. Clad in kits like those worn by our pro team and sporting various Garmin GPS fitness devices, our team members were a rolling representation of the Garmin brand. As teams lined up for the early morning start from Garmin headquarters, riders were anxious to get on the roads, yet the mood was light — no rain in the forecast. We knew we’d be in for some head winds, but battling gusts beats gutting it out in the rain like we encountered the past two years.
Our group was eager to make it to the third rest stop, roughly 32 miles into our 100 mile journey, not only for the lure of PB&J sandwiches, but also to see some faces we know. This rest stop was staffed by our friends from the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, who will be helping us put on a wicked good time for the running community on April 20, 2013 for the Garmin Marathon In the Land of Oz. At this stop and all others, riders were greeted with enthusiastic volunteers, whose liberal doses of nourishment and encouragement countered any weariness.One TOTG rider noted how the combination of wind and hills factored into his ride: “I have my Edge set up to Auto Pause at 3 mph to help me get a more accurate average mph while I'm riding. This has served me quite well the past year until the MS ride. There were a couple of times during a climb where I was just trying to make it to the top of a rise – wind pushing us in the wrong direction – I look down and see a big old 3.4 mph in the speed field! I was determined to not let that Auto Pause kick on while I was working my tail off to KEEP MOVING!”
With six or more hours in the saddle, there are ample opportunities to learn rules of the road. Here are a few of our favorites:
From the TOTG rider who missed one of the essential freebies in his rider bag: Apply lip balm … often.
From Peg, who somehow forgot a lesson learned last year: Always, always knock on the porta-jills, even if the door thingy shows green/open.
From Jake: Do as I say, not as I do. I always say you should put in the proper mileage in preparation for every event. One of these times I'll follow my own advice. But being a social guy, I somehow compensate for lack of training with an abundance of talking and laughing. And in this group of argyle awesomeness, it's easy to be fueled by fun.
Our final 25 miles seemed to fly by, with the wind to our backs, some swooping downhills ahead and the promise of friends, family and refreshments at the finish line. Not to mention a fellow cyclist and photographer, waiting to catch our triumphant finish. Thanks for the parting shots, Ben! Our final ride stats: 101 miles, 6 hrs, 34 min moving time, avg speed just over 15 mph (knew that 18.1 mph avg over the first 20 miles wouldn't stick).
Plans for a 7 am sharp start on Day 2 waned when the temp was in the low 30s--not the most welcome piece of data to see on the Edge display. Several of us also downgraded our plans for the 70-mi route and rode a leisurely 38-mi route home. The festive finish line at Garmin headquarters offered cheering spectators and family members, live music and barbecue. Our favorite fan was this little guy sporting a tiny speed suit, there to cheer on one proud grandpa. The sun shone brightly as riders lingered over lunch and shared stories from the road with friends and family. Many riders even took a chance to sign up for next year’s ride at a discounted rate of $13. Join our team next year!