MS 150

Fundraiser for Muscular Sclerosis Society of Oregon

2002 = 79 & 78 miles 
Start/Finish: Willamette University - Salem, Or

2005 = 86 & 21 miles 
Start/Finish: Pacific University - Forest Grove, Or

Well, apparently I never got around to writing up the 2002 ride. So now, 3 years later, I can quickly come up with a few memories.
Drove down with Pam O, from next door and two of her friends with whom she has done this ride for like 12 years. Pretty committed.
Get to the University, get our dorm rooms and off we go. The first days ride seemed good, not overly difficult, with nice weather, at least, I know it didnt rain. Got in early enough to get cleaned up and walk down to the DQ for Blizzards. Nice dinner outside, and sat through their program. Stayed in a dorm room and was able to get off to early start the next day. Most of the group opted for the shorter 50 something route. I was going to go with the group, but was shamed into doing the longer route with one of the other guys (insert name here, I cant think of his name right now) He is much faster and I spent the second half of the day pushing hard to keep up. I remember that he would get to the rest stop ahead of me, wait and rest, and then once I got there he was ready to go, so my stops were a little shorter than I would have liked, but he was also kind of hanging back with me, so I needed to give it all to keep up.  One memory I had of our sprint to the finish the last 10 miles was working very hard to finally latch on to his back wheel as we approached a yellow light. He slowed, so I immediatley began to stop, then he changed his mind and went through leaving me in the dust. Dang, I had him for a minute. All in all a good weekend ride.

Lisa had done this ride before, and I had done it before, tho not on the same year. This year, we had gone to the Alice B Toeclips award dinner/auction nite, and purchased two passes to the ride for a total fo 230.00, which, while it is a lot of money, its less than the 400.00 minimum we would be expected to raise in order to register normally. Lisa isnt in to the camping thing on campus, something about loud teenagers crusing through at midnight and hard to locate bathrooms, so its another dorm room for us. Good room though, right by the start finish, relatively cool with a portable fan, which is important as the day and evening were quite warm. The dormitory itself is older and not quite as nice as our previous dorm at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, but the room itself was just as nice, and a little bigger as well. We got to registration in time to see George Hincapie make his preparations for the ride, tho we went to get our bikes when he gave his little pre-ride talk, which while nice, was reported to be short, keeping in fashion with Georges aversion to speaking publicly. Headed south from Forest Grove, to make a loop around Hagg Lake. Hadnt done this loop since the old Community Cycling Century, its a pleasant loop around the lake with minimal traffic and rollers throughout. As we approacehed the one, long climb of the loop we first see Susan and Jeff pleasantly chatting as the come back down from the loop, then a mile back George is flying down the hill in a deeply tucked aero position, followed by perhaps 30 cyclists pedalling furiously to keep up. Next time we see him is at dinner, having finished his century about 3 hours before we finish our 86. Oh well, perhaps it is the bike? The rest of the loop is through farmlands, some heavy traffic on sections of highways 47 and 219 and a busy, winding, hilly section of Wilsonville road, with no shoulders. This was not a fun road to bike on.  Overall, would rate the route, except for Hagg Lake loop, as minimally bike friendly, most of which I dont care to do again.  The day was fairly hilly, nothing really long and steep just hilly. And pretty warm. It left us tired at the end, but it was still a good day on the bike. Got in about 415. Showered and changed, but still missed the autograph session with George Hincapie. But did have a pretty good dinner and got to hear him talk for a while more, before the rest of the program. Evidently he flew in day before from Italy and then departed that night for spain and has a race later in the week. Hard week for him.  Our next day was a little harder for Lisa. Got a good early start, packed up stuff in car, and got to cafeteria about 615 so were ready to leave shortly after 700. But she immediatly started to struggle with digestive issues, and our pace became very slow. As the pace slowed and the heavy traffic along the narrow shoulder of Highway 417 towards Vernonia, increased, her enthusiasm waned.  At this point we decided that the short 21 mile loop was all that we could do for the day, so we cut it off early. Got back to Forest Grove about 900, too tired/embarrased to go through the enthusastic finish line greeters we dropped the bikes at the car, changed clothes, and then strolled over to quietly con the finish line lady to award our medals. She still notified the cheerers we were finishers and they applauded as we slinked away in our shorts and tshirts.  Its a good event and fun weekend, dont know if Im enthused enough to do it again soon. Will see.
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