September 11, 2006

The 2006 MS-150, in brief

After one last warm-up ride to get the legs REALLY loose this last weekend, I was really ready for the MS-150. K-man, BB and I rode to the Louisburg Cidermill via the new 287th Street route, and I took the fixxie. Riding fixed after a long hiatus, I was a little leary, but all the technique quickly came back and I was able to forget what I was riding. Still, 65 miles or so without coasting was a good enough reminder the next day! So, after a restful week, I was recharged and ready to take on whatever challenges the new MS-150 route had to offer.

Rain, rain - go away!

Well, actually, as weird as it sounds I was actually HOPING for some rain! To, you know, make things interesting. I decided at the last minute to ride the Kogswell, which has since been dubbed "monarch II", after my late Trek 720. BOY, was it the right choice! Sometimes the right bike can make all the difference: the larger tires - but not TOO large at 28mm wide instead of the usual 23mm. The frame-pump: It was amazingly easy to get people back on the road with it, rather than with the scary finite-ness of CO2 inflators, or the arm-jello-ing mini-pumps. The frame itself was a joy to ride and, combined with the tires, made the horrid rural Missouri pavement smooth-out nicely. It was a GREAT ride!

I'm being brief here, mainly because of the weather. I know that sounds weird, but because of the steady rain at the start line, I decided against bringing the camera - so this won't be the usual photo-document that I normally enjoy posting. Sorry about that! Still, the terrain: you simply HAVE to come ride the MS-150 now, if you never have. Some parts of the route were similar to year's past - but the majority was pretty much brand new. After last year's problems, the committee REALLY put their heads together and gave a really good route. Scenic as all get-out; moderate challenges here and there, but not too hilly; it was perfection!

With tire spray fizzing about and rain jackets and ponchos flapping, the first part of the first day was terrific, in a backwards sort of way. LAST year, temperatures had already approached 90º just an hour after the starting gun! This year, by contrast, if never got above 78º anywhere along the route. Things like sunscreen were forgotten thanks to the thick could deck, and even the headwind was met with approval! The best part was the overnight - after libations and good conversation, we retired to cool tents and gentle, soothing breezes that lulled me to the best tent-sleep I've had in YEARS. I was OUT! We rose to a chilly, wet morning that reminded me of waking up in Colorado -- close the tent vents! Put on a warm cap! Save that heat! It was exhilerating getting dressed for day-two's ride! Brrrr!

Day two dawned with storms threatening to the west, but overall clear skies. The team, all recharged, headed out into a terrific day, and a brand new day-two route! Another home-run by the MS-150 route committee! This ride was one for the books! Simply gorgeous scenery, and very, very few cars out. The rest stops were fabulous, and the support was top-notch! Our little team leap-frogged from stop-to-stop, fueling up and winding down the roads up north of Knob Noster... even got a rare fly-over from a B-2 stealth bomber near the AFB! VERY cool - but dangerous, as EVERYONE on the road had their eyes skyward as we rolled along!

It was a good time for all - Atul, K-man, Phil M., Mike T. and me, rolling along the Missouri highways for two days and over 150 miles - simply an awesome time!

Join us next year - seriously! New custom jerseys are in the works!!!

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