Well, just wrapped up my 14th MS150 Pedal to the Point bike tour this past weekend and wanted to share with you what a typical day is like on the tour, in log format:
4:30am: Alarm goes off and I immediately ask "Why?" However, once the mental fog lifts, I realize it's tour day and I gotta get my ass out of bed and get ready to ride. But it's 4:30 in the morning! And it's Saturday! No one gets up at 4:30 in the morning on a Saturday. And although I puzzle over the shear illogic of this act EVERY year, I still manage to find the motivation to grab the bike and go!
6:00am: Arrived at Polaris, our start point location in Berea, and find my team, Patti's Paladins, hanging by the front doors of the building. The parking lots are already filled and bikes are everywhere. Mind you, the Sun had not even broken the horizon yet and 2,200 riders are aimlessly wandering about, ready to get this show on the road.
7:00am: Team pictures are done and the water bottles are filled. I quickly kiss the girlfriend goodbye and join my fellow riders MJ and Don, who I ride with every year, at the start line.
7:15am: We're off!!!
9:20am: The three of us arrive at Oberlin High School, 30+ miles from the start line. This is the lunch stop, and if there is one thing EVERY rider looks forward to at lunch, it's Ho Ho's. Yep, those delectable chocolate cake logs that grace our bellies but once a year. We quickly throw back our lunch, but I'm not ready to jump back on the bike just yet as I find it necessary to make my annual "pit-stop"...and I ain't talkin' Number 1. Unfortunately, this is a high school, and since teens still find it necessary to smoke while at school, the stalls in the bathroom have been, how shall I say, re-designed. No doors and the stall walls are three feet high MAYBE. In this open and vulnerable state, it's best to just put your head down, push hard, and get out as quickly as possible. I follow all these rules..except for the part about getting out quickly...BUT, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
10:30am: Newly refreshed, and feeling 10 pounds lighter, I hop back on my bike and scramble away, hoping to catch up with my fellow team mates, who know better than to wait around!
11:30am: 20 miles later, I finally catch up with my team mates at one of the rest stops, much to their surprise. They figured they had lost me for the day, but it's amazing how fast you can ride after a little potty time! At the rest stop, I noticed my team mates have picked up another rider in my absence. His name is Justin and this is his first tour! We decide to take Justin under our wing to make sure he crosses the finish line in style! After a brief break and a refill of the water bottles, we head out upon the last 25 miles. By now, the Sun is high in the sky and temps are in the mid to upper 80's.
1:30pm: After 75+ miles, we finally arrive, as a group, at Sandusky High School, four abreast, crossing the finish line as a unit. First time THAT'S ever been done. We head into the gym, unload our gear, set up our sleeping arrangements, clean up, and head to the pasta dinner provided for us by the high school. (This is actually our "dinner", as "lunch" was at 9:30 in the morning. If you get hungry later in the day, you are on your own!)
4:00pm: After a short nap, we hook up with another rider friend, Woody, who we only seem to see once a year and only at this tour. We quickly catch up, then the four of us (Don, MJ, Woody, and myself) head out to Cedar Point to hopefully catch a few coasters!
9:00pm: The day is coming to a close and we are starting to feel the effects of being up before the Sun and on the go working our asses off. As we drag ourselves back towards the bus that will take us from Cedar Point back to Sandusky High School, we realized that we only managed one coaster, the Maverick (after a two hour wait in line), and dinner at the park. Not much, but hey, the tickets were free.
10:30pm: Lights out in the gym, but we are fast asleep long before they finish dimming away. Tomorrow, we get up and do it all over again!