Sunday, August 23, 2015


This past weekend was the BikeMS ride in Cincinnati, Venture the Valley. I ride with the Pure Protein Steamrollers, one of the larger teams at the ride every year.

The Ride

The weather was perfect and the route was awesome until about mile thirty-three, when it started circling back on itself to add mileage. Velo and I were riding the 75 mile route. The part through Cincinnati was fun, this was our home turf.
The part on the rural roads north of the city were fun too, until you saw the same stretch again. Velo makes every ride fun, though. He always says something to add life, even if it is inappropriate at times.

I know I’ve said before that I like to stop at every rest stop to stretch, socialize, and look at the other bikes on the ride, so we did. All but one stop had good food. The lunch stop was really good. There was a peanut butter bar with a variety of mix-ins as well as PB sandwiches. The PB, a salami on rye, potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie and I was ready to head back out.

As the second half of the day wore on I started feel it, the exhaustion. Shut up legs! Usually, when I feel my glycogen stores running low I get a can of regular Coca-cola. None of that diet, waste of a good drink, put holes in your brain s**t. I need the Real Thing. Well, being in the middle of nowhere Ohio, there is none to be had. I pushed on.

About mile sixty-five I feel the moodiness coming on and there is nothing I can do about it. I try not to be a total b***h to Velo, but it’s hard. I keep my distance and let him ride ahead with his other com-padre because I know, in my own fuzzy headedness, I wouldn’t be very nice to ride with right now.

At mile 70 we reach the biggest, steepest, *@#%& hill of the day. My heart sinks, my hormones fire, and my eyes fill with tears. It was the perfect storm of body, mind, and soul all declaring mutiny. BONK!!! I walked the hill, reluctantly climbed back on the Gunnar and pushed on till the end.

And now, the rest of the story…

The Day

I had planned to ride only one day, socialize Saturday night, spend the night in the cabin with the rest of the Steamrollers, then head home Sunday morning after the riders all left so I had left my car at the day-one ending location . My son was going to pet-sit for us. 
Before we left the house we saw a Facebook post that my son and his girlfriend had been mugged the night before.
I couldn’t get in touch with anyone, my car was at the end of the ride, and we had to go to make it in time for the ride. I left a dozen messages for people to contact me ASAP.

I finally found out that he was OK, he had been jumped for the pizza he was carrying. Apparently some jerk was on something and randomly attacking people. His face was swollen, he had a nice shiner on his left eye, and a goose egg on the back of his head where he hit the sidewalk. Needless to say I didn’t spend the night.

I did stay for the barbecue dinner catered by AlabamaQ. If you ever get a chance to come to Cincinnati it is worth a trip to their restaurant. The Turkey Tips are fantastic.

I headed home about 9 p.m. and was ever so happy to wake up in my own bed on Sunday. I still had a residual headache from bonking but some ibuprofen and coffee seemed to do the trick.

The Bike

There may be one more long ride left in the Gunnar as it is right now. As soon as this season is over all of the old Sram Red and Force components are coming off. They are worn out to the point where the front shifter takes more strength than I have to shift back to the big ring. They have been on since I got the bike four years ago, and they had already been on one of Velo’s bikes for a while prior to that. Feel free to comment if you have a suggestion of what I should switch to. I am open to recommendations.

The Venue

The ride was organized very different from the past several years in that it was a destination ride. It started in Bellevue, Kentucky on Saturday morning, headed north across the Taylor Southgate Bridge into Cincinnati, and
proceeded to the rural roads of Lebanon, Ohio. You can see the route below if interested. Parking was in a separate lot from the luggage truck, was in a different place than the start of the ride. Less than optimum for a thousand or more cyclists, but we managed. The worst day of riding is still better than the best day working, right?

Lower rider turnout was attributed to the route change. In previous years the ride started at Camp Kern both days, a YMCA summer camp, and finished there both days. Riders could arrive Friday evening to set up camp, socialize, and go to sleep early. This year we had to arrive the morning of the ride. Instead of getting to sleep early Friday night, Velo Junkie and I ended up working late and having to arise earlier than usual to maneuver through the starting line logistics.

I believe the numbers of sponsors and supporters were down as well so the comradery at the kick-off festivities were lacking the oomph it had in the past. Change is good but can be difficult and I think a lot of people wanted to see how it would all shake out before committing. Hopefully they return next year.

All in all, a great ride for a great cause

#BikeMS #AlabamaQ #VenturetheValley #pureprotein #steamrollers #pureproteinsteamrollers #shutuplegs


  1. Thanks for riding for the cause.
    Share your reason for riding BikeMS

  2. "At mile 70 we reach the biggest, steepest, *@#%& hill of the day. My heart sinks, my hormones fire, and my eyes fill with tears. It was the perfect storm of body, mind, and soul all declaring mutiny."

    Lol, I know this feeling all too well!!!


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