Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Big GMG Thanks!

This past week and a half has been kind of a blur at my house. After the "race" at Monson last weekend, I was scheduled to facilitate a week long meeting at work - that meant some pretty long hours, and every day in the office (I know, poor me. But I'm used to only going INTO an office two days a week...).

In the middle of the week, as I was trying to get ahead and do some laundry, my washing machine started making god-awful noises at about 10 pm. It was toast - with a full load of soaking wet [clean] clothes inside... SIGH. Thankfully, Mike took charge of the situation and went and ordered me a fancy new washer AND dryer, which were delivered on Friday!

Saturday was the start of our Great Mass Getaway ride in support of the National MS Society. Last year, we got rained out completely on the first day of the ride, so we were happy to see blue skies and sun for the start of this year's event (not so happy about the 4:30 a.m. wake up to be in Quincy for 6:00 am though). Team ROAM lined up with 13 team members - 4 tandems and 5 single riders - to ride a combination of 75 and 100 mile routes.

Our team totally kicked butt in the fundraising department this year, thanks solely to the efforts of Claudia, who raised over $40,000 to help bring an end to MS! Thanks to our generous supporters, Mike and I were able to contribute an additional $1,500 to the team. I believe that our final team fundraising total will be in excess of $46,000, making us the third highest fundraising team at the event (and Claudia is the highest single fundraiser - glad she's on our team!). A huge Thank You to all of you who so generously donated to such a great cause.

In return, Mike and I managed to ride 180 miles in two days on our tandem. Together with 5 of our teammates, we completed Saturday's century route (which really turned out to be 102 miles) with an average speed of 20 mph! We rolled into the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne, MA as the first group to finish this route (yes, Jaime, we did win ;-)). After 5 hours of riding, we were ready for showers, food and beverage, as well as just some "hanging out" with good friends comparing our riding stories from the day.

Part of the team getting ready to roll

Don and Kristen ready for their first GMG; A view from the road

Don't forget the sunscreen!; Finishing together after 102 miles

Hanging with friends at the MMA; That's A LOT of bikes!

Saturday evening, the team went off-site to have dinner at Mezza Luna in Buzzard's Bay, to celebrate Mary's 40th birthday (Happy Belated Birthday, Mary!). We had an awesome feast of pasta, but the mile and a half walk to and from after the riding was a little much for some of us ;-).

1.5 mile walk after 102 miles of riding...; A well deserved and delicious dinner

Ice cream for dessert; The birthday girl, Jaime and AA

It was an early evening for the team. Mike and I stayed in the dorms this year, pulling bunk mattresses from moving metal frames onto the floor to ensure there were no middle of the night mishaps ;-). Despite some hearty revelry from another team below our window, it wasn't long before I was out for the count, only to be awakened at 4:00 am to start another day of riding.

6:00 am, and ready to roll; The view from Wellfleet

The effort of the previous day was evident to both Mike and I as we set out in the morning, headed over the Bourne Bridge on our way to Provincetown. On Saturday, Mike and I did the lion's share of the work in our group, pulling into the wind for approximately 90+ of the 102 miles. Sunday, we started with four of our teammates, but ended up separated and on our own. Tired, defeated and frustrated with the ever-present headwind heading into the final 8 miles of the ride, Mike and I still managed to finish the 78 mile ride on Sunday with an average speed of 18.9 mph. I have never been so glad to be finished this ride before! Passing the bike off to the movers (all bikes are transported back to Quincy on moving trucks) I asked them if they could arrange to just throw it in the harbor when they returned - they laughed, and told me that would cost extra ;-) !

After a massage, some food, and a quick walk into town, we boarded the bus (no more ferries after my seasick experience) and headed back to Quincy, happy to have done our part to help a great cause!

I got home in time to unpack, do a load of laundry and repack before heading to Houston, TX to facilitate another meeting for work this week! It's a forced rest week, but I'll be back in town and on the bike at the end of this week.

Again, thanks to those of you who continue to support both Mike and I in our endeavour to help end the devastating effects of MS!


claudia said...

Great pictures!

Anonymous said...

Hey Cath, nice post!

However, I have a question about "pulling into the wind for 90 miles." Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it still technically "pulling" if there's nobody getting any help from it, or is it a breakaway for 90 miles into the wind at that point? ;)

Yes, you guys definitely won, unless you count the beer drinking contest afterwards, which I totally dominated, as usual. booya!