Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More than one way to not drive to work

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Saw this on my ride into work today on the Gateway Trail.  I think I've seen a maybe two Segways ever in my life.  This guy rocks!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

2008 MS150 - Sunday

Today we finished the second half of the MS150.  Hit the road at about 7:30am and crossed the finish line in Blaine at about 12:20pm. 

Today's pace was a little faster than yesterdays, probably due to the slight tail wind instead of a head wind.  We averaged over 20mph for the day and we had one 22 mile run in the morning (where we skipped a rest stop) where we averaged over 22mph!  That was a lot of fun!

008I took a lot of really cool pictures (with my phone), including one over my shoulder while my group was in formation, but somehow (and I'm still perplexed as to how this happened) I lost the memory card in my phone.  Fortunately, I have this one, which my wife Kris took just after the finish with my kids.  This was the highlight of my weekend anyway!  It was great seeing my family cheering me on when I crossed the finish!

 

Well, it was a great event this year.  I'm so glad I decided to join a team and even more glad that I joined the Backdrafters.  What an awesome group (115 riders!) led by a great team captain, Doug.

I've already signed up for next year (got my complimentary MS150 socks).  I'm definitely going to keep riding with the Backdrafters. 

Thanks for everyone who supported me this year.  I increased my donations from last year and brought in over $600!  Next year I want to raise over $1000, which puts you into the Golden Gears Club.  Also, anyone reading this who would want to experience the MS150 for themselves is more then welcomed to do so!  Just let me know.  You can contact me via email which you can get by viewing the homepage of my blog here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

2008 MS150 - Saturday Evening

Beer pool!That is a kiddie pool full of beer (with a mini-keg of Heineken in the middle). This was the first thing I saw when we entered the Backdrafters tent. Man, that first beer tasted good!

The snack table Hydrating after the long ride

Cap'n Doug enjoying a cold one There was all the beer, water, and snacks you could consume! What a refreshing end to the day. Even Cap'n Doug took a few minutes and enjoyed a cold one.

At 5pm they served a catered diner and we ate like kings and queens!

Bike farm

Now we and the bikes rest until tomorrow where we do the second half. The weather report looks great: No rain and 10-15 mph NW tail wind!

2008 MS150 - Saturday Ride

Leaving Black Bear Casino

We left Carlton this morning at about 7:30 am. I was very excited to ride, but nervous to see if I'd be able to keep up with my partners. Landon (far right) is a biking freak and claims to have drafted many a semi truck doing 50+ mph!

First pedals

So we hit the road and in about 36 minutes and 10.17 miles later we hit our first rest stop (which was actually rest stop #2 since we started in Carlton instead of Proctor). Our average speed was 17 mph. Not too bad for the warm-up ride. Cory (right, below) decided it was wise to put some air in his tires at this point.

Rest Stop #2

After the first rest stop we picked up the pace and averaged 18.6 to rest stop #3, biking 11.34 miles. Also I did some pulling (led our group) and was actually able to maintain a decent pace!

At 8:50 we reached rest stop #3 and took a quick breather. The next stop would be lunch!

With our 10.05 mile run to lunch our average speed increased again to 18.7 mph! The Subways were great!

Rest Stop #4 (Lunch) Yum!  Subway!

And a bit filling. Our 9.13 mile run from lunch to rest stop #5 was a little slower (17.4 mph). It was definitely getting warmer. Landon (right, below) was tired of my camera phone.

Rest Stop #5 It's Pete

Our last run was the going to be the longest (15.6 miles). Amazingly we all hit a major second wind! At one point we were consistently holding 24 mph, all of taking our turn pulling, and still doing that with a head wind!

And finally, the finish:

Hinckley finish line

Overall we averaged about 19 mph and arrived in Hinckley at about 11:45am (I think I arrived at Hinckley last year about 3pm)! And I kept pace the entire day! I owe most of that to the awesome bike that my boss, Kerry, borrowed me for the event: A 2005 (I think) Bianchi Cross Concept.

Now it was time to check into the hotel, relax a bit, and check out the infamous Backdrafters tent...

2008 MS150 - Friday

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Loaded the bikes in our own rental truck, hopped on the bus, and made it up to Carlton, MN last night with the Backdrafters.

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Spent the night in the Black Bear Casino Hotel, and now I sit in the hotel lobby with my laptop mentally gearing up for the first day of riding with a cup of coffee.

Our team has a bit of a unique situation in that they're not starting in Proctor like the rest of the 3500 MS150 bikers. Doug, the team captain, wasn't able to book enough hotel rooms in Proctor for the team and so switches us over to Carlton, which is about 15 miles down the trail, making today's ride a little shorter than 75 miles (this is one reason why I chose to bike from home to National Sports Center yesterday, which was about 16 miles).

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I've already met a lot of great people on the team. I met Doug (above) right away; he's a great guy.

012There was also someone practicing their accordion in the parking lot yesterday afternoon before we left Blaine (I'm assuming that's going to be used tonight in Hinckley for the festivities).

I also met my roommates: Landin (our room captain), Cory, John, and Dillan. The cool thing is that it sounds like all of us want to try to ride together. Ladin is a pretty aggressive rider; he's done both the Minnesota Iron Man and the MS TRAM (Trek Across Minnesota).

It should be a fun day of biking!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Starting the 2008 MS150

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Well, it's that time of year again!  Last year was so much fun I had to do it again.  This will be my second Minnesota MS150 bike ride.  I took this photo this morning before I left the house just before I biked to the National Sports Center in Blaine where everything starts. 

I've been fortunate enough to join a team this year (Jeff wasn't able to attend due to his new kid!) called the Backdrafters.   Instead of tenting I'm going to be doing the hotel thing Friday (tonight) and Saturday, which means I was able to pack a lot less stuff.  I got it all in that gray backpack.

Well, I hope to do some actual blogging of the event over the weekend with some pictures from my phone.  Right now I'm sitting at a Caribou right next to the National Sports Center.  In about an hour I head over to get registered, meet up with my team (none of whom I've physically met yet), and hop on the bus for Duluth.  And then it's an early rise to start turnin' pedals (as Doug, the team leader, sez) on Saturday.

And a huge thanks to everyone who's contributed to this event!