Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Waves to Wine is in the books

Well, it's over and Team Altered Reality survived!

We had a freak storm in the Bay area -- started with dry lightening and eventually the rain came down. So we started out Sat. morning in the cold and rain, which did put a damper on things. Then, getting out of SF was a bit of a zoo. Some guy road his bike right into me, for example. I didn't fall down (thanks to Deb and her riding in a group lesson), but I was freaked out. Then I got two flat tires right away. By the time we got to the first two rest stops, there wasn't much food left, either. Then Ant got THREE flat tires and had to be SAGed into the third stop.

So we were cold, wet and miserable and hungry and making horrible time. It wasn't looking good.

Even with the fog and no sunlight, much of the route was beautiful, though. Plus, we started making better time after all our flat tire woes and that meant the food got better. It never really warmed up to a normal September temperature, but it did get warmer as we got into Rohnert Park for the night.

The team helped me put up my tent. (Which is good because I'm bad at that sort of thing.) We had also corralled another guy into our team for the ride and he camped out too so I wasn't alone when the rest of my team went to their respective hotels for the night.

Camping out was fun. I got to meet some new people. Plus, the portable showers had amazingly hot water -- which I hadn't expected. I even got a decent night's sleep, which doesn't always happen with camping.

The next day it was overcast, a little chilly, but not too bad. We got a bit of a late start what with people having to top off their tires and take our official team photo. Half of us did the 50 mile route instead of the 75 mile route so we were getting to the rest stops early and that meant lots and lots of food choices. I can't believe how much I ate!

It did threaten to sprinkle a few times, but putting on my rain jacket would stop that. (I'm so glad I went out and bought that jacket the night before we left.) The rain held off until we got to the park where everything ended, so that was good. Plus, I got to take another hot shower!

"Dinner" was served at Lake Sonoma -- a bbq with tri-tip. I'm a sucker for tri-tip. We sat around and ate and chilled until the rain drove us away. Then it was onto the buses for the trip home. I ended up not being able to sit with my team so I sat with some amusing guys and we talked and looked up football scores on my iPhone.

When we got back to the bike corral, my bike was soaked and I was so glad I had put a sheet in my new car because otherwise there would now be mud all over it. (That would have been bad.)

I was so tired when I got home. But, interestingly, I wasn't that sore. I expected to be very sore, but so far all I've felt is a bit of numbness in my left hand and some twinges in my quads the next day. I've definitely been worse!

Overall, it was a good experience, if not quite what I was expecting -- mostly due to the weather which really could not have been foreseen and definitely not controlled.

One thing I would have liked, though, is if the Saturday night program had featured more people affected by MS. I don't feel like I really got to know where the money we raised went to in any personal way. I did see the guys from Fluid (a club sponsor) there with shirts with a picture of who they were riding for and I got to talk to one of them yesterday at our club meeting about the ride. I would have liked a lot more of that.

So far our team has raised $6,639.00, which means we've gone over the $1000 per person target that the National MS Society set to meet their goal. So I'm very proud of our team for that. However, I haven't made my personal fundraising goal and the event hasn't made it's fundraising goal. So, if you were planning to donate, but just didn't get around to it, it's not too late! Anything we raise up through Oct. 16th counts towards our team total.

MacMadame's Donation Page
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