"Windy, Wet, Brrr and Feeling Good"
May 26, 2009 . . . Mike has done it again for the 17th time in the New Jersey Metro Chapter "Coast the Coast" 170 mile bike tour. The weather was crazy for sure this year. Fog, sun, windy, wet with wind and then almost fine ending.
Ready to hear Mike's story of the MS-170 bike tour.
May 16th . . . Mike wakes up to eat and get ready for the bike tour. His mother is up later on. Taking our time packing up the car. Leave after 6:00am. Reached Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ about 7:45am. Meeting up with the Bergen Record reporter. She was a nice person. She asked a lot of question and took a lot of photos. Was getting ready at the same time. Mike's mother says her good bye and he finally took off at 8:20am. Was 20 minutes late. Had to try and catch up. Missed a turn and went off course. Wind up being a short cut for Mike. Cool! Caught up to the back end bunch.
Soon after reaching the finish on saturday. Mike went to park his bike in the hallway. Best parking spot yet. smile! Called his mother to tell her he made it for the day. Unpack his stuff. Took a shower and put on clean clothes. Say HI to DJ Fred. Chat for a short time. Then jumped onto the yellow bus for Tuckerton Seaport for dinner. Enjoyed the dinner and chat with a few new firends and old friends. Even chat with Jackie Jackson. She is a wonderful person. Jackie multiple sclerosis and in a wheelchair. She looks happy and looks like it does not even bother her. She looks like me. Not letting MS get in her way. Anyway, back to Pineland High School. Hung out on the baseball nech to chat on the phone. Then watch tv in the cafiteria and charge the iPod Nano. Then gone to bed. Very tired !
- Mike left the start line at 8:20am with fog. Making Mike's glasses misty. Having to clean his glasses every couple of minutes. Wind up off coruse for a short time and back on course. Sort of a short cut.
- Mike reached the Belmar Gazebo at 8:55am. Still a bit foggy out. Making his glasses misty from the fog. Did not start the speedometer at the start line.
- Reached the Brielle Cyclery rest stop at 9:56am. No more fog. Glad to not wipe the glasses anymore. Break of sun. mx:21.8.
- Messed up someplace. Mike was riding with a bunch of bikers. Wind up back at rest stop Brielle bike shop. One big loop. Then we all did it again. This time MS staff directed us. Was suppose to make a left to walk on the sidwalk and cross the Route 35 bridge. Then wind up stuck on the bridge at 9:43am. Some fog around the water.
- Made the Centennial Park rest stop at 11:31am. More sun showing. Starting to get some breeze head wind at this point.
- Made it at the Toms River Washington Street School at 12:25am. M. sunny, warm and breezy.
- Mike made it to the Cedar Creek lunch stop at 1:18pm. sunny and winddy. Mostly head wind. Left lunch at 2:04pm with puffy clouds and still got some head wind. Also warm out.
- Mike made it to the Ocean Vo-Tech rest stop at 2:55pm. Warm with some puffy clouds and wind. Wind stinks.
- Made it to the final rest stop. Which is the Lucille's Kitchen at 3:39pm with puffy clouds, wind and warm out.
- Made it to the finish at the Pineland High School for saturday at 4:30pm. Ya-hoooooo ! !
May 17th . . . Woke up a bit after 5:30am. Mike slowly got himself together. Got into his cycling outfit. Pack up. Go and have breakfast. Fill his water bottles and put air in his tires. The rain began. 40 minutes before the start time. Mike calls and left message on home machine.
Mike had to do things quickly. Because the last bus to Monmouth University was 5:30pm as was told to him. He washed up. Put on dry clothes and cleaned up a bit. Put his big bag and bike where the bus is. Ate fast. DJ Fred bought Mike a drink to do a quick celebrate another year. Then Mike jumped onto the bus back to where it all started.
- Mike left in the shower at 7:39am. A mild start. Thank goodness! Had to walk over some tiny bridge that has metal.
- Mike reached the Lower Tavern rest stop at 8:25am. Took my time to cycle. dst-10.58, tm-0:45:17, ms-22.1 and av-15.0. Was little mild. Not as mild as it was when the tour started earlier this morning. Less rain drops.
- Reached the Port Repubilc rest stop at 9:21am. Rainy out. A bit of a breeze. tm-1:25:47, mx-22.1, av-15.3 and dst-21.98. Have to walk over bridges that has metal plates.
- Before making it to the Bally Tech rest stop. It is really raining, chilly and a breezy out. Making things colder then it is. The inside of Mike blue raincoat is a bit wet. Making him cold and shiver at times while cycling. Cycled a bit slower to try and avoid holes and bumps. Hard to see holes with all the puddles on the ground. Then at one intersection. A biker hit Mike from behind. He quickly gained control. But the cyclist grabbed Mike's right shoulder to also gain control. Mike said, "we are good".
- Mike made the Bally Tech rest stop at 10:24am. Chilly wind and rainy out. Went into the big van to warm up. Mike at this point is shivering and wet inside of his blue cycling raincoat. A lot of bikers did the same thing. Mike heard on the two way radio that two other rest stops are having trouble. A lot of bikers are shivering and cold. A lot of bikers and Mike are shipped to lunch in Ocean City Primary School.
- Reached lunch by the big white van at 11:15am. Still chilly and rainy. Mike was still shivering and now eating lunch. Trying to get warm. Mike told Mary Beth that he is done for the rest of the day. Two yellow busses was on the way to Ocean City for those wanting to be bussed to US Coast Guard Station in Cape May, NJ. About 12:35pm. Mike heard on the PA. The bus will arrive shortly. Mike decided to dry up his stuff as much he can. Because he was not shivering anymore. Squeeze the water out of his socks, try dry his cycling gloves and use a lot of paper towel to wipe dry his cycling short and jersey. Mike heard the rain stopped and the wind died down. Mike went up to Gina and Mary Beth and said these words . . . "Decided to continue. I do not give up like that." They both looked at Mike and clapped and said, "good for you." Mary Beth and Mike looked for his bike. He got on his bicycle and continued on. Took off at 1:13pm with cloudy skies.
- Mike made it to the Avalon Rec Center in Avalon, NJ by 2:20pm. Some drops along the way. Light breeze at times. Did not stop Mike. He actually felt good.
- He made it to the final rest stop of the tour. The Wildwood American Legion by 3:30pm with cloudy skies and some rain drops along the way. Mike is happy to have continued on.
- After Mike went over the first bridge leaving Wildwood. He looked to his left and saw the Coast Guard red and white water tower. Can not miss this tower. The tallest thing in the area.
- Mike stopped just short of the finish line to take a few photos. He finished at 4:32pm. Awesome!!!
Said it a couple of times and will say it again. Every year is NEVER the same. Do not know what to expect. This bike tour is a real challenge. The bike tour this year came with misty fog, head wind, rain and chilly wind. Mother Nature did her best. But we fought back and finished the bike tour. May be cold, aching and in a bit of pain. It all goes away in time. Those that has multiple sclerosis . . . . . it does not. We are riding for them. To show we care. To help to one day find a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Mike raised a total of $2,410.00. Mike would love to thank everyone for pledging in person, by postal mail and online. Thanks for helping Big Mike stay above the $2,000 range for fourth year in a row. Even with the tough economy. Thanks!!
If you like to learn more about this MS chapter. Please go to New Jersey Metro Chapter for more information.