Miami to Key Largo Bicycle Ride
By Lenette Marie
One riders' account
of the 2000 Multiple Sclerosis 150 Bike Ride
I'm tired, I'm sore, but I DID IT! 75 miles yesterday - what
an accomplishment, my longest distance to date. And then, 75
more miles today!
Having just started biking
again last August, I'm glad to be back on top of two skinny
tires. I was originally introduced to cycling as a kid and road
with the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society through the rolling
hills of Southeastern Michigan on weekends and during the summer.
I'm 29, now, and the chance to participate in the MS150 was
just what I needed to kickstart me back into the sport. I still
ride primarily on weekends, as work keeps me at the office during
the week. So, seeing the advertisements for the ride, training,
and gathering sponsors, has kept my off hours full in recent
At the starting line
the organizers got us motivated by having us chant "I - am -
crazy" in unison. There were over 900 of us out there in our
brightly colored jerseys either proving to ourselves we could
do it, showing how dedicated we were to the cause, or both!
Back on my comfy couch,
and finally off that cycling seat, I'm reviewing the highlights
of the trip;
There were lots, they were well stocked, and the volunteers
were wonderful! They kept us motivated, hydrated, and well fed.
Each stop, 14 in all, had a different theme. From wild jungle
animals to a Hawaiian luau, the fruit selections and music matched
the decorations and spirit of the crowds that gathered to refuel.
The band sounded great - we danced in the sand, right on the
beach, and twisted out the kinks from the day's ride. The waterfront
location was picture perfect and we all applauded the beautiful
sunset at the closing of day one.
What a fun bunch! Yes, we are all a bit on the crazy side to
consider 150 miles of riding a fun filler for those precious
few weekend day's off, but put that spirit in a group of 900
plus riders, their families, and friends, and it's a recipe
for a kickin' good time. We shared riding stories, tips, and
kept each other from giving up. Keep on pedalin'!
From tropical Miami MetroZoo to the beaches of Key Largo, we
were treated to a well designed route with safety and comfort
in mind. The rest stops were in all the right places and the
course was well marked with police officers and volunteers at
any questionable intersections. In South Dade county we saw
old Florida homes, tropical groves, farmland, and plenty of
beautifully landscaped nurseries. Our trip through the eastern
Florida Keys took us through a tiny fishing village and over
the much dreaded Card Sound Road bridge. I missed seeing any
alligators, but did get glimpses of colorful birds, lazy horses,
contented cows enjoying the South Florida sun, and serene fish
swimming quietly through the roadside canals.
anyone who has thought about spending a weekend bicycling, just
for the sheer fun and craziness of it, the MS150 ride is a definite
hit! The coordinators and volunteers were tireless in making
all the logistics possible, keeping us informed, and most of
all, motivating us to have an incredible experience! The funds
we were able to raise for the Multiple Sclerosis Society will
help their efforts immensely. In the end, we all benefited by
donating time, money, special skills, or just one very tired
set of legs!
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