MS Bike (and one unicycle) ride

Since I mentioned I’d be doing this, I might as well give the report.

I participated in my local MS Bike ride. I took the weenie 30 mile route.
(Next year, I think I’ll try for 150 miles) Prior to this ride, the
farthest I’d gone on a unicycle was 22 miles (with a 4 hour break for
juggling in the middle), so I didn’t want to kill myself by doing more
than I could handle.

I was quite punctual for check-in, and had the route map in my hands with
more than a half hour before the official ride start. It wasn’t a race, so
I was told I could start whenever I pleased. So, I hit the road then to
avoid the crowds. Most of the way there, it was just nice and peaceful…
I didn’t even encounter very many bikers.

About 10 miles or so into riding, more bikers were around. A father and
his two middle-school aged sons passed me on one downhill stretch. I
decided to play around a bit, and passed them on the next uphill
stretch. I think we passed each other about 5 times before I realized I
had put quite a bit of energy into that part of the ride, and let them
go on ahead.

At 15 miles, was a rest stop, and I figured my camel pack could use a
little more water. People sitting around there cheered as I rode up. A
few people asked me techincal questions about my unicycle, and riding it,
so I talked for a few minutes while finding water. After 5 minutes, I
realized my feet weren’t moving, and decided to change that, so returned
to the road.

I encountered a few people from the 150 mile ride, on road bikes. They
were tired enough that I was able to keep pace with them for a while. One
rode along side me for a good couple feet, and told me I was riding at
15mph. I figure that’s believable, but certainly sounded a lot higher than
the average speed of 12.6mph my cycle computer recorded. Now I want to
find a good way to mount my cycle computer so I can read it while riding.

I played the passing game on a few more hills before I reached the end of
the ride. Riding with these laid-back style of bicyclists was really
great. They ride slow enough that I can just about keep up, but fast
enough that I have to work at it. I got plenty of comments, but what most
impressed me was no one asked me about clowns or the circus.

My cycle computer tells me I finished the ride in just under 2 1/4 hours.
Because I started earlier than most, I finished earlier as well. This made
things very relaxed, and so far as I know, I only had my picture taken
once the whole day.

I’ll definitely have to be on the lookout for similar biking events come
next summer, I’m sure I can have some fun with them.

Jeff Lutkus

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