Friday, July 23, 2010

ms bike ride - heat of the summer

OK, so M & I are going to do the MS Bike Ride to Paradise and Back either Saturday (tomorrow) or Sunday.  Who in all their wise wisdom decided that the end of July was a good time to host a MS event that requires people  to be out in the heat peddling a bicycle for miles.  I realize that most likely a majority of the people planning to ride in the event do not have MS, but really.  Am I the only one?  Am I the only one that thinks this is nuts? 
I'm lucky that the heat does not effect me that much.  Apparently that was one of the main symptoms that indicates if you have MS or not that I flunked.  We have a hot tub, and most of the time I have no problem getting in it and enjoying letting the heat of the water soak my arthritic joints.  I would be very disappointed and even pissed if we spent all the time money and hard work getting the landscaping done for the hot tub that now sits beside our lower deck.  There are times that the heat gets to me - but I think that is as much related that I am now "at that age" as my primary care tells me.  I'm 47 1/2 and yes, I have hot flashes, and hormonal mood swings and all the fun that goes with it.  My partner M is 45 and is also enjoying the joys of pre-menapause. Complete with erradic periods.  I get to skip that part since I had a hysterectomy 3 yrs ago.  I must say that is one thing I definitely don't miss.  And women who say they no longer feel like a woman, well psshaw!
In spite of being lucky that I can handle the heat (somewhat), that doesn't mean I am looking forward to going out with the heat index sitting at 106 and riding a bike 25 miles.  I drink lots of water/gaterade when it isn't that hot.  I'm not sure we can carry enough for this ride.  I am told there are SAG vehicles on the route and that unlike many biking events they actually encourage riders to catch a ride to the nearest rest stop if they are "tired" or need help.  Most biking events say that SAG vehicles are there for emergency medical attention and help only.  They will pass info along to the HQ but will not be used as any kind of taxi service (even back to rest stops) for riders who are merely tired.  So perhaps that is a concession to this being a MS sponsored ride.
M was asking last night why the event was scheduled for July, and commented that she thought this would be the last year she participated.  She doesn't have MS and is in good health.  She is in much better shape than me and the 25 miles will be a peice of cake for her.  She can ride circles around me, but does think I am improving and is very supportive of my efforts.  She has also committed to staying near me for this ride to make sure I'll make it ok, and to carry extra water for me.  Now she is an angel.  So, she was asking why on earth would they plan this for July? Only reason I can think is that they are using dorms at Millersville to house those that are travelling from someplace else and want a place to stay.  I would imagine this is probably one of the only time frames the dorms would be available.
So, why are we still planning to ride? because we committed to doing it.  I'm sure we will be fine, and we will just need lots of water.

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