On Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, the Dallas-based branch of Team Southwest--a cycling group made up of SWA Employees, friends, and family--participated in the Sam's Club MS150 Bike Tour to raise money for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. The two-day "party on wheels" fundraiser took us 150 miles from Frisco, TX to Fort Worth, with an overnight stop at Texas Motor Speedway.
This was my third MS150 ride, and they just keep getting better every year. We saddled up in Frisco on Saturday morning under a low cloudy sky, with the threat of rain and a "ten percent chance" (if you live around here, you know what that means...) of severe weather. But nothing could dampen our spirits as we lined up amid a sea of colors--our adrenaline pumping, hearts racing, legs fresh and ready to go. Plus, this year, we were riding for one of our own. Ski, one of our Teammembers, lost his mother to MS just two weeks before the Tour, so he wasn't able to ride with us. Ski, we really missed you out there buddy...but we're already looking forward to you leading us out next year.
Of course, because this was the MS150, it rained! We endured mist, drizzle, and light rain for several hours (at least those of us who ride a little slower than Lance Armstrong) on Saturday. After almost 53 miles of FUN, we pulled into the Southwest-sponsored rest stop and were greeted with bright yellow shirts, checkered flags, and BROWNIES(!). About 75 volunteers from the Southwest Family braved the rain to wave flags; cheer on riders; and pass out copious amounts of water, Powerade, pickle juice, and snacks. They even held our bikes so we didn't have to lay them down in the wet parking lot! Talk about AWESOME!! Thank you to all the volunteers who made the SWA rest stop the best on Tour! Just look how happy we are!! (that's me on the right with New Mexico One on my helmet). Our Team Captain, James, is on the left with Lone Star One firmly in place--and, yes, they DO make us go faster) J
After a windy and muddy overnight at Texas Motor Speedway, we began Day Two with a lap on the Speedway itself. Really! We bunched up on pit road, waited for the green flag, and were off! We weren't allowed up on the high banking (man, is it steep!), but were allowed out on the backstretch. What a blast!!! Now I just have to talk my wife into letting me take part in the driving school they have out there.....
Outside the Speedway, Day Two turned out to be pretty uneventful. Severe weather was in the forecast, but thankfully never materialized. We stayed dry all day, and we even saw the sun in the afternoon. We did have to deal with a little wind though...about a 20 mph head wind...for nearly 40 miles...AFTER lunch...up the BIGGEST hills of the whole Tour. But, a mere 150 miles and 30 hours after we left Frisco, we crossed the finish line in Fort Worth's Sundance Square. We made it! Way to go Team Southwest!!!!! Let's do it again! (but maybe not for a few weeks though...)
Now, it's your turn! Do you participate in charity rides/walks/runs in your area? Were you maybe even part of this MS150 Ride? We would LUV you to share your comments, experiences, and stories with us!