The Rona Ride for MS took place on August 8th and 9th. The ride was from Carleton University to Kemptville and back again with an overnight in Kemptville.
The Saturday Ride was close to 100km. Every 10km or so, there was a rest stop with wonderful watermelon, oranges, fruit and gatorade. You did not need a water bottle or even a map as the route was so well signed and the rest stops so numerous.
There were all kinds of bikes and all kinds of bikers. I saw a man and his daughter who rode with him on a 'bike buddy'. I also saw a tandem with a teddy bear and sissy handlebars...sometimes called monkey bars. There were rusty mountain bikes with wide padded seats and sleek and shiny road bikes with barely a seat at all. In total, t here were some 630 bikers. I am told they raised close to 370k. Many riders that I saw had raised well over $1000.00.
I was proud to have raised over 650! Our team, shown above all sported the KNBC jerseys for the first day. The bikers left in groups of 50. It was difficult to ride as a team and I prefered to ride ahead and away from some of the more unpredictable bikers on the first part of the trip.
After the first rest stop or two, the groups lagged out and I had the feeling I was riding alone, passing some beautiful little towns like Oxford Mills on the way. The lunch stop at the Rideau River Provincial Park was especially nice. There were BBQ sausages, a plethora of salads, drinks and jelly beans. Although I was well within the time limit, I decided due to an injury on my knee from last week, not to ride the extra loop. Our team captain, who rode with me, also did not wish to ride this loop and so the decision was easy.
The final destination was the Kemptville college. It is a beautiful, well treed campus with spacious lawns and one had a sense of peace. There was a corn roast, a beer tent and two splendid massage therapists. One called Ms. Tremblay was especially talented and a master at reflexology.
The MS society also had free ice cream and a silent auction and games including bicycle jousting. At a high speed, aiming a stick with a needle, I was able to burst 5 out of 7 balloons. My noble feat earned me a prize of a package of kleenex and mouthwash.
I had decided to camp, rather than stay in the dormitories. I set up my tent and after dinner and conversation went to bed in my airy and comfortable tent.
The next day was almost an anti climax. I was on my bike at 745 am, and despite stopping at all the rest stops along the way, arrived at Carleton at 1020. The trip back was only 60km or so. I wished it was longer.
The MS society had a photographer on hand and some goodie bags for the participants. My bag had shampoo and cold packs.
This event was clearly an event for all ages and all abilities. It had the air of a giant camp out or social picnic. There was plenty of time to relax, take pictures and simply enjoy oneself.
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