Well I guess I can strike another crazy fundraising activity of my list of ideas to help raise $93,000.00 for MS.
The 24 Hours of Adrenaline: This one was a tough one but as usual it was a great adventure and I had a blast!
Here is what happened:
Friday afternoon Val and I loaded up the Tacoma with all the necessary gear, consisting of an old Kona pop up from Freewheel, a two person tent, some chairs two Giant XO Trance Bikes and loads of bike parts lighting sets, batteries spare gear, lots of food, water etc, and headed south down my favourite Highway 93 to the beautiful Alberta Mountain town of Canmore, which incidentally was nearly wiped out by major flooding just a couple of weeks prior.
Once in Canmore we got our parking pass and set up camp on Solo-Row, right on the bike track at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Had a healthy supper of Pizza and Beer, plugged in the ear plugs and crawled into the two person tent right on top of the course gravel of the flood plane for a – maybe 4 hours of sleep (should have booked a hotel)
Next morning up to early because I couldn’t sleep, got registered picked up number plates and my timing chip and had a meeting with the Deli-Lama Glen Leitch who was in charge of my food intake for the next 24 hours, (he did a great job).
Next briefed my pit crew for the first shift (my sister Margaret) and headed off to the Lemans start area, next thing I am jogging after Crazy Larry in a clown suit with about 1500 race hopefuls, the first one on their bike got new pair of Merrill Boots but it wasn’t me.
The first three laps went as expected, 20 km of up down and around the Nordic centre bike routes, lots of crazy technical stuff, some knarly downhill’s with loads of chances of high speed thanks to some newly banked corners and lots of switchback steep uphill climbs, all in all an excellent course. By the fourth lap I decided I was walking the steepest climb and by the fifth and sixth walking most climbs, (I had to conserve energy)
Lap 7 is where things got interesting, first I lost my bike on a muddy single track, that is it slipped out from under me, it was about 1:30 am and pitch dark, landing on my head I quickly got out of the way of the other, riders, re-adjusted my headlamp and found my water bottle and away I went only to have my headlamp quit on the next downhill, (no worries I had a good bright bar light)
Riding at night with good lights is a lot of fun however ‘good lights’ is the key.
At the 17 k mark my handle bar light dimmed down one notch then at 18 k it went out altogether, so no lights, not good.
I ended up pushing my bike the next 1.5 k to my pit tent, when I got there I followed the routine; sat down to eat, drink and replace batteries and that’s when things went south!
I felt a bit dizzy and nauseous so got up to take a walk, next thing I know I am laying on the flood plane with Val and BVT wondering what happened?
Long story short, EMS was called, I was assessed, possible concussion, possible exhaustion, they say maybe he didn’t eat enough maybe not enough fluids, I knew they were all wrong, unfortunately couldn’t verbalize it at the time. After a trip to the medic centre and a thorough assessment/inspection I sweet talked the Paramedics into allowing me to push my bike the last 1.5 k up the hill and down over the finish line so I could at least record my 7th lap.
At this point it seemed that the race was over for me so I reluctantly agreed to lay down, rest and succumb to a concussion assessments every 30 minutes for the next 4 hours, needless to say I was a little frustrated and disappointed that with more than 8 hours left in the race I was going to record an official DNF, not good.
I crawled out of the tent at 7 am feeling ok and by 8;30 was back on the bike promising Pit Boss- Val that I would just do one really easy slow last lap to make it 8. The eighth lap felt pretty good and I still had more then two hours left so I again sweet talked the Pit Boss and was off on my 9th final lap.
Crossing the finish line just before noon with over an hour left but not enough for me to attempt another lap, it was a great feeling, a little disappointed with the crash and subsequent issues but I did it, I managed 9 laps, maybe if certain things had been different I could have done at couple of more, maybe.
I was met at the finish line by hundreds of cheering spectators and by Val with an IPA in hand and most of the other Jasper competitors, priceless!
Shortly afterwards was interviewed by a Cycle magazine reporter and summed it up this way:
I went into this event with the objective to do something extreme (personally) challenging both physically and mentally in order to raise awareness for my endms93 $93,000.00 MS Society fundraising mission.
Because people with MS are living daily with a lot of the issues I faced over the past 24 hours, fear, frustration, pain, and uncertainty, today I completed a bike race, I get to go home and relax and tomorrow I will sleep it off, by Tuesday I will be back at work and will have forgotten about the pain and suffering and by Thursday I will be back on my bike.
People living and dealing with Multiple Sclerosis don’t have that option they have been dealt a bum hand they are stuck a dark place, everyday sucks.
In some case they have lost hope, my hope is that in a small way my activities can help instill hope and ultimately to bring about more awareness and more funds for MS research and programming and ultimately help END MS once and for all.
The last question I was asked was ‘was this latest adventure more difficult then the last?, (Wickenburg to Jasper)
Answer: Yes, most definitely it was, although much more shorter in duration then Route 93 end to end, the 24 Hours event was much more intense, much more physical and mental, but just as much fun.
O yes, there was one more final question; ‘would you do it again?’
Answer: I am not allowed to, lol