Thank you to all of my supporters

Here’s me, legs much bigger and decidedly more toned, after finishing the MS-150 bike ride Sunday.  Photo by Jill Knutson
Here’s me, legs much bigger and decidedly more toned, after finishing the MS-150 bike ride Sunday.
Photo by Jill Knutson

I biked through 90-degree heat this weekend, with rain and a headwind that, at times, was probably hitting about 15 mph.
As I write this, my legs and neck are still sore, but those are simply physical reminders that I accomplished my goal — I biked all 150 miles of the MS-150, a two-day trek from Proctor High School to Century College.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who supported me, especially those who donated so I could participate in the event. All of that money went directly to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization that does a lot to better the lives of people living with MS. I would also like to thank my wife, who drove with me up to Proctor, drove my car back home and then did the same thing the next day, to Hinckley and back. She, along with my parents and my dog, were also there to see me as I crossed the finish line, which felt great.
Now I’m going to recount some of my favorite memories of the ride.
I saw a lot of people wearing unique jerseys, but my favorite was a guy who was wearing a green one with gold lettering on the back that read, “Shut up, legs.”
Numerous riders have little boom boxes on their bikes or they play music on their phones while they’re riding, which helps pass the time. Every time some skinny dude in a complete spandex biking getup pulled up alongside me and his music device was blaring gangsta rap, I could hardly contain myself. It reminded me of the Michael Bolton character in the 1999 movie “Office Space.”
When I was riding on the Sunrise Prairie Trail from North Branch to Wyoming, my wrists getting sore from my bike hitting all of the cracks, an older biker with a cascade of long, white hair spilling out of his helmet approached on my left and said to me, “This trail sucks.” I told him money was going to be in place in July to repave it, and the trail would actually get pretty good once we got into Washington County.
He said, “Are you serious, or are you being facetious?”
As soon as we got into Forest Lake and the trail smoothed out, he raised both of his hands to the sky in a hallelujah-type gesture.
It was interesting to watch people’s demeanor at the rest stops, especially on the second day. During the morning stops, nearly everybody is talkative, and they’re up walking around, stretching and smiling. When I got to the last rest stop before the finish line, there was a bevy of bikers — a la Dave Barry, “Bevy of Bikers” would be a good name for a band — who were just lying in the grass, staring up at the sky, not moving much. A few were trying to stretch their legs or necks. There weren’t nearly as many jovial people toward the end.
But that all changed when we approached the finish line. Just before the conclusion of the ride, there’s a big hill leading up to Century College, and there’s a stoplight. I heard some of the bikers saying, “You want to hit it on a green, otherwise it’s tough to get up that hill.”
I and a group of other bikers hit it on a red. One of them turned and said to me he felt pretty good about finishing this. I said, “Me too.”
I had to stand up on the bike and use the last bit of energy I had to pump my way up that hill, but I did it — I didn’t get off the bike and walk. My legs were screaming at me when I got to the top, but I repeated in my head, “Shut up, legs,” and I waved at the people clapping as I rounded the corner and the big orange “finish” sign came into view.

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