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Ashley Heeren

The Grackles Century Ride for MS

Posted by on 10/16/13 at 06:59am

Every year (for now 8 years) the Third Street Grackles fundraise for and ride in the Bike MS: Ride to the River, a two-day 157-mile bike ride that raises money for multiple sclerosis research and other services supported by the National MS Society. This year the ride was shortened a bit — day two was canceled due to a bad weather front — but day one was glorious enough on its own. And I was able to celebrate a little personal accomplishment: 100 miles was the longest I’ve ever ridden in a day by 70 miles!

grackles sign

The Grackles have some phenomenal fundraisers–both helping the cause immensely and gaining us a great spot in the starting lineup. The course starts in San Antonio and takes a series of lovely roads to New Braunfels, with the option to stop there for a 70-mile ride or continue on a 30-mile River Road loop to complete the full 100 miles on Saturday.

grackles kit

grackles socks

By the way, Lake|Flato (among other great companies) is a sponsor and also had 8 riders in the event this year. And Brian and Rebecca, also our team captains, are the Lake|Flatonians who can take credit for the awesome design of these kits.

grackles ready

grackles lunch

While the ride itself was a great adventure for me (what a liberating feeling knowing that the only thing you have to do all day is ride a bike), the rest stops were key. Every 20-25 miles the Grackles got a chance to regroup and refuel, and the weather stayed perfectly sunny–if a bit hot–for the entire day.

grackles dinner

Also a great part of the day: finishing the ride and heading to base camp. After crossing the finish line, we enjoyed an evening of relaxing and hanging out over dinner, complete with great food and drink and, especially important, massages.

grackles team

Thanks to the team for a fantastic experience this year, and great job to every one of these energetic riders who keep the team going! Many thanks to Marc Toppel [this team photo] and David Rangel [other photos] for documenting the event. Also thank you to the many volunteers (including a few more Lake|Flatonians) who made the event run super smoothly. I can’t wait for more lovely rides in our Texas hill country.


    what’s up with the neck bandanas?