Oct 8, 2002 8:03 AM
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Houston Lifestyle & Features
Oct. 7, 2002, 6:32PM
Pizza, doughnuts fuel long bike ride
By KEN HOFFMAN
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
The rain and heat and gloom of night (and you can throw in hail and thunder and lightning) didn't stay me from the swift completion of my appointed round on the MS 150 bike ride between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
OK, maybe not so swift.
The upside-down Dairy Queen sign blew me off course.
After lunch Saturday, in the middle of nowhere (where you'll find most Dairy Queens), my sneaker lace came undone and got caught in the bicycle chain.
The bike stopped short and flipped me head over heels across the handlebars like a malnourished 13-year-old gymnast in the Olympics.
That's how I saw the Dairy Queen sign upside down. You know how they turn a Snickers Blizzard over at Dairy Queen to show how thick it is? For one brief moment, my whole world was a milkshake.
I almost stuck the dismount, too. I landed on my feet, for a split second, and rolled to the side of the road. After dusting myself off and checking for body parts, I hopped back on the bike.
All in all, it was a pretty spectacular and embarrassing tumble, worthy of the Play of the Day on Sportscenter. Or Funniest Home Videos. Thankfully, not E.R.
More than 1,500 people rode in last weekend's MS 150 Bike to the Beach. That's up 60 percent from last year. Four hundred riders came over from Houston, five times as many as in 2001.
The ride raised $500,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, another record.
There was trouble right from the start, actually before the start, with my group. The six members of Team Stragglers stayed at a hotel Friday night in San Antonio. Jeff Minkoff, Sean Pendergast and I were in one room. Austin Crossley, Hugh Herman and Kelly Covington were down the hall.
Sean and I were watching Blind Date when Jeff suddenly said, "Good night," and turned off the lights and the TV.
He said he can't sleep unless the room is quiet and dark. "That's how normal people do it."
Sean and I couldn't believe our eyes, not that we could see anything, anyway. We're afraid of the dark.
Sean swears that the TV in his bedroom at home hasn't been off in three years. I'm the same way, except I listen to all-night talk shows on radio. The last thing we want is to be alone with our thoughts.
Sean eventually conked out and began snoring like a diesel locomotive. He snores on the inhale and exhale.
Great. In a few hours, I have to ride a bike 150 miles, and I can't sleep because one guy has turned our room into a sensory-deprivation tank, and the other guy is snoring like your grandfather.
Remember, Jeff is the person who, on the last MS 150, dried his underpants in the hotel's microwave oven. That's how normal people do it?
The next morning, we jumped the gun and started pedaling around 6 a.m. We needed the head start because we're slowpokes. It was still dark out. Not as dark as our hotel room, but dark enough where we couldn't see where we were going.
Kelly had never done an MS 150 before and must have thought there was a prize for finishing first. He took off like he was shot out of a cannon. We never saw him again.
We spent Saturday night in a motel in Beeville. There wasn't a restaurant, not even a Dairy Queen, in sight, so we ordered pizzas from Domino's. One extra-large pizza per person. Unless you've ridden in an MS 150, you have no idea how hungry you get.
Austin stole a box of glazed doughnuts from the motel lobby. Pizza and doughnuts. Now there's a nutritious meal for finely tuned athletes.
That night Sean and I formed an alliance like on Survivor and voted Jeff out