Thursday, July 8, 2010

National MS Society Cape Cod Getaway 2010: Behind the Curve

Lately I've been thinking about normal curves a lot. Not in any profound way but just about how simple yet cool and prevalent they are in day to day life.

Normal curve

People like Michael Jackson fall at least three standard deviations above the mean.

 Michael Jackson

If you go to Harvard Business School you might be considered Ahead of the Curve.

For some reason I thought our Bike for MS - Cape Cod Getaway ride two weeks ago would represent a normal slice of the population, with a few really intense riders way out in front, most chugging along in the middle, and a few people really struggling in the back. This was not the case. I should have realized the fact that it's a 150 miles weeds out most of those who 1) aren't in shape 2) don't have a road bike 3) or combination of 1) and 2) don't consider themselves fairly serious bicyclers.

We were not ahead of the curve. In fact most of the ride we were blissfully behind the rest of the riders, typically by at least one standard deviation.

One key contributing factor was that we were late getting to the start. This was not entirely our fault - we sat in traffic for 30 min. due to 2 broken down buses blocking the road to the event. But our late start leaving Boston and my forgetting my helmet (really??) did not help.

There are a few other excuses we could dig up, but there was no denying a big factor was we just weren't as hardcore of bikers.

The riders with puppies Sibi and Fergus at the halfway point in Bourne, not looking particularly hardcore.

 It was really hot!

Regardless, we had lots of fun and I highly recommend doing one of these bike rides! It was very well organized. There were lots of rest stops with snacks, water and Gatorade (key) as well as police directing traffic so we hardly ever had to stop at traffic lights, which made us feel like celebrities. There were lots of people cheering for us along the way, from their front lawns, at rest stops, or from cars.

We fell asleep at about 8 PM on Saturday, but were up at 5 to hit the road by 6AM on Sunday. Biking along the Cape Cod Canal in the early morning was one of the highlights for me.

Together, Ethan, Jessie and I raised nearly $3000 for the MS Society.

Here's a very rough approximation of our route:

Thanks for reading!

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