View Full Version : Riding out Rita--the MS150 in Orange Beach

09-26-2005, 06:15 PM
Well, ladies, it was quite a weekend!

Orange Beach, Ala., was getting the northeast quadrant (worst case) winds and rains from Hurricane Rita the day of the MS150 (Saturday, 9/24). Since 64 miles was my longest yet in a day, I was nervous already. Due to dire weather predictions of rain, possible tornadoes or at least winds of 25-35 mph :eek: they shortened the Saturday route to 45 miles.

We (300 or so?) headed out into wild crosswinds that had us working hard just not to bump into each other. Then over a TALL toll bridge and after that, it was the hardest thing I've done barring baby labor. Crazy, gusty winds, then driving rain. Luckily I'd installed a good headlight because it was all I had going for me at one point. Finally, we were on the beach road headed back to the hotel. It was dry by then, but very windy, and because of the devastation due to Hurricane Ivan last year and so many buildings down, we did about 6 miles of sheer hell--nothing to break the strong and gusty winds off the gulf blowing sand into us at 30 mph. I do not exaggerate, ladies. We were literally sand blasted.

It gave a new meaning to riding out a hurricane. :p

Yesterday we did the full 75. Rain wasn't an issue. Tailwind heading out? Oh yeah baby, can you see spinning along at 25 mph without breaking a sweat? Well, what goes out, must come in. By the time we headed south again toward the finish, we were working hard in a paceline to average 10 mph to get home.

Thank god we kept our room last night so we didn't have to drive home until today, a 5-hour trip.

My quads are screaming at me and my arse ain't too happy, either, but I am one pumped cyclist for having DONE IT!!!

Yippee! You ladies are a huge source of support and encouragement. :)

P.S. Edited to add this postcript for DogMama and others on the "midlife" thread...and wouldn't you know??? Guess what happened on Saturday morning? Oh of course! Period started...first one since May. So I perservered despite. Yay!!!

P.S.S.Well, I feel like an idjut now. I've been so focused on this goal, and so cut off from what happened at landfall because I didn't have TV all the time, that I'm sorry to realize I may sound like a self-centered nincompoop. I just now got to watch CNN and see the full brunt of this devastating storm. Forgive me. I guess I've gotten numbed by how nastily we've been treated by these hurricanes lately. I didn't mean to be blase' about the terrible losses folks have suffered in this latest storm. I guess I just felt like riding into the wind was as much of a retort as I could manage at this point. Y'all have a good week! Thanks.

09-27-2005, 03:00 PM
sounds like a helluva ride... and I bet the people who have suffered losses would cheer to hear of anyone who gained some small victory over Rita... way to go! :)

09-27-2005, 07:47 PM
I work for "da phone co" We have a board where we can share info about Rita and Katrina. We sent technicians from all other states and they working 12 hour days restoring the network, one tech took the time to write:

"I traveled in a company truck today. Every Telephone office that is working, is running on back up generators. I traveled to Silsbee, Lumberton, Beaumont, Nederland Port Arthur, Bridge City, Orange Field.

The wind damage was all north wind or north east wind. Lousianna got it worse than we did, and we got it bad.

Brookshire Brothers in Silsbee heavily damaged.

Small transmission lines down in Lumberton and Beaumont.

Major (big metal tower) transmission lines down in Nederland.

Port Arthur just torn up bad. Under pass flooded at Memorial

Hwy 73 east bound flooded west of the Orange bridge.

Leaving Bridge City on 1442 almost every tree was down across the road.

At least three major downed power lines. I doubt that the Sabine power plant can deliver power to anyone.

Most of the oaks in my yard are down. One hit the house. It broke through my son's room. I wonder how Allstate will fix it. That is pretty good considering the whole house could have been crushed.

I saw pines, big ones snapped off twenty feet in the air, a few pushed over at ground level. I was taught that could not happen because of the tap root.


Do not return. There is no water in any city. Many of the power lines hang down across the road. There are trees across the road, and I am hungery and getting tired of cooking my own meals.

However, I think I'll cook a steak with bell peppers and onions and Tony's

Cheers gotta eat"

so T&P for our TE Rita area members.

09-27-2005, 08:25 PM
We did our final tuesday nite ride of the summer (used to be 20 miles, now moer like 13 due to earlier sunset) and everybody wanted to hear about what happened to those of us who "rode out rita." It was good to be able to say that we did fine, better than we thought we could. Thanks for your support and encouragement, as always!