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MS 150, Recap
Well now,

Anyone who pooh-poohed the hurricane infused panic in the streets weather reports and headed out to do the 2 day MS 150 Breakaway To The Beach anyhow was rewarded with the best weather in 19 years of that rides history. (with the exception for Hugo).

Saturday A.M. we arrived early at Weddington High School and proceeded to our special reserved "Top Banana" parking space. With plenty of time to kill, we sauntered into the school to turn in more monies collected the previous few days. Once we returned and geared up, we proceeded to the starting line and got to sing Happy Birthday to Nikki, our beloved MS staffer/Rank Rider.

Temperatures stayed well below normal for the day allowing for some fast effortless riding the entire trip. The first days century (+/-114 miles) was met with mostly tail winds throughout the day. A detour allowed us to add on a few extra miles and a few nice hills into Society Hill's lunch stop to further enhance our cycling enjoyment.

The first leg of the ride ended in Florence, SC, to a large welcoming committee of families, and friends of riders not to mention lots of volunteers and cheerleaders from the local high school. It was a nice way to end a perfect day’s ride. A bus shuttle to the strip where most cyclists stayed in various motels allowed us to roam the highways and byways looking for a cold beer and pizza. We found all of the above. The Rank Rider hospitality suite was in full raucous swing making tired legs a distant memory for another day and another year's start of fine fellowship amongst the riders under our belt. Alas off to bed by 10 to get ready for another days battle on the mean streets of Florence.

Day 2 started at 4:30 AM. Water bottles to fill and gear to check and recheck necessitated this early start. A shuttle back to the school found us in the parking lot ready to check in our luggage and find our bikes in the assigned racks.

Once daylight allowed for a safe start, waves of cyclists began the second days journey to North Myrtle Beach. We were again met with cool temperatures and a brisk side and head wind. The beginning was a little dicey with several big pile ups of cyclists along the way for the first 10 miles resulting in several riders being taken to the local hospital. Once things thinned out it got much better.

Our team numbering approximately 16 riders took turns pulling the pace line at 1 minute intervals. It was tough going at times, but we managed to maintain our pace and keep the team intact per our agreement the previous evening. I was impressed on how well we all ride together. Hours of training together over the years really has paid off.

We arrived at North Myrtle Beach Middle School again to a huge crowd of well wishers. The Rank Riders finished 4 abreast x 4 deep in full regalia under the finish line banner to lot's of applause from Rank Rider cult followers, fans, and well wishers. It felt good!!!!

Off to the showers and to the shuttle to the beach found us at legendary watering hole "Harold's On The Ocean." It is a Rank Rider favorite. We were able to stay at the beach for 4 hours and in the spirit of giving were able to amply support the local economy at Harold's. It was a great time had by all.

We caught a shuttle back to our bus at the middle school and off we headed back to Weddington with another years bike tour firmly planted in our memories forever.

Come join us next year for the HUGE 20th anniversary celebration ride.

Tom Waldron

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