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I was like, "I’m gonna crush it!" Then, "Oh, I’m NOT gonna crush it!" But I knew that City to Shore was going to taste that much better at the end. -- Katie MacTurk

BikeMS: City to Shore… Success!

We’re unbelievably proud of our City to Shore team. They pedaled their butts off and raised over $30,000 for Multiple Sclerosis research and awareness, over 150% of their goal.

“These guys killed it,” Ryan says. “We’ve had our biggest team yet and we’ve raised the most money we’ve ever raised. This is the biggest fundraiser we do, and with such dedicated team members, they make it look easy.”

IMG_0377And it was a beautiful day for a bike ride. Hot, but beautiful. The temperatures maxed out in the high 80s, with the humidity making it feel much worse. We’re having a rather warm early autumn in South Jersey, and our bikers felt the heat. And the burn.

“It’ll be a tan tomorrow,” said Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm, regarding the ruddiness of his face.

“It was great weather,” says one of our riders, Katie MacTurk, “especially early before it got hot. We started pedaling around 7:15 this morning, and it was still on the cool side. Alissa [Muldoon] and I did the century, so it wasn’t until that 56-mile rest stop, just after noon, when we started thinking that it was getting a little hot.

“But that’s the good thing about biking: you hop on and you’ve got the wind at your face. Until you get to the bridges at the end.”

This year’s route was slightly different from previous years. For the first time, riders entered Ocean City over the 9th Street Bridge, bringing them directly into downtown.

14364870_10100638291984883_3866119484915177753_n“Last year, I thought the bridges were great,” she says, referring to the Longport Bridge. “This one not as steep, but it’s longer. I was like, ‘I’m gonna crush it!’ Then, ‘Oh, I’m NOT gonna crush it!’ But I knew that City to Shore was going to taste that much better at the end.”

Brewer Mark Graves enjoyed the scenery on the ride.

“They picked awesome routes,” he says. “The first forty miles, we were just zig-zagging through all the wineries. It was really cool, coming through all the grape fields. Then we started getting further south and saw some water and some great views. 80% of it was shaded. If not, it would have been much worse.”

Soda Guru and Culinary Ops JP Thomas enjoyed the scenery, as well.

“Going over some of those overpasses over the marshes,” he says agog, “they were gorgeous this morning, getting the sunrise.”

At the afterparty at the brewery Saturday evening, it was fun to see our non-employee team members stroll in looking like they’d just spent the day at the beach. A hundred miles was nothing to these guys.

We had a few of the guys in Production exceeding their fundraising goals. Each of our guys met their $300 goal, but the big winner of the weekend was Andrew Ewing, Superhero, raising $545.

IMG_4827And we had a few of our guys exceed their distance goal, as well. Brian and Mark were planning on only doing the 80-mile ride, but on the spur of the moment decided to go for the century.

Mark instantly regretted the decision. The course is designed as a straight shot for an 80-mile ride, with a 20-mile loop added to increase the distance to the century mark.

“The loop SUUUUUCCCKKKKEDDDDD,” Mark said, dramatically. “Everything else was fine, but the loop sucked. It was a steady downhill at the beginning, but then it was just up, up, up, up, up, up…. At the last few rest stops, I was just gassed.”

Nonetheless, we’re proud of you, Mark.

“Not gonna lie: I passed a motorcycle with a For Sale sign on it and was very tempted to stop and buy it,” he said.

“But the ride was a lot of fun,” Andrew says. “It was definitely hard. It wasn’t harder than I thought it was going to be, but let’s just say that there were other factors involved that I wasn’t appreciating.”

IMG_2107Among other parts of his anatomy, Andrew pointed out that two of his fingers were still numb.

“I tried forty-seven hand positions, I finished four hours ago, and my fingers are still numb,” he said. “Let’s hope I get them back by Monday.”

“For the most part, the guys from the brewery stayed together,” Jimmy reports, “but we weren’t together-together.”

“Brian and I were trailing behind,” Mark says. “We tried to, but I just couldn’t keep up.”

“We would take off and split up and then meet up together at the rest stops,” Jimmy says.

“Me and Kevin and Eddie and Mike stayed together the entire time,” Andrew says. “We looked like a real, professional cycling team. It was kinda crazy, but we all had the same jersey, all going pretty quickly.”

They were averaging 20 mph over the first 50 miles, but toned it down on the rest of the ride. In fact, team captain Steve Briggs reports that it’s the fastest the team has ever done BikeMS: City to Shore.

IMG_4818Andrew says that the beginning of the ride was pretty easy.

“It was kinda chilly, and there’s all these hills going down,” he says. “If there’s any time to take advantage of a hill, it’s at the beginning. We’re just going down, down….”

“Yeah, at that point everyone was like, ‘Is it downhill the whole way? We’re doin’ the hundred!’” Mark laughs.

Thankfully, the century ride offers six rest stops. Jimmy reports stopping at the rest stops twice, but he wishes he’d “stopped thirty-three times.”

“The rest stops were AMAZING,” Andrew says. “The lunch stop had veggie burgers, chicken cutlet sandwiches, all types of good stuff.”

“You could fill up your jug with Gatorade or water,” Mark says. “Most of them had oranges, bananas, Clif bars, chips, lots of PowerBars.”

IMG_4809Tons of stuff,” Andrew says. “I was very impressed with all of the rest stops. Tons of facilities. One of the radio stations had the music jammin’.

“But it was a little odd having lunch at 9:30 in the morning.”

Mark was particularly impressed with the sheer size of BikeMS’s volunteer base.

“They had them along the route — flaggers and stuff — then they had them at the rest stops, handing out oranges and bananas,” he says.

“There were about eight stops,” Andrew adds. “And they were all fully-manned.”

The guys were not without injury. Mark cut up his leg pretty good.

JP fell.

“It was because of the stupid padded pants,” he says. “I was stopped. Just sitting there waiting to go. I’m like, ‘Green light. All right.’ I go to jump up, and my seat caught that pillow in my pants. So it pulls down my pants, and I’m struggling to get back on the bike and fall over.”

“Was that early?” Mark asks.

“It was at the very first light,” JP admits.

IMG_4803At the end of the ride, the announcers made a big blast about City to Shore.

“They were like, ‘And Cape May Brewing Company did a great job brewing a great beer, City to Shore. We hope everyone gets to drink it at the end!’” Steve told us.

It was a completely unexpected moment, and we thank BikeMS for the shout out! We hope that the participants in the ride have gotten the chance to sample some.

Nonetheless, it was a long day for everyone. As your blogwriter said his goodbyes a little earlier than expected, he begged off by telling the team that he was tired.

“Oh, YOU’RE tired?!?” was the unanimous, incredulous response.

Have you ever wanted to take back words as they were leaving your mouth?

All in all, our team did exceedingly well. Better than expected. We killed our fundraising goals, none of the guys from the brewhouse keeled over and died, and everyone had a great time.

“It was awesome,” Andrew said. “Everyone did amazingly well.”