MS TRAM 2014 Recap w/ Pictures!

19 Jul

Hello, all! So I mentioned I’d been on a bike trip, which is why I’ve been so bad about posting.

I mean, why I haven’t posted for 2 days.

I’m a little obsessive.

MS TRAM (The Ride Across Minnesota) is a fundraiser for MS research. My mother has a non-aggressive form of the disease, and we’ve been doing fundraising events since I was quite small. We’ve been considering this event for a few years, but haven’t due to our gross out-of-shapeness. I guess this year we figured, what the hell/carpe diem/why not/how bad could it be, and we rather impulsively signed up.

Heeeere is the aftermath!

Day 0: Sunday. I call it Day 0 because there wasn’t any actual biking. We started in Welch Village (the ski resort, which looked pretty weird in the summer) and were driven by coach bus 300 miles west to Pipestone, MN; where we camped for the night.

ms tram collage 2

Pictures (L-R): Top of tent with hanging lantern, really messy tent setup, sunset, and I beat that original IQ test game thing that traumatized my childhood. Proud moment.

Day 1: Monday, and a particularly bad Monday at that. 61 miles into a strong wind, which basically feels like you’re being pushed backward. We stopped in Marshall and I had my first shower from a shower truck. Yep, that’s right. It was actually quite nice, very clean, good hot water. I had to keep pushing a button every minute like an automatic sink, but that’s beside the point.

ms tram collage 4

Pictures (L-R): We were very well fed 🙂 The infamous shower truck, some cattails, and the team sign of the tents next to us 😀

Day 2: Tuesday, and a good bit better than Monday. Still windy but less so. 58 miles felt ok. Stayed overnight in Redwood Falls, home of the worst breakfast ever.

ms tram collage 5

Pictures (L-R): My mom and I at a rest stop, a green bug I found hitching a ride (it matched my bike), the Walmart we camped behind (sketchy), and this really creepy kids’ toy at a playground rest stop. Check out dem eyebrows.

Day 3: Wednesday was the longest day, and the best in terms of terrain. 69 miles but a lot of downhill. Stopped in St. Peter near Gustavus University, which led to my mother pestering me about which colleges I’m interested in for over an hour.

ms tram collage 3Pictures (L-R): My horrible bike short tan lines, my mother’s professional rain flap setup, delicious apple pie dessert (I’ve had pie 4 times during this trip, whoops), and some random photo of a traffic block

Day 4: Thursday, nice and short. 43 miles but a lot of rolling hills. Stopped in New Prague and listened to the announcer mangle Czech phrases for a while (my mother is Czech and she disapproved). Thursday night had wonderful live music until 10:00.

ms tram collagePictures (L-R): A wind farm we passed on the bus ride to Pipestone, my long-suffering bicycle, a lily, and our snack bag. Yes, we packed a bag exclusively for snacks 🙂

Day 5: Friday, last day! A nice round 50 miles, and the last 10 were on a fantastic wooded path along a river. ALL DOWNHILL. It made the previous 270 totally worth it. We finished our journey in Welch, packed up our stuff, had a free lunch, and went home.

Interesting story though: I was cheerfully biking along a cornfield when I spotted some huge shimmering clouds in the distance. What could they be? Smoke? A pain reliever-induced mirage? Nope, bugs. I covered my nose and mouth as they hit me like tiny, wriggling bb pellets. Human windshield, population Olivia.

The world will end in neither fire nor ice. The world will end in a giant cloud of gnats.

Ibuprofen total: an even 20

I’m not an addict, I swear!

vicodin house

Total miles: 281, more or less

The best part of TRAM was the support. There were so many volunteers that endeavored to make us as safe and comfortable as possible. They literally stopped traffic for us, and several well-meaning boy scouts were always there to help us with our many many bags (my mother overpacks). You could tell they really cared about the cause and the riders, and that made the discomfort and exhaustion and heat and bugs and non-flushing toilets worth it.


An honorable mention would be the wonderful people we met along the way. I’m not really at all a people person, but Minnesotans really are the nicest people ever, excluding those who wouldn’t say “on your left” when passing for love nor money.

The worst part of TRAM was the soreness. Hence, the self-medication. By the end of the week, everything hurt…but that’s to be expected. If you’re planning on this ride or one like it, GET YOURSELF A GEL SEAT.

Would I do it again? Yeah, but maybe with a better (aka lighter) bike and a few friends to make the monotony and pain more bearable. What can I say? I’m a complainer!

So that wraps it up, I’m off to catch up on a week’s worth of blog posts and Youtube. I’ll be back with some makeup soon, I promise!


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6 Responses to “MS TRAM 2014 Recap w/ Pictures!”

  1. Catherine Dream July 31, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    This sounds awesome!
    I have never seen a shower truck before and I’m impressed you have USED one. ; )
    Also, I used to bike a lot when I was younger, with my best friend we would just ride and ride for ages, but I think this distance would KILL ME now. I’m so out of shape.

    • Olivia July 31, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Haha yeah, it was a new experience for me too 🙂 Psh it killed me too, I just couldn’t complain too much or my mother’d make fun of me 😛

  2. Kayla Sanchez July 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh my god that IQ test was the bane of my existence for a year straight. I finally threw it into the garage and I’m pretty sure there’s spiders all over it now.

    And Olivia – you can complain all you want. You biked more miles that I probably walk in a week!

    • Olivia July 20, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      Hahaha so true though 🙂 Thank you for the complaining license, I will use it until it expires!


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