Friday, July 5, 2013

Bike MS Write-Up

Things to Think About as You Prepare for a Long Ride (or) Even Freshman Riders Can Rock Bike MS.

About the author: I am a bicyclist, some might even say a serious one.  I delight in all things bike.  I even work in the bike industry, as the Marketing Coordinator for Western Bikeworks, the premier bike shop sponsor of BikeMS.  There's no kind of bike-riding I don't like, although distance road riding is my favorite. - Maria Schur

As you embark on your next hard ride, consider your head as the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Although training and fitness matter, the higher truth is that endurance events happen up top, in the brain.  Bryce Courtney states it simply in his book The Power Of One: “...The mind is the athlete, the body is simply the means it uses..."
One mental preparation trick is to peek at a map of the route several times in the days before the big ride.  Visualize the start, where many experienced riders still get butterflies from the excitement.  Picture what you'll be wearing: "cute power" really does help!  If you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you can rock whatever it is you want to rock.  Maybe even jot down some strategies to re-read over breakfast on the big day.  Things like breathe deeply, smile, enjoy the view.

Make a list.  Forgetting your shoes or helmet can be a ride killer.  Double check for essentials before leaving home in your car: shoes, helmet, water bottles, sunglasses.  Pump your tires up to pressure the night before and doublecheck them before bed.  It's way more fun to fix a flat at night at home than in the morning at the start line. 

Time equals distance.  Using a bike computer is a great way to is get the feel of how long it takes to ride certain distances.  If the idea of riding 33 (or 100!) miles is overwhelming, consider the time instead.  You'll be pleasantly surprised to see how a little math can help you calculate your finish time.  Don't forget to factor in rest stops.  They may feel short, but six ten minute stops adds up to a whole hour.

Train!  There are a ton of great training guides you can follow.  Riding your goal distance spread out over a week for several weeks in a row will help your performance on ride day.   Resting is as important as training, especially in the three or four days before the event.   See if you can add an hour of sleep for a few nights.  Eat and drink healthfully. 

The day of the ride: eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty.  A general rule of thumb is 100 calories and a full water bottle per hour, but every body is different.  Use your training rides to determine the types and amounts of fuel you need to feel good.  Consume the same electrolyte drink and food you've been training with.   Inside info: Western Bikeworks will be providing Louis Garneau's LG1 electrolyte replacement powder.

And remember, all of this will pay off.  You'll have fun.  You'll accomplish a physical feat.  You'll make friends.  You'll experience beautiful vistas.  You'll enjoy a celebratory feast.  But, most important, you'll be making a difference by raising money to fight Multiple Sclerosis.  Charity rides like this spread good health to participants and recipients alike.  Thanks for riding!


  1. Hello Kitty;
    429 miles of Loop Tour later I have my summer legs too, I even broke a chain doing hill intervals on Tuesday. Are you doing STP in some unique manner?

    The Kid

    1. Hi, I tried to e-mail you but your e-mail address changed. Send me your new one? bicyclekitty@gmail.
      Yes, I am doing STP in a unique way (for me) - loaded. No, not drunk, but carrying camp gear.