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big ride

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The MS150 fundraising bicycle ride is a two-day weekend ride from Houston, TX to Austin, TX. Depending on how they decide to route it, is usually 90-something miles per day. It has become a huge affair, garnering the attention of the local newpapers. Per their website, this year they have about 13,000 riders. Folks, that's alot of bicycles. It's such a big ride that they've upped the $$ to try and limit the participation. It has certainly limited my participation. When I first did it several years back (I've done it a few times), the registration was $25 - now $75 - and the per-rider minimum donation to be raised was $150 - now $400. I don't have that kind of money and I don't feel good about hitting up my friends and relatives for that much donation either.

Those of you attempting the ride for the first time: absolutely train for the ride, and don't attempt it on a department store bike. Go to a bike shop and get a real bike. Training should have started no later than October, but now is not too late. For those who tend to cram, one month of training will get you through as well: ride for 30 miles one day (you'll feel like you're dying), rest two weeks, then ride for 50 miles one day (you'll feel like you're dying again), rest for at least a week before the actual event. Definitely not the training plan of choice, but it's better than nothing. On your rides, eat EVERY hour. Your speed should average no less than 10mph (see, at that speed it's going to require 9 hours to cover 90 miles). The speedy folks will be going at 21-23mph and be through a few hours after lunch. I always drag my butt in at sunset. Good Luck.