MS150 FAQs


MS150 Bike Inspections are available in the bike department at all Sun & Ski Sports! Make sure to get your inspection done, NOW!!! The longer you wait, the longer your bike will have to stay there to get inspected!!!



A good bike shop is the best place to get all the information and recommendations you need based on your fitness level and experience. Sun & Ski Sports specializes in outfitting for the MS 150.


Tracking your mileage is the best way to assess your improvement. Odometers are available at all Sun & Ski Sports. You can also pre-measure the course or route by driving it first. This will also help you judge the best plan of action in trying a new route. is a great online service for developing your own routes as well.


Take a week or so and do 15 miles a day. Don’t worry about speed or time, just complete the 15 miles. This will help you get used to your bike and help you gain basic cardiovascular fitness.


After you work up to the 15 miles a day, occasionally attempt an endurance day by doubling your mileage. Try to maintain the same pace throughout, but make sure you don’t over do it.


After about 500 miles of basics, challenge yourself with more advanced riding. After a nice warm up, find a hill that you can climb without totally exhausting yourself. After riding up the fill, recover on the way down and then go up again. As your fitness improves, add more repetitions.

Interval training works the same way. During a moderate day ride, pick a distance (a block, a mile, 2 lightposts) and speed up to a sprint. Start with one per ride and gradually add more, longer sprints each time you ride.


Take advantage of local recommended training rides by visiting or All recommended training rides vary in mileage and locations for difference experience levels on all types of terrains.


Eating and drinking right is just as much a key element of training for and riding in the BP MS 150 as the number of miles a rider spends on a bike. The best way to take charge of your body is to use common sense.

However, always consult your physician before starting any training program. It is important to be well hydrated before, during and after a ride. If you do not drink enough fluids, dehydration will result, causing nausea, muscle cramps, chills, and lack of motivation. Dehydration could lead to heat stroke, a serious medical condition. To prevent dehydration, we recommend you use the following general guidelines: On all rides, you should drink 4 to 8 ounces of water or a carbohydrate drink every 15 to 30 minutes. Drink more if it’s hot, humid, or you’re really riding hard. On rides over two hours in duration, carbohydrate replacement drinks empty more slowly from the stomach, so the total amount you drink should be increased to 5 to 10 ounces every 15 to 30 minutes. These energy drinks will help increase your performance, reduce cramps, and lessen the possibility of heat stroke. In addition, energy bars will help you avoid the famous “BONK” that many cyclists experience on longer rides. You should eat 3 or energy bars on long rides.

It should be noted that over hydration (Hyponatremia) does happen so riders should adhere to the information above as best they can.

Hyponatremia: (over hydration): When more fluid is consumed than can be excreted, over hydration occurs. The blood vessels overfill, and fluid moves from the blood vessels into the spaces around cells, causing swelling (edema).


  • Before the MS150 start eating lots of carbohydrates like pasta, rice, breads, potatoes, and keep your meals balanced. You still need protein, vegetables, dairy, and fruits.
  • Stay well hydrated, but do not over hydrate. Over hydration can be life threatening.
  • You should take Friday off of any exercise. You could do low mileage easy spin ride on Thursday, just to stay loose.
  • Get plenty of sleep Friday night.
  • Eat a well balanced breakfast Saturday morning. Allow yourself time to digest.
  • Drink and eat early into the ride, do not wait and become dehydrated, and, or “bonk” (run out of fuel by not eating).
  • Take gels and bars with you. Fill one bottle with electrolyte replacement (like Gatorade), and the other with water. Stop at rest stops to refill water, electrolyte drink, and eat.



Group riding requires even more attention to predictability than riding alone. Other riders expect you to continue straight ahead at a constant speed unless you indicate differently.


Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with fellow cyclists and with other traffic. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows: left arm straight out to signal a left turn; left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping; and for a right turn, put your right arm straight out or put your left arm out and up.


Warn cyclist behind you well in advance of changes in your direction or speed. To notify the group of a change in path, the lead rider should call out “left turn” or “right turn” in addition to giving a hand signal.


Generally, slower traffic stays right so you should pass other on their left. Say “on your left” to warn the cyclist ahead of you that you are passing. If you need to pass someone on the right, say “on your right” clearly since this is an unusual maneuver.


When riding in a group, most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead, so it is important to announce holes, glass, sand, grates and other hazards. The leader should indicate hazards by pointing down to the left or right and by shouting “hole,” “bump,” etc. where required for safety.


Because those in front cannot see traffic approaching from the rear, it is the responsibility of the riders in back to inform the others by saying “car Back.” Around curves, on narrow roads or when riding double, it is also helpful to warn of traffic approaching from the front with “car up.”


When approaching intersections that require vehicles to yield or stop, the lead rider will say “slowing” or “stopping” to alert those behind to change in speed. When passing through an intersection, some cyclists say “clear” if there is no cross traffic. Note that each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the way is indeed clear.


When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you are impeding faster traffic, leave a gap for cars between every three or four bicycles. That way a motorist can take advantage of shorter passing intervals and eventually move around the entire group.


Whether you are stopping because of mechanical problems or to regroup with your companions, move well off the road so you don’t interfere with traffic. When you start up again, each cyclist should look for, and yield to traffic.


Ride single file or double file as appropriate to the roadway and traffic conditions and where allowed by law. Most state vehicle codes permit narrow vehicles such as bicycles and motorcyclists to ride double file within the lane. Even where riding double is legal, courtesy dictates that you single up when cars are trying to pass you.


  • Go over your MS 150 Cyclist’s Checklist to make sure you are prepared.
  • Make sure to carry your personal I.D., medical conditions, cash, credit card, and cell phone.
  • Think safety on the ride, use a rear view mirror, call out and signal road hazards. Use hand signals and call out turns, stopping, and slowing. Let riders know when you are passing, call out “passing on your left”. Ride single file and as far right to the shoulder of the road. Be courteous to motorists and fellow cyclists.
  • Make sure your bike is ready and inspected. Top your tires off with air before the start. Make sure you have spare tubes, CO2, mini pump, patch kit, tire levers, and folding tool.


  • Make sure to watch the weather forecast for the weekend.
  • Pack rain and cold weather clothing. Mother Nature can dish out some rain and cold in April… the ride still goes on! Those that are prepared will make it to Austin.
  • Be prepared for wet, muddy grounds in La Grange. Please bring appropriate gear, such as extra shoes, socks, tarps for placing under sleeping bags, etc.



If anyone needs to purchase bus transportation on Friday or Sunday for a ride back to Houston, click here. It’s $35.00.


Team Sun & Ski Sports uses the MS Society for Rider Packet Pick-ups because the locations are all over the Houston area and they have many different days and times to go and pick up your packets. Please visit the MS Society website to find the one closest and most convenient for you.

To make the process run more smoothly go ahead and print out a waiver and bring it with you.

Riders under the age of 18 must have a Waiver Form signed by a parent or guardian. The Waiver MUST also be NOTARIZED before attending a Packet Pick-Up. Notary services are not available at any Packet Pick-Up location.



  • Team Sun & Ski will meet at 5:30 am @ Omni Houston Hotel at Westside.
  • Look for the UPS truck with a Sun & Ski banner on it and drop your bags and sleeping gear off.
  • Please limit your luggage to 2 bags; one duffel bag with essentials & another with your sleeping bag and pillow.
  • We will gather as a team at the Sun & Ski Sports staging area in front of the main stage.
  • Ride will begin sharply at 6:45 am. We are the 3rd team in line to leave the stadium and we will have our own private start.


  • We will be in Bellville for lunch at the yellow Sun & Ski tent, located by the bike repair tent at the top of the hill.
  • We will have sandwiches, Gatorade, water, cookies & other goodies.


  • When you arrive you will see Sun & Ski flags and a balloon over our tent.
  • You will claim your luggage in the main Sun & Ski tent and put it in the sleeping tent.
  • There will be a BBQ dinner, music, massages, beer and fun! There will be a party tent and a sleeping tent.
  • If your family/friends would like to volunteer from 2-7 pm (help host Team Sun & Ski tent), email
  • Sunday morning there will be a light breakfast available at the Sun & Ski tent (muffins & bagels) AND COFFEE!!! For those Coffee Drinkers!
  • You will leave your bags in the sleeping tent and UPS will pick them up and take them to Austin for you.
  • Reminder: Check out the packing list to know what to bring.


  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping pad or TWIN sized air mattress & hand pump
  • Compression sack
  • Luggage tag
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight/Head lamp
  • Spare medication & glasses
  • Sandals/shower shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Backpack/duffel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Water bottles / Hydration pack
  • Camp towel
  • Energy bars/snacks
  • Ear plugs / Headphones


Sun & Ski will NOT have a lunch stop at Bastrop. The MS Society will have a lunch tent though, so please make sure to fill up on lunch to fuel your body for the finish.


  • When you arrive you will see the Sun & Ski tent at the finish line. Your luggage will be there waiting for you.
  • We will have LUNCH (hamburgers & hotdogs), snacks, water and beer there for you & we will toast to the wonderful cause that you contributed to!
  • If your family/friends or significant others would like to volunteer starting at 11 am, (help host Team Sun & Ski tent & welcome riders), email
  • There are shower trucks (18-wheelers converted into showers) for you to be able to take a shower in Austin. Make sure you do this before heading back to Houston as your friends and family members may not like you much if you don’t.
  • Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen after your shower, especially if you plan to hang out in Austin for a while. You can get very sunburnt just by standing around.
  • Don’t forget to visit the MS Society Volunteer Tent in Austin to meet a few of the people who you are riding for, pick up your completion certification and your pin. – YOU DID IT, YOU SHOULD GET THE RECOGNITION!


Each rider is allowed 2 pieces of luggage with each weighing under 25 lbs. Use the luggage tags from your Rider Number Packet and attach to each piece. Be sure to include a personal tag as well with name and cell phone.


  • Helmet – REQUIRED
  • Rider Numbers and wristband – REQUIRED (included in your packet from the MS Society)
  • Padded bike shorts and jersey
  • Cold Weather Clothing (it can get cold in April)
  • Cycling gloves and shoes
  • Sunglasses, lip balm and sunscreen
  • Tire patch kit, spare tubes, multi-tool and tire pump
  • Identification (driver’s license)
  • Insurance information (a copy is always good to carry with you)
  • Emergency cash and credit card
  • Water bottles/hydration pack
  • Jacket/rain poncho
  • Camera and film


  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Towel for shower
  • Toiletries, including medications, soap and shampoo
  • Shower Shoes – Crocs work great for a shower/comfortable shoe to wear around the fairgrounds
  • Change of clothes for Saturday evening
  • Plastic cover for bike seat on Saturday night
  • Night Clothes (pjs)
  • Riding clothes for Sunday
  • Change of clothes for bus trip home
  • Comfortable shoes


Reach Above and Beyond, it’s time to pull out all of the stops, try to beat your fundraising goal!!! It’s the whole reason that we ride from Houston to Austin…fundraising to help end the devastating effects of Multiple Sclerosis.

All purchases made in the store with your Sun & Ski Discount Card will not be applied to your MS150 fundraising account until after the ride is complete. We wait until the money is due to the MS Society and write one large check with a breakdown of who gets what amount of money and it will be added to your personal fundraising accounts.

THE PICKLE – First-time MS 150 riders

This blog post is written for those first-time MS 150 riders who are taking on the challenge of riding 180 miles to Austin in April.  A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how hard it is to rest from doing a long ride in one day, and wondering if my body would recover for Day 2 of the MS 150.  As you may know, it’s less mileage on that day, but we gotta pedal through hills!  Ouch!
So this past weekend, I decided to do a back-to-back ride.  I rode in a 55-miler on Saturday with some gentle, rolling hills.  It was alot of fun! The weather was beautiful (after the fog lifted) and you could see all of the pretty wildflowers growing!  I know, I’m a girly girl.
Then on Sunday, Wayne and I rode 70 miles during the Tour de Houston.  It was mostly flat, but at least I got the time on my bike in.
Yes, I am sore.  But I don’t think I am nearly as sore as I thought I would be. I think the part of it all that makes me not hurt so much is the sense of accomplishment.  Never in a million years would I think that over 2 days, I would have ridden 125 miles!  That’s 2 hours by car! What I DO know, though, is that if I can do it, any able-bodied person can do it!
We have several rides coming up, most of them more challenging than this weekend.  But I do want to mention that if there is anyone out there who is new to cycling and wants to try riding in a bicycle rally (they’re ALOT of fun!), the Katy Ram Challenge is coming up on Saturday, April 11th.  It will offer several routes from 12 to over 75 miles in length.  As always, Sun & Ski Sports will be there to provide bike maintenance and last-minute cycling must-haves (gloves, helmets, etc.).  For more information, go to

Rainy Weekends won’t screw up MY training!

For our training regimen, we have been riding one ride a weekend, usually one in the Conoco-Phillips Training Series.  This weekend, I was excited because I had registered for a 45-ish mile ride in Magnolia on Saturday, and a 50-ish mile one in Pearland on Sunday.  I felt it was important to start doing back-to-back ones in order to condition my mind… and rear… for the MS 150 in April.  I was also excited because for the first time, I had actually pre-registered for a ride.  This was going to save me so much time and anxiety, as I didn’t have to arrive particularly early for the rides (I am in the habit of being late all the time, and Anna doesn’t wait for me… she just starts without me!)

Long story short, I didn’t get to ride in the bike rallies this weekend, because it was cold and rainy, not to mention dangerous.  I still consider myself an amateur, and I have alot to learn in regards to bicycle handling in inclement conditions.

But my weekend was not a wash! Instead, I set my bike trainer up in my garage and pedalled like there was no tomorrow.  An hour on Saturday, and about 45 mins on Sunday.  It sure was difficult, as I had no one to pedal with, and I was just staring at some cobwebs in the upper corner of the garage.  I don’t think I will clean them up, because what will I stare at next time it rains??

Wayne’s Wardrobe Malfunctions

When we started the Cycling Slimdown, I had no idea how cumbersome the whole new clothes issue would be. In high school, I was a 36 inch waist until maybe Senior year, when I shot up to a 38. In college, with the cheap pizzas, and even cheaper trash can punch, I went up to a 40, and then slowly ascended to a 42, AKA Big and Tall Territory! So, when we started in January, I wore 42×30 pants. I had dunlap disease, where my belly dun lapped over my jeans. And that was fine for me, I guess. Anna always was frustrated because I never wore my pants at my natural waist line. Well, that was actually one of thousands of things that frustrated her about me, I guess. I can’t remember my suit size, but I know that they were measured so that I HAD to wear them at my natural waist line. When I put them on, I always felt that I looked like Danny DeVito as the Penguin in “Batman Returns”. Either that, or a poorly formed egg. In pre-school, I did play the part of “Humpty Dumpty”, so I guess that was my self-fulfilling prophecy…

As the weeks have gone by, I have slowly started pulling out my 10+ year old pants, and have in the past two weeks been able to wear size 38 pants at my natural waist line. That’s making a huge difference in people’s perception of my weight loss, as I no longer have saggy pants hanging off my rear. But my new problem is this: the length of my old pants are 30 inches, which was fine for wearing my pants below my waist, but I actually need 32 inch inseams, which I have never worn! I hate to buy new 38×32 pants, because I know in a month or 2, I’ll slim down even further…. So in the meantime, I will wear my ill-fitting Dockers to work, and have people whisper about how I am wearing high-waters while they can see my entire lower leg. I think it would be fun to wear those Christmas socks with a blinking Santa Claus on them. Now THAT would be something my co-workers can talk about! Hmm…. I wonder if Sun & Ski carries those?? – Slim Down with Wayne & Anna

Originally posted by Rick Ankrum at

Two Houstonians joining Team Sun & Ski for the MS 150’s 25th anniversary who are workout partners who began training Jan. 6, 2009 as a weight loss challenge and to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis (MS.)

Wayne Dolezal (77077)  and Anna Rocha (77012), who each weighed in Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 270 pounds, are training for the MS150 as a way to both support MS and to start the New Year with healthy, physically fit lifestyles. They will have their March weigh-in today at 4:15 p.m.

Wayne says he personally averages cycling 50 to 70 miles a week, and he and Anna have logged about 1,000 miles together in the two-month training period, including one 90-minute spin class per week (Wednesday evenings at Sun & Ski Sports, 6100 Westheimer) and training rides in Katy every Saturday. Wayne’s blood pressure has radically decreased, along with his resting heart rate, He says he was able to purchase designer jeans in a specialty shop for the first time ever without going to a “Big Boys” wholesaler, “so that’s cool!”

Our heart rate monitors are assisting us in tracking progress toward our attainable heart rate goals, while tracking calories burned at the same time. Last week during spin class at Sun & Ski, Wayne expunged 1,600 calories in one class. To put that into perspective, if he never changed anything about his diet, he could lose 50 pounds a year if he did spinning at that level twice a week… “Spin class is awesome!” Anna’s 44-mile ride in the “Spring Breakaway” (against the wind) burned 3,000 calories.  That was 3.5 hours of pure workout right there!

Their MS 150 cycling coach is Steve Moskowitz,  Conoco Phillips MS 150 Team Captain. Their fitness coach is Mark Leblanc, president of the WELLFIT Group.

Wayne will be riding the MS 150 in honor of a friend’s daughter, Steph, who has MS.  Wayne explained, ”I became aware of the disease from a friend’s daughter, who was diagnosed with MS four years ago at the age of 19.  Steph lives a healthy lifestyle, is a good person, and still she has the random disease of MS.  She began riding in the MS 150 3 years ago, and is a true champion for the cause.  Steph does everything she can with medication, exercise, and diet to fight the effects on a daily basis.  Her resilience is, and will always be, an inspiration to me.  I hope that, with the help of Sun and Ski, I can both lose weight as well as raise money for a great organization to help the tens of thousands of Americans living with MS.”

THE PICKLE- Spring Breakaway Pictures 03/01/09

Hello! I know It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. But I have somethings coming at yah. Here are pictures from our last ride on Sunday.

Wayne & Anna — Month 2 Recap and Results

Wow, it’s been a busy month for Anna and me!  We both plateaued a bit on our weight loss (we still lost plenty, trust me!), and we had craziness going on for the run of the reality show we were in called “The Great Raise Houston”.  If you watched, you would know we didn’t win… we’ll get to the reason why a bit later in this post (hint: It’s Anna’s Fault!)

Everyone knows there is essentially 2 components in any successful weight loss regimen: diet and exercise.  Sun & Ski has us covered for the tools necessary in both of these arenas.  Our primary exercise tool is our Portofino bicycles, as well as the accessories to go along with them.  Second, Mark LeBlanc from the Wellfit Group ( teaches us tips and tricks to live a healthy lifestyle in the realm of food choices.  And I want to reiterate (if it’s the first time I am talking about this, then I guess it’s simply “iterate”) that we are making a LIFESTYLE choice, not a wham, bam, thank you Sam “diet” or quick weight loss exercise program.  Our target has been about 3 pounds per 10 days.  It’s been 56 days, so one would expect a loss of 15-18 pounds each.  Alright, let’s examine the two components once again (I am just doing this because Anna HATES my long blog posts, so I want to make it as long as possible….)

#1) Diet — I have mastered the art of healthy choices.  I simply eat where I want (excluding MOST fast food restaurants), and choose the healthier of options.  When I crave chocolate cake, I eat a small piece.  It doesn’t seem too hard for me.  Anna, on the other hand, really likes food.  It is a struggle for her to overcome her cravings (but she really does seem to manage to overcome them after calling me in the middle of the night trying to rationalize the need for Aunt Rita’s famous cupcakes).  So, in this arena, I win.  I make the healthiest food choices with minimal effort.  And it’s not painfully hard for me to do so.

#2) Excercise — Anna wins this one hands down.  She rides 5-6 times a week, for long hauls at a time.  This past Saturday, we did not have an organized ride, so she decided to forge her own path and ride 60 miles!  I just can’t do that.  I am the world’s laziest person, and quite frankly, I would balloon up like the Goodyear blimp if I didn’t have her yelling at me.  But she does.  As a result, I ride about 3-4 times a week logging about 80 miles in that 7 day period.  Going back to the reason we lost the “Great Raise Houston”, it really is Anna’s fault.  She picked to compete in a racing challenge with me, the world’s laziest person.  I decided that I was too sore to row the kayak at her breakneck speed, so I was rowing while laying down for the majority of the 5 miles down Buffalo Bayou, and we thus lost our chance at the prize money.  I have been apologizing to her for the past 8 months, so why not continue: Anna, I am sorry.  I am lazy. I hope you print this blog out and file it for your records, because I will deny it from this point forward….

It’s interesting because of the two components of weight loss, we are each experts in exactly one area.  We learn from each other how to compensate for our deficiencies, and have thus far been extremely successful at realistically achieving our weight loss goals.  By working together, we are beginning to realize real results and conquer our fat demons head-on.  This has been an interesting and exhilarating period of both of our lives made possible by the folks at Sun & Ski Sports.  With their help, we are achieving our dreams of living a truly active and healthy lifestyle.

Alright, here’s the true numbers after 8 weeks (56 long days) of the Cycling Slimdown…

We both started out at 270 pounds in January….

Anna — 246 pounds, a loss of 24 pounds

Wayne — 245 pounds, a loss of 25 pounds

We recognize we may not achieve our goal weight by the MS 150 in April, but for once in our life we will be on the “chubby” side of “normal”.  Continuing our momentum, we hope to slim down to our target weights in time for me to run around in a Speedo in Galveston on Independence Day.  That is a joke, and I apologize to all for any mental image remaining in your head.