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MS150 FAQs

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BIKE INSPECTIONS

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!!!

FITNESS, NUTRITION & TRAINING TIPS

CHECK IN WITH SUN & SKI SPORTS – AN OFFICIAL MS150 BIKE SHOP

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.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR MILEAGE

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.

Mapmyride.com is a great online service for developing your own routes as well.

START WITH SHORT RIDES

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.

SOMETIMES DOUBLE UP YOUR MILEAGE

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.

DO HILLS AND INTERVALS

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.

PARTICIPATE IN RECOMMENDED TRAINING RIDES

Take advantage of local recommended training rides by visiting sunandski.com/ms150 or MS150.org. All recommended training rides vary in mileage and locations for difference experience levels on all types of terrains.

EAT & DRINK & RIDE

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).

NUTRITION/HYDRATION TIPS FOR THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE MS150

  • 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.

RULES OF THE ROAD

BE PREDICTABLE

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 SIGNALS

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.

GIVE WARNINGS

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.

CHANGE POSITIONS CORRECTLY

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.

HAZARDS

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.

WATCH FOR TRAFFIC COMING FROM THE REAR

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.”

WATCH OUT AT INTERSECTIONS

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.

LEAVE A GAP FOR CARS

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.

MOVE OFF THE ROAD WHEN YOU STOP

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 ONE OR TWO ACROSS

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.

OTHER SAFETY TIPS

  • 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.

TIPS ABOUT WEATHER CONDITIONS

  • 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.

MS150 LOGISTICS

TRANSPORTATION BACK TO HOUSTON

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

RIDER PACKET

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 LOGISTICS FOR THE WEEKEND

START

  • 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.

TEAM LUNCH IN BELLVILLE

  • 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.

TEAM PARTY & SLEEPING TENT IN LA GRANGE

  • 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 teamcaptain@sunandski.com
  • 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.

FOR THE SLEEPING TENT IN LA GRANGE

  • 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

BASTROP LUNCH

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.

AUSTIN TEAM FINISH LINE TENT

  • 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 teamcaptain@sunandski.com
  • 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!

PACKING LIST

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.

EN ROUTE

  • 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

IN OVERNIGHT BAG

  • 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

FUNDRAISING

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.



1 Comment on “MS150 FAQs”

  1. #1 Cindy Rhodes
    on Apr 12th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Can my “Coach Pop” meet me on the route at some point? Are there roads that intersect the route that he can stop? He has been on my training rides with me (all of them) getting up early and taking me all over the place with the Steve and the CP team. I am on the Sun and Ski sports team for the MS150. I want my dad to be a part of this special day. Can he volunteer maybe (SAG) and be able to ride on the route?

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