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

Bicycling Essentials — Introduction

Yesterday evening, Anna and I rode at Memorial Park for about an hour, testing out our new bikes.  I’ll post the video later today or tomorrow so y’all can see our initial nervousness about getting out of our confort zone to ride the new MS 150 bicycles.

This is a first of a series of blogs entitled “Bicycling Essentials”, which will share tips, advice, and stories on the bicycling sport to amateur and aspiring bicyclists.  For intermediate or advanced cyclists, this will not be rocket science.

While I am fairly new to cycling as a sport, I think it’s important to share the “what you REALLY need to succeed” products.  I remember buying my first bike, the sales person suggested all of these bells and whistles in addition to the investment in the bicycle itself.  As any good consumer tries to do, I went in with the explicit intention to only buy the bike and nothing else.  As an intermediate or advanced cyclist might tell you, this really isn’t the mindset needed for a purchasing a bicycle.  After a few days, one of two things happens: 1) those customers usually burn out on cycling because they don’t have the accessories required to truly enjoy cycling, and their bikes sit in the garage for years to come; or 2) the customers have a bad cycling experience with the bike and come back to buy any and every accessory possible.  I was customer #2.

So, in the coming weeks, I’ll examine the necessities and accessories Anna and I are using in training for the MS 150, giving honest appraisals of usefulness, as well as skill level required to see benefit in any of the products we use.

I think it is extremely important for all Sun and Ski customers to be as educated as possible about the sport of cycling.  Fairly green in the sport myself, I think it will be a fun adventure that we can all embark upon, learning and sharing experiences at the same time.

Please save the dates of January 23-24th to attend Bike U at Sun & Ski, which is a catalog of free topical courses covering everything from beginner safety rules to advanced topics.  But more on Bike U on a later blog….