Each of the 13,000 BP MS-150 riders has a story (via TexBiker.net)

Gomez is shown here with her four-year-old daughter, Trinity
Gomez is shown here with her four-year-old daughter, Trinity

Originally posted by Rick Ankrum at www.texbiker.net.

Carolyn Gomez is riding the 180 miles from Houston to Austin – for the first time – this year. Though never a cyclist, she was inspired to do this challenging ride by her mother Irene Valdez, who courageously has faced her life with MS for the past 14 years. Her mother now uses a wheelchair for her personal mobility.

Carolyn, a member of Team Sun & Ski, wrote an essay, “To my mother from her daughter,” that was selected by the MS Society, Lone Star Chapter, for its 25th anniversary MS-150 “Art Bike” project. She was one of 25 essayists selected to have a bicycle decorated in this program.

I had the opportunity to interview Carolyn by email.

Texbiker: What motivated you to choose this year’s ride?

Carolyn: My mother, who suffers from MS

Texbiker: Please describe your bicycle. (Brand, model, components, etc.)

Carolyn: Diamondback Divine

Texbiker: Do you have any favorite bike stuff?

Carolyn: My favorite bike stuff is my biking shorts. lol

Texbiker: What do you think the ride will be like?

Carolyn: Challenging. But with me keeping my family and my mom on my mind, that should be enough motivation I would need.

Texbiker: Have you visited any of the route?

Carolyn: Personally, No I have not visited the route yet, but I have been doing online research on the location of the ride

Texbiker: Other than the bike trails what training rides have you done?

Carolyn: I have been riding with my co-workers, who will also be riding in the BP MS-150 at the San Jacinto battle grounds. I also rode the Tour De Houston (sponsored by Sun & Ski Sports) which was really fun.

Texbiker: How many miles have you ridden in preparation?

Carolyn: When I ride with my co-workers we have been riding at least 20 miles on Sundays, or when I ride the hike and bike trail I ride at least 10 miles a day. I wish I could ride longer, but with a 4-year-old daughter waiting for me at the sitter’s, I have to cut my ride short (I need to pick up my daughter at least by 6:30 p.m.)

Texbiker: How will you spend Saturday night?

Carolyn: Call my family to let them know I made it okay to La Grange, thank God for blessing with a safe ride and pray for day 2 to be another safe ride for me and others who are riding. Then after that maybe getting a massage provided by Team Sun & Ski and relax and sleep in the Team Sun & Ski tent.

Texbiker: Do you think day 2 will be different from day 1?

Carolyn: Most definitely day two will be totally different from day one. I am pretty sure it would be a little bit more challenging physically and mentally, but again with my mom on my mind and me knowing that my family is waiting for me at the finish line, it would be all worth it.

Texbiker: When you finish what will you do first?

Carolyn: Whether I am walking, crawling, or riding across the finish line, I will find my family and have a moment to cry. I will cry because not only have I achieved another major milestone in my lifetime (the other two are getting married and giving birth to my daughter), but I will cry knowing that I helped my mother and others get to the next step on having a cure for MS. Then I will call my mother at home to let her know that we did it.

Thank you, Carolyn. Best wishes for a safe and successful ride.

The iStik “How Many Ways Can You Stik?” Contest

We all know about the armbands available to hold your iPod Nano while you’re working out. But what if you aren’t running or walking? Sometimes you just need more mobility when you are working out with your music, which is why iStik now offers the Magnetic 3rd Generation iPod Nano Case. Eight high-tech, Neodymium magnets keep your iPod secure, but you still have easy access to change your music in case your mood changes. It won’t get sweaty like an armband will and it will give you much better mobility in your upper body.

Watch the video and leave a comment of what activity you’d use an iStik for and where you’d put it on your clothing. One winner will be drawn from a hat to win (surprise) a free iStik Magnetic iPod Nano Case! All comments are due by 4:30 CST on 10/31/08.

No worries, if you don’t have a Nano, you can win a free Sun & Ski t-shirt just by logging into Twitter and sending out a Tweet that @sunandski is having a contest. Then link to this blog post.

We are getting some great gear in for the winter, so be sure to check out our sales and all the 2009 gear while you are at it ;).

Join NuRide, The Online Ridesharing Community & Earn Reward Points

I am pleased to let you all know that Sun & Ski Sports has recently partnered with NuRide (www.nuride.com), an online ridesharing community that rewards its members with points for sharing rides, biking to work and even telecommuting! Earned points can then be redeemed for great rewards like restaurants gift cards, tickets for shows and attractions and retailer discount; including a special offer from Sun & Ski Sports-what a concept!

Sun & Ski Sports is really pleased to be a part of a program that will provide a real community benefit! By offering special rewards to NuRide members, our sponsorship will result in 100,000 less miles driven and prevent 41 tons of emissions; while also conserving 4,200 gallons of gasoline!

And right now, our friends in Houston can also participate in NuRide’s 10,000,000 Mile Houston-Galveston Area Rideshare Challenge, the largest ridesharing event in the nation, involving thousands of area commuters who will help prevent more than 4,000 tons of automobile emissions and conserve over 300,000 gallons of gasoline! To add to the excitement, every shared ride automatically enters you for chances to win some terrific Milestone prizes. The Challenge is just about half way completed and Sun & Ski Sports is proud to be the 5,000,000 Mile Milestone sponsor in the Challenge and will provide the lucky winner with two Marin Stinsons plus helmets, accessories and more! You can check it all out and learn more about all of NuRide’s special events by going to: www.nuride.com/events.

So, we encourage you to check out NuRide. It’s fun and completely flexible and requires no ongoing commitments-this ain’t your daddy’s carpool and it’s definitely the rewarding way to go!

Sun and Ski Sports is Donating 5% of Bike Sale Revenue in Memory of Dr. David Boyd

It isn’t too often you meet a person who offers as much to their community as Dr. David Boyd.  Dr. Boyd was a radiologist in the Houston area who recently passed away in a climbling accident in Colorado.  He was a great athlete and gave much of his time and energy to the biking community.  In addition to being the captain of the M.O.A.T. racing team, he frequently gave money to cyclists to go to college as well as cycling causes in Texas.

At the request of Dr. Boyd’s family, Sun and Ski is offering 5% of our Bike Blowout Sales to the David Boyd Memorial Fund for the BikeTexas Kids Kup. We ask that all of our customers consider making a donation in honor of Dr. Boyd as well.

Need a Vacation? Check Out Amazing Hiking in Northern California.

Northern California has some incredible places to go hiking. The weather is always temperate and the scenery is incredible. I hopped in Twitter, a microblogging service, and asked some outdoors lovers what their favorite places to hike were in Northern California. Here are a few of the great responses I got:

1.) Paul Chaney recommends the Muir Woods

The Muir Woods are situated just north of San Francisco. Unlike Redwood National Forest, the Muir Woods are just minutes from San Francisco proper. Take a picture inside a redwood tree, check out the diverse wildlife, and hike to the top to experience the amazing 360 views.

For more info: check out The Muir Woods website.

2.) David Humphries recommends the Tennessee Valley Trail

Located in the southern part of Marin county, the Tennessee Valley Trail is 20 minutes outside San Francisco. It is known for its diverse wildlife and diverse number of trails that make it a great destination for hikers, bikers and equestrians. The Tennessee Valley Trails are so diverse, they are good for the whole family. If you are camping, be sure to get a permit first. Check out this site and call the Marin Headlands Visitor Center at (415) 331-1540 before planning your trip.

3.) Joe Doyle recommends Mount Tamalpais State Park

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, more than 50 miles of trail are within Mount Tamalpais State Park and connect to a larger, 200-mile-long trail system. Bicyclists are challenged by the twisting road to the top of the park’s summit. Be sure to bring your picnic basket if you are hiking as there is a picnic area in the park.

What’s so cool about Mount Tamalpais State Park? If you are sick of the office and you don’t have the day off to hike, grab your laptop and enjoy their AT&T wifi available by the Ranger Station.

So what are you waiting for? Sun and Ski has a great selection of hiking boots, tents, backpacks and more.