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Old 12-30-02, 10:10 AM   #1
OctoberBlue
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Who here has done the MS150?

This past week, I learned that a good friend of mine has 'probable' MS. She's doing well taking medication and doing specific exercises, but it generally sucks. Since then, I've seriously been tossing around the idea of riding the MS-150 this August (Berea to Sandusky, Ohio and back). It would be cool to help the cause.

Who here at bikeforums has ever ridden the MS150, either all 150 miles or part of it? What was your motivation? In what city did you ride it? How do you train for something like this? Did you ride as a single or part of a team? :confused: I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Of course, if I am able to comfortably do 75 miles a day in August (my goal), it would only make sense that I plan my first century ride for, say, September or October. What's 25 more miles, right?
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Old 12-30-02, 11:33 AM   #2
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2000 Houston to Austin and it was 182 miles that year. Several friends with MS.
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Old 12-30-02, 11:35 AM   #3
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One of my wife's good friends has MS. I did my first MS150 the first weekend in October. My training consisted of my commuting, 100-120 miles per week, plus brisk weekend rides with a group of buddies who have been doing the tour as a group for many years. Unfortunately, I missed 5 weeks of training during the important July-August period due to travel then missed 3 MORE weeks in September due to minor surgery resulting from an otherwise minor crash. I wound up back on the bike with ONE WEEK to go. Keeping up with my group wasn't even a remote possibility, but I did finish. It would have been a lot more comfortable with those 8 weeks of additional training. It was still a great experience. Very well organized with rest stations every 12-15 miles or so. Nice activities and entertainment though our group entertained ourselves by doing our own steaks, drinking beer and telling dirty jokes.

I could not have done another 25 miles either day, but then I missed a lot of training. With the additional training I'm sure I could have. I am looking forward to next year's tour. My "training" objective for the year is to keep up with the 30-somethings. I'm the old guy.
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Old 12-30-02, 12:39 PM   #4
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I rode the MS150 City to Shore ride from Philly to Ocean City, NJ last september. It was great fun. I was invited by a freind to ride with his mums lawfirms team, i think it was Pepper Hamilton. I would greatly suggest rideing a MS150.
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Old 12-30-02, 12:40 PM   #5
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First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about your friend -- best wishes to her and her family. I'm planning to ride the MS-150 here in Texas (Houston to Austin in April) and it will be my first such ride. Check with your LBS and local bike clubs to see if they have information on the ride -- some of them should be hosting training rides starting a few months before the MS-150, some of which ought to be fully supported and organized events. According to their website the MS-150 organizer here in Houston has contracted with a outfit called USA Fit, which is a marathon training program that offers a 12-week program that includes weekly training schedules, seminars on topics such as bike repair and maintenance, cold weather cycling, hydration/nutrition, rules of the road and cycling safety and instruction from cycling coaches -- you might want to check if any of that is offered by your local organizer if any of that sounds of interest to you.

I wish I could give you first-hand advice on the ride, but like you I'm doing this for the first time. Actually, since my ride is in April and yours in August I guess I will be able to give you some pointers, providing I make it! I think if you participate in the training rides and keep your conditioning up you should be fine. Take along a picture of your friend when you ride in case you need a little motivation.
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Old 12-30-02, 12:56 PM   #6
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Done the MS ride 3 X in '95. '96, '98 usually do a century loop on the first day and 75 miles on the second day. Motivation is having friends and co workers with MS. Training i roide a lot of miles prepraing if i rmemeber right the MS ride people send out a trainig packet well in advance when you register with training tips and tips for fund raising. i just followed the plan they sent.

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Old 12-30-02, 08:15 PM   #7
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I've done the MS150 twice now, 1999 and 2002. Here it is 100 the first day and 50 the second. First one was out west of Washington, DC... area called "The Plains"... which is totally misleading because it's hilly as heck. That was my first century ride ever and I did it on a mountain bike (just about died... don't remember much of the last 10 miles). This last year it was a different route (Manassas, VA down to Fredricksburg, VA and back... it also met up with the MS150 ride from Richmond, VA, so there were two different groups meeting for the overnight camp out).

I started doing it with a friend from work, he's been doing them for about 8 or 9 years now. He has a very good friend with MS. I definitely plan on doing it again this year. Ours are in the middle of May.

Training... mostly commuting 2 or 3 times per week (23 mile round trip) plus longer weekend rides. I do at least three or four 60 mile rides before hand and always try to do at least one 80 mile ride. I only do a 40 or 50 mile ride the weekend before. And then do one or two commutes the week before. Then I rest the three days prior to the ride.

I also did a century ride this fall in Oct (Seagull Century) and another one in Sept on my own on the C&O Canal Towpath. If I can find another century to do sometime in March or early April I will probably try it.

Good luck, if you can do 75 miles without any serious problems, you'll be able to do the 100. The hard part is getting up and doing the 50 miles the next morning Be sure to eat alot before and during the rides, plus keep hydrated.

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Old 12-30-02, 08:40 PM   #8
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In terms of ride support, rest stops, and sag patrol, you can't do much better. Good cue sheets, and a well marked course. And lots of riders, so you can always find someone else riding your pace to ride and chat with to pass the miles. At least that was how the one I rode was.
I don't know the setup for your ride, but if you have a friend who has done it before, you might want to pick his/her brain regarding "the other stuff." In my case, the first day we rode down to a college campus, spent the night in a dorm room, and continued on down to the completion point. They put us 2 to a room, and when you registered you could specify a room-mate, if you had a friend who was riding. Also, a bud who's done it before will have the inside track on what to take, the dining situation, etc. etc.
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Old 12-30-02, 11:16 PM   #9
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My cycling addicted sisters and I ride the Pedal to the Point (Berea to Sandusky). We are in our third year as a team and this year we are recruiting outsiders to join our team. PM me if your interested.

Our motivation is a joint effort to both bring us together and help a worthy cause that touches us all closely. Our oldest sibling was diagnosed with MS over 18 years ago. We also have many friends and acquaintances with the disease.

Our area has a significantly high rate of MS.

Research has helped tremendously. So I feel very good about helping to further the efforts, even in my very small way.
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Old 12-31-02, 09:06 AM   #10
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I rode the MS150 in 1997 and loved it. It was the best organized ride I have ever participated in.
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Old 12-31-02, 11:28 AM   #11
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I'm not familiar with the Ohio MS150, but I've done the Houston to Austin MS150 many times. It's a great ride - great cause, good support, good organization (as well as can be expected for 9000+ riders), some good scenery, and some challenging hills for this part of Texas (the state parks).

I don't get to ride as much as I used to. My training usually starts in March (MS150 is in April). I try to build up to a couple 75-80 mile training rides before the MS150.
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Old 12-31-02, 11:37 AM   #12
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I did the City to Shore MS150 this fall and it was a blast. Understand that training for the ride is the easy part. The real work is in the fundraising. It took a good bit of time, both before and after the ride. I sent out preprinted donation cards along with a personalized letter and used email to hit more people. After the ride, I sent out a thank you letter to everyone that donated. All this training and fundraising builds a sense of anticipation that is multiplied when you gather at the starting point for the ride. It is a festival-like atmosphere, with everyone in bright-colored clothes, many in team jerseys. I have never seen so many bikes in one place. The support was superb and the weather was perfect. I heartily recommend participating in an MS ride. In fact, my son, who will be 15 next fall, will be joining me on the 2003 ride. He will be getting in shape this spring, which of course is much easier at his age than it is for us old folks.

Just hope for good weather. Apparently, MS rides can attract some pretty dismal windy, rainy conditions. Unlike club rides, they don't get cancelled or rescheduled.
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Old 12-31-02, 11:58 AM   #13
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I'm curious about something... I've never been on an organized ride and was wondering how they go about transporting the bikes back? I'm assuming they use trucks of course, but how do they pack so many bikes without damage?
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Old 12-31-02, 12:32 PM   #14
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Grendel,

My wife always meets me in Austin and gives me a ride back to Houston - I carry the bike back myself. But the last time I looked at the transport setup, they used semi-trucks. They had some sort of rail/pully system set up where they hung the bikes by one wheel on hooks (I'm assuming they are rubber coated hooks) and pushed them back into the trailer. They had what looked like moving blankets hanging in between each bike. I have not heard any horror stories about the transport - I'm assuming it works ok. But lots of people carry their own bikes back. Personally, I'd be a nervous wreck if I didn't know exactly what was happening to my bike at all times...
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Old 12-31-02, 04:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel
I'm curious about something... I've never been on an organized ride and was wondering how they go about transporting the bikes back? I'm assuming they use trucks of course, but how do they pack so many bikes without damage?
The way they do it here, they have very few bikes to transport. Most do both days. So they put alot more effort into the overnight storage of bikes (bike tent). If I remember correctly, they did have a van that was taking people from the overnight spot back to the start, and the van had a huge rack on the back, similar to what you see on many city buses. I think you can fit like 6 to 10 bikes on them... which is about how many people the van carries.

It definitely helps to have a spouse, friend, etc come pick you up if you are only doing one day.

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Old 12-31-02, 04:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel
I'm curious about something... I've never been on an organized ride and was wondering how they go about transporting the bikes back? I'm assuming they use trucks of course, but how do they pack so many bikes without damage?
I think some of them are round trip. I am pretty sure the website for the Maryland one stated that it was a figure eight course, so you always ended up back at the starting point.
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Old 12-31-02, 06:16 PM   #17
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The Ms150 in NE Ohio aka "Pedal to the point" (cedar point amusement park) is a great ride. I rode in 92-95. There was aprox. 2500 people riding when I was, and I've heard it has grown. The last couple of years we camped at a campground a couple miles from the park and usually had free or discounted tickets to get in to CP. After riding 75+ miles a roller coaster can do wonders for the tired muscles.

If your wondering if you can do it, you can. Rest stops every 10-12 miles fully stocked. My dad even rode with me. (First year he was 45+ and about 50+ pounds over weight, riding a 10 year old department store bike.)

The route is pretty flat, unless they still have the lunch stop in the vermillian (sp?) river valley!! Nothing like a steep 15+% climb right after lunch.

I plan on riding in this/next (2003) year as I will be moving back to the area in January.

Any other Questions?
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Old 12-31-02, 09:38 PM   #18
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A MS 150 ride can be a great experience! I set out to ride one in 2001 as a lark, and then found out that a cousin had just been diagnosed with MS after I decided to ride. Brought it all home for me.

A lot of training manuals say that your endurance is about 2 - 3 times your average ride. Leading up to the ride in 2001, my average ride was about 40 - 50 miles and I did great. 2002 was another story, as my dad had a liver transplant prior to the ride, and my training came to a dead stop. Just saw him a few days ago and he is doing great.

Grendel & cpratt25, I will be riding with Team Halliburton. Come see us either Friday night at the bike fair, or at our tent in La Grange. How about I post an image of our jersey as soon as I get it?
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Old 12-31-02, 10:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel
I'm assuming they use trucks of course, but how do they pack so many bikes without damage?
The one I did was point-to-point, so there were many bikes to transport back. They used lots of packing quilts around the bikes and loaded them in trucks.
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Old 12-31-02, 10:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Da Tinker
Grendel & cpratt25, I will be riding with Team Halliburton. Come see us either Friday night at the bike fair, or at our tent in La Grange. How about I post an image of our jersey as soon as I get it?
I'll be riding either with Team HP or with the Woodlands Cycling Club (just mailed off the application to join WCC). Maybe the BF folks who are planning to make the Houston-Austin 150 can get together pre-ride to talk about other BF members?
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Old 01-01-03, 09:32 PM   #21
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Nothing to do with cycling, but maybe good news for those with MS. There's a new medication that looks promising.... at least better than existing treatments. Bad news is it sounds like it only slows the process better... doesn't cause recovery.

Here's a link to the abstract.
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Old 01-01-03, 10:01 PM   #22
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Over a decade ago rode my first MS 150 out of the Twin Cities. Rode through Stillwater Mn. Got involved upon hearing about a fellow teacher and his diagnosis. Enjoyed the ride quite a bit.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:16 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel
I'm curious about something... I've never been on an organized ride and was wondering how they go about transporting the bikes back? I'm assuming they use trucks of course, but how do they pack so many bikes without damage?
When you get finished in Austin you pick a gray hound bus and there is a corresponding van that they pack your bike on. If the van gets full sometimes you have to wait a little while for your bike to show up once you get back to Houston.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:17 AM   #24
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They used lots of packing quilts around the bikes and loaded them in trucks.
True.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:20 AM   #25
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I'll be riding either with Team HP or with the Woodlands Cycling Club (just mailed off the application to join WCC). Maybe the BF folks who are planning to make the Houston-Austin 150 can get together pre-ride to talk about other BF members?
lots of great rides going on to get ready for the Ms. Gator ride, coming up soon, the bluebonnet on the 23rd of march and several others. be sure to get a couple/three back to backs 50 to 62 milers in before the ride.
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