I have officially signed up for the BP MS150 for Apr. 21-22, 2012! This will be the first time I'm attending this ride being that I'm a new rider and all. I will be pedaling my butt off from Houston to Austin to help support the cure for those who have Multiple Sclerosis. So far I've been keeping a consistent training schedule 3x/week 20mi. There's no turning back now!
Any tips from fellow riders? Next week I will kick my ride up to 30mi. and practice my sprints!
And also, here's my personal page if anyone would like to help out and make a donation. Thank you for your support!
1-2x/month, practice riding really slow. You need the maneuvering skills in those crowds.
1-2x/month, practice riding five miles at about 3mph under your normal speed. You need to know how to pace yourself out the gate or you'll be spent by lunch.
It's not a race, and you won't have room to race unless you are uber-fast.
For Saturday, figure out what pace you can hold for a LONG day and then figure out which start line will get you in by 5PM (so if your day drags to 6PM you'll finish "in time"). Figure 15 minutes at the first rest stop, 12 at the second, and 10 at each additional one, plus 45 minutes for lunch. Tully Stadium is 99.8 miles to the overnight, Rhodes is about 84, and I think Waller is about 65. (I.e. for Tully, you'd need to hold a ~12.5mph average on an uphill course and you will be DRAGGING by the end).
Sunday will be easier by a bit, but the long hill into Bastrop will shred you, and the rollers into Austin will test you and your bike handling skills.
Sprinting only comes into play if it's the right interval work to improve your cardiovascular fitness, and/or to make a quick pass if there's a rider making you nervous and you'd feel better in front of them.
Find a gym that can do metabolic assessments, and learn what your heart rate zones are. Go to some spin classes and get a mix of classes there, so you can build fitness in various ways, but more importantly learn how to stay out of zone 4 (and 5), saving that for those few times when you need it. When riding outdoors, try to rotate through a hill ride, a distance ride, and a speed ride, so you can mix up your development.
I've ridden BP twice, and hope to ride it again soon. I've just finished my sixth San Antonio MS150, including the century option yesterday. I hoped to finish by 5PM yesterday, but we were out there until 5:55 (the century leg is tougher than all the rest of the event). Today we limped in the last 14 of 57 miles with a broken wheel - not fun.