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Thread: Ms 150

  1. #1
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Ms 150

    Anyone else registering and doing it in 2014?
    The company my wife works for has a team/group so we're going to sign up and ride with them or however that works.

    It'll be the first time for us. First time we've ever done something like this. We don't even own road bikes yet, but will have some soon.

    Either way I'm both terrified and excited.

    Any tips?

    Who else is going?
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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    we registered tonight.

    woohoo
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    Hello, a coworker and I are talking about doing this also. Neither of us have ridden anything like this and are seriously on the fence about it. I think it would be fun but terrifying at the same time.... Will keep you posted.

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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Same for us. But, we took the plunge!
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    I signed up when they opened registration. I've never done it, either, but I watched people doing it earlier this year when I was first starting to ride a bike and knew I had to do it. I don't have a team or anything. That's a little intimidating. I have a road bike, but it's not in very good shape right now. I can't operate the front shifter very well. Hopefully I can figure out how to make that better soon.

    My longest ride so far is 59 miles on a hybrid. That took 4.5 hours, and I felt pretty chipper at the end of it. I think the riding part of this won't be too hard for me.

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    I rode in the MS150 for the first time this year. I'm fairly new to cycling having only started last summer ('12), but I signed up for the MS150 after a few friends talked me into it. One of them signed up with me, and we rode together on the Saint Arnold team (400+ person team, second largest behind BP).

    As you can see from the MS150 website, the ride takes place over 2 days. The first day has 3 different starting points and all end up in La Grange at teh overnight stop. The second day has two routes to choose ("Challenge" and "Express" routes) that both converge at the lunch stop and take the same path into Austin. Your total distance can range from 135-175 miles. I chose the Katy starting point (Day 1 = 85 miles) and the Express Day (Day 2 = 65 miles). That sounds like a lot if you've never done it, but it's not that hard if you prepare properly. There are rest stops every 8-10 miles. I think the longest distance between rest stops is about 14 or 15 miles.

    Most people riding are with a team. Most are corporate teams for employees and family/friends, but several allow any to join. Joining a team usually requires an addition fee (about $150 for most) and includes a team jersey, overnight tent (big corporate hospitality tents), luggage service, dinner and breakfast in La Grange, team meetings, and a few other perks. Saint Arnold had meetings every few weeks at the brewery; 2 hour meeting with 2 minutes of announcements and 118 minutes of open taps. I know I drank more than my entry fee in beer at those meetings. There are quite a few people that ride without a team, but if this is your first time I highly recommend joining one. Saint Arnold is open right now (password is Santo), but I know Karbach Brewery also has a team as well that's open if interested.

    A few pointers/tips that might help you before and during the ride:

    - Make sure you train for the ride, but focus more on pacing yourself and learning your limits instead of pushing yourself as hard as you can.
    - Find a comfortable speed/cadence/effort level that whenever you ride you always feel like you can do another 8-10 miles (ie. make it to the next rest stop).
    - Be content with the fact that a ton of people will be passing you. Don't try to keep up; maintain your planned pace regardless of what others are doing around you.
    - Get some practice riding the hills, and learn how to use your gears to get up and down the hills. The first 1/3 of Day 1 is dead flat, but the rest of the ride is pretty hilly. Nothing you can't do, but if don't tackle them properly you'll be miserable.
    - Make sure you can do about 60-70% of the max daily mileage you plan to do on the ride. If you can do that, you are more than ready.
    - Get your bike inspected. Any of the approved MS150 bike shops will inspect your bike for free up until a week or so before the ride.
    - Get fit for your bike. Tiny adjustments make a huge difference on long rides.
    - Drink and eat the entire time. And test the food prior. I learned the hard way that the free chewy energy blocks I got at one of the rest stops don't mix well with my stomach.

    Hopefully that helps out.
    Last edited by msd3075; 10-30-13 at 08:32 PM.

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    Thanks for the advice, msd3075. I just tried to join the Saint Arnold's team, but the BP MS 150 site isn't letting me do that, since I'm already registered. Hopefully I can resolve this.

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    First of all, thanks for signing up to ride and fundraise! I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 after having already ridden 2 MS150s. So on behalf of all the Texans living with MS, thanks for signing up to help us! MSD gave a really good short summary above, it is all good advice.

    My first advice would be to find out if your wife's company's team is part of the "Ready to Roll" training series. It was originally started by the Conoco Phillips bike team, and has expanded over the years to include a couple dozen teams and over 1000 riders each year. The fee for the training series is usually about $100 per rider, and it starts in early January with 2 rides designed to teach new riders how to ride safely in groups and give them a soft entry into the kinds of group rides that make up the rest of the series. After the two beginner rides, the series will have around 12 rides over the next 12 weeks scattered all over the area west of Houston. The rides take place on Saturday mornings and are very well supported. The entry fee pays for police support at intersections, food for break points, etc. Each team provides volunteers to staff 2-3 of the rides with SAG vans and break point personnel. The rides start with shorter flatter rides in the Katy/Fulshear/Monaville area and then over the weeks, they will get progressively longer and more hilly. The idea is to get you used to riding in groups, slowly build up your mileage, and slowly work your way into riding more hilly terrain. There is a very heavy emphasis on safety, and it really is the perfect way for a beginner to learn how to ride in groups and prepare for the MS150. For non-beginners, it is 10-12 group rides for the equivalent of about $10 each. Attendance at the Ready to Roll rides is highly dependent on the weather, but there will generally be anywhere from 600-1100 riders at each ride. So it really is the perfect preparation and many of the rides you train on will actually end up being part of the MS150 route between Houston and Fayetteville.

    Even if you don't plan to join the Ready to Roll series, my advice would be to plan to start in late January or early February doing rides in the 20-30 mile range at least once per week, and then ramp up by about 10% per week. Starting at 20 miles and doing 10% more each week for 12 weeks will get you to a 60 mile ride before the MS150. My other advice would be to either ride or spin during the week. I found that shorter more intense interval type workouts like spinning helped make me faster (and more able to recover when climbing hills) in a way that I just didn't get from doing only long steady rides. There are several bike shops on the west side that also do group rides, including some no-drop rides that would be good for first time roadies. Also, if you join a team, many will have their own training rides outside of the ready to roll series, so those will give you a chance to go out with more experienced riders and learn from them.

    The one thing I have found about the MS150, is that the people involved are just really nice and nearly everybody is willing to help or answer any questions you might have. Sure, there are always a few jerks on the road who think it is a race, but the vast majority of the folks are just really friendly and are out there to have a great time while raising funds for a great cause. All along the route you will have people in groups from 2 to a few dozen just sitting by the side of the road with signs, cowbells, and other noisemakers cheering the riders on. The scene in Fayetteville is always just crazy. It is like the whole town shows up to throw an 8 hour party while the riders go through. There is music, people dancing, bubble machines, deafening cowbells, and just an amazing and positive party atmosphere. I am always tempted to loop back around the town square and ride through town again just for the chance to experience it again. The finish line in Austin is even better. Literally hundreds, if not a thousand or more people clapping, screaming, and cheering as you finish in the shadow of the State Capitol. As somebody with MS, I always struggle to hold back tears as I cross the line, knowing that all of those riders, volunteers, and fans are out there giving up time, effort, and money to be a part of something so special to help folks like me. It is always an amazing experience, and once you do it once, you will look forward to it every year.

    Feel free to ask more questions if you have them, and again, thanks for riding!
    Last edited by txags92; 10-31-13 at 03:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memebag View Post
    Thanks for the advice, msd3075. I just tried to join the Saint Arnold's team, but the BP MS 150 site isn't letting me do that, since I'm already registered. Hopefully I can resolve this.
    Contact the MS Society directly and they should be able to move you onto the team.

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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Awesome dude! A good friend of mine from college also has MS. Can't wait to tell her we are doing this.

    As far as I know the team is part of the training program. The team leader sent out an email that mentioned joining a 12 week program of training rides starting in January. We will definitely be doing that. Definitely looking forward to the revelry of biking through the towns and to the finish line. I'm definitely going to buy a new pocket/point-n-shoot digital camera. the one i have currently is about 10 years old and doesn't work right anymore. and I'm not going to bring my big dSLR.

    One question I came up with - do riders usually put on a rack and a pannier or trunk bag for stuff while out riding? like food/drinks/other supplies like tools and spares and stuff? Or is it more like keep a spare tube in your saddle bag, get refreshments at the break areas, and just pedal!

    The thing I'm most worried about is the weather being nice. I can hack a long ride with some training. I just don't want to be absolutely miserable doing it!

    I haven't read the BF rules in a while, but I'm assuming we can't post here asking for donations toward the fundraising, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by memebag View Post
    Thanks for the advice, msd3075. I just tried to join the Saint Arnold's team, but the BP MS 150 site isn't letting me do that, since I'm already registered. Hopefully I can resolve this.
    Quote Originally Posted by txags92 View Post
    Contact the MS Society directly and they should be able to move you onto the team.

    Also, contact Lennie Ambrose (lennie@saintarnold.com) if you have any questions. He's the team leader.

    You need to sign up through Saint Arnold in addition to signing up through the MS Society. You'll pay your team fee ($120) through Saint Arnold. You can find all the team info and the team registration here http://www.saintarnold.com/news/index.html#ms150.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    One question I came up with - do riders usually put on a rack and a pannier or trunk bag for stuff while out riding? like food/drinks/other supplies like tools and spares and stuff? Or is it more like keep a spare tube in your saddle bag, get refreshments at the break areas, and just pedal!
    Most people put everything in a seat bag or in their jersey pockets. Very few people travel with panniers or other baggage. There are support vehicles all over the place, so don't think you need to bring everything as if you were out touring. You still want to bring the essentials (tube, pump/CO2, multi-tool).

    If you are worried about storage space, do what I did last year. I wore a CamelBak, and then I put tennis ball containers in my bottle cages and used those to pack my sunscreen, jacket, and some food. I got some strange looks by a few people, but it helped out a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txags92 View Post
    Contact the MS Society directly and they should be able to move you onto the team.
    They got me hooked up. I'm on the Saint Arnold's team now! I think I'll have an Oktoberfest to celebrate.

    SciGuy: The web site says you can bring 2 pieces of luggage and they will truck it to LaGrange the first day, Austin the 2nd day. Everything else, like food and such, will be available along the route.

    I'm super psyched for this. I know I can do 60 miles, no problem. I want to do a century before the end of the year.

  14. #14
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    My wife's company has their own truck that will bring our luggage to la grange, and even set our tents up. then bring everything back on sunday so all we have to transport back on sunday is ourselves and our bike.

    speaking of - guess we should sign up for the buses, huh. how do they get your bikes back?
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    Quote Originally Posted by memebag View Post
    They got me hooked up. I'm on the Saint Arnold's team now! I think I'll have an Oktoberfest to celebrate.

    Just make sure you also sign up through Saint Arnold in the link I posted above. At every meeting last year Lennie kept having to remind everyone to sign up through the MS Society AND Saint Arnold because a bunch of people hadn't done both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msd3075 View Post
    Just make sure you also sign up through Saint Arnold in the link I posted above. At every meeting last year Lennie kept having to remind everyone to sign up through the MS Society AND Saint Arnold because a bunch of people hadn't done both.
    Thanks. I figured that out, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    My wife's company has their own truck that will bring our luggage to la grange, and even set our tents up. then bring everything back on sunday so all we have to transport back on sunday is ourselves and our bike.
    The tents they set up are huge hospitality tents, not small camping tents. Our entire team was under one tent.The entire fairgrounds is nothing but hundreds of huge white tents. I know on Saint Arnold's Facebook page they have several pictures in the MS150 folder that show the inside of the tents

    People riding on their own will be using normal camping tents (if they pack them with their luggage), but pretty much all the teams, especially corporate teams, will has huge tents.


    speaking of - guess we should sign up for the buses, huh. how do they get your bikes back?
    Inside your packet, you'll get a number tag to put on your bike. In Austin they'll load your bike into a Ryder-type moving truck to be driven back to your starting point, and you'll retrieve your bike with your number. Same thing with your luggage; you'll use your number to get it.

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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msd3075 View Post
    The tents they set up are huge hospitality tents, not small camping tents. Our entire team was under one tent.The entire fairgrounds is nothing but hundreds of huge white tents. I know on Saint Arnold's Facebook page they have several pictures in the MS150 folder that show the inside of the tents

    People riding on their own will be using normal camping tents (if they pack them with their luggage), but pretty much all the teams, especially corporate teams, will has huge tents.




    Inside your packet, you'll get a number tag to put on your bike. In Austin they'll load your bike into a Ryder-type moving truck to be driven back to your starting point, and you'll retrieve your bike with your number. Same thing with your luggage; you'll use your number to get it.
    Cool.
    I figured it would be like that - loading the bikes on a truck. Our corporate team will be taking the luggage back sunday morning from la grange. At least that's what his email said. It also said "your tent will be set up." So, I guess I'll have to ask. It's a small team - not a large company either. Right now I think there are 7 people registered to ride - with my wife and I being 2 of them...so they might not have a giant tent.
    Do I need to bring a lock to lock our bikes up during the overnight? Or at any other times?
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    Do I need to bring a lock to lock our bikes up during the overnight? Or at any other times?

    I never used one, and I don't think I saw anyone else using one either. We just left our bikes outside the tent during the overnight (they weren't allowed inside because of fire code and lack of space), and I don't think anyone had a problem with theft. I did take with me my seat bag, computer, and anything else that could easily be swiped off of it.

    During the ride, there is no need for a lock either. The rest stops will be littered with hundreds of bikes all over the place, and you'll probably waste most of your time at the rest stop looking for something to lock your bike to.

    On a separate note, I would recommend you get an external battery for the overnight stay in La Grange. Your tent won't have any outlets to charge any of your electronics. I bought one at Best Buy for about $80, and I can charge my phone several times off of one external battery charge. My buddy I rode with even rigged his bike up with his so he could play music on his phone for the entire ride.
    Last edited by msd3075; 11-01-13 at 09:43 AM.

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    well my coworker and I finally pulled the trigger and signed up. We both work for Lyondellbasell and joined their team. Hopefully this will be a fun and interesting ride. Look forward to seeing everyone out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dshart08 View Post
    well my coworker and I finally pulled the trigger and signed up. We both work for Lyondellbasell and joined their team. Hopefully this will be a fun and interesting ride. Look forward to seeing everyone out there.

    You will have the absolute time of your life. I've yet to meet anyone that rode in the MS150 for the first time that didn't enjoy it.

    Some of the hardcore cyclists will bad mouth it since it's more of a casual ride and not a competition or as "proper" as they'd like, but for everyone else it is an absolute blast. I've been looking forward to the 2014 ride ever since I got off my bike in Austin this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msd3075 View Post
    You will have the absolute time of your life. I've yet to meet anyone that rode in the MS150 for the first time that didn't enjoy it.

    Some of the hardcore cyclists will bad mouth it since it's more of a casual ride and not a competition or as "proper" as they'd like, but for everyone else it is an absolute blast. I've been looking forward to the 2014 ride ever since I got off my bike in Austin this year.
    good deal, well I am going to get started with training for this soon as I am excited already.

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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    whats your view on clipless pedals for this? i imagine they're good for the riding part, but what about walking around at the rest stops, and saturday night? do you just pack and extra pair of sneakers in your luggage? we don't currently have clipless pedals/shoes, we just have oldschool platform pedals. but with the new bikes coming we were thinking up tying it out
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    whats your view on clipless pedals for this? i imagine they're good for the riding part, but what about walking around at the rest stops, and saturday night? do you just pack and extra pair of sneakers in your luggage? we don't currently have clipless pedals/shoes, we just have oldschool platform pedals. but with the new bikes coming we were thinking up tying it out

    I would highly recommend you get clipless pedals on your road bike. It'll make a huge difference on a long ride like the MS150.

    I wore road cycling shoes that have exposed cleats (SPD-SL). Yes, I had to walk on my heals with my toes up in the air, but you won't be doing any significant walking at the rest stops where it should cause that much of a problem. I had a pair of shoes in my La Grange luggage and put them on as soon as I got in the tent.

    You can get touring-type cycling shoes that have the cleat recessed into the sole of the shoe. While they might not be as light weight as road shoes, they'll make walking a lot easier if you think exposed cleats might cause you any issues.

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    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Someone one BF in another thread recommended these: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M32...cmu_pg__header
    Good idea? Bad idea?

    also how would I find what shoes I can wear with them?
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