A few weeks after Bike MS 150 I’ve now had some time to reflect on many things. First and foremost, it’s an amazingly well put together charity event to raise money for Multiple Scolerosis – hundreds of riders gather and raise a significant fundraising sum for the chance to ride 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles, either for a single day, or on consecutive days. Barby Wulff and the VU Loan Riders are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. The VU team raised over $65,000 for MS research this year alone! Next year, we hope to add a few more of you to the group of 120+ riders!
This was my second year, and I was again part of the Veteran’s United team, as were a couple other Fringies. Major congratulations to Kim MacDonald and Jeff Bailey for riding in their 6th and 7th consecutive years, just wow! And to Mike Patzius and our long lost Mayor Kyle Juvers for being a part of their first BikeMS!
While this is mainly a reflection about the charity event and community, it’s also a CrossFit post – when you’re riding 100 miles on a bike over the course of about 7 hours – and you choose to ride mostly alone – you have a lot of time to think! A LOT of time.
What did I learn from my MS 150 experience this year?
- Prepare, visualize and plan ahead of time. Spending hours and hours on the bike takes a toll on you both mentally and physically. Don’t be like me and pick up biking for the first time in a year at the event. Ease yourself into it. Just like when you first took an Elements class and had to work your way into coming to class three times a week, a new or revisited sport requires the same preparation and attention to detail.
- Ask those that are experts and have done it before how to be the most successful. Bike setup, gear, changing a tube, helmets, etc., these are all unique to the sport and just like you have a coach for CrossFit, you need a guide for starting something new or unfamiliar. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re new to something and need help!
- Connect with people, make friends and enjoy what you’re doing. Just because something is physically demanding doesn’t mean it has to make you miserable. Yes at points you’re going to want to give up, but smile to yourself and realize that even stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new is a huge step. Remember the first time you walked through the front door of Fringe? How scary was that?
Did I win anything?
I would argue that even though it’s no race, I still won and won big. This year I was able to complete a Century in a day, that’s 100 miles all in one go, and I even got a cool patch for it! Last year I was barely able to complete 75 miles that first day. And it hurt, immensely. Know what I changed last year to this year? It wasn’t more training rides! In fact, I actually rode my bike less this year than last with our Fringe move taking up so much time.
The only thing I did differently was listen to the advice of other bikers – pay attention to cycle cadence, understand how gearing works, make sure my bike was properly setup – and of course continue to do CrossFit! There were riders older, younger, larger and smaller than me on the course, and many were passing me constantly. They were true cyclists. That is their sport. In spite of all that, I was able to keep pace and be successful, and that it because of this crazy awesome thing we do called CrossFit!
The moral of the story is this – take all you do in the gym – all those AMRAPs, all those 1RMs, all the gymnastics, all the weightlifting – and put it use. Go play. Go do new things. Try something that you never thought you’d be able to do and surprise yourself. All the fitness in the world doesn’t mean anything if you never test it out and use it!