Bike MS® is more than just a ride – it's also the anticipation and preparation for an incredible experience. Training is a journey in itself and is essential to a successful and enjoyable ride.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know from what to wear, what to eat and drink and how to train.
Safety first! No gear is as important as a quality helmet. It’s worth both the time spent finding one that fits you properly and the money spent on a well-made helmet from a reputable manufacturer.
A ventilated, moisture wicking jersey with proper base layer keeps you cool on warm days and warm on cool days. And since most come with rear pockets, you will also have a place to store your phone and other necessities.
Tinted cycling glasses not only protect your eyes from the sun but also help keep rain, wind and bugs from obstructing your view of the road.
Padded cycling gloves protect your hands from road vibrations and soak up sweat allowing you to grip the handlebars securely. Also, since exposed extremities are first to feel a chill on a long ride, cycling gloves can keep you riding more comfortably for longer.
Padded Shorts or Bibs
Whether you prefer bib shorts or a traditional style, padded shorts are a must. Think of it this way; the longer your ride, the happier you’ll be that you have them.
Our official jersey sponsor, Primal, produced this video to show you the benefits of cycling apparel. You can learn more about their custom Bike MS kits here.
Before Your Workout
Make sure you’re well-hydrated and have a carbohydrate-rich snack about 30 or 40 mins before your ride.
How to Fuel Short Rides
Ride Duration: 1 hour or less
Primary Concern: Fluid replenishment and carbohydrate balance
What to Drink: Plain water or a low-carb, electrolyte hydration drink
What to Eat: It’s only possible to absorb about 60g of carbohydrates per hour, so one gel or energy bar is plenty.
Pro Tip: Fueling your workout, even if it’s only an hour long, sets you up for a solid workout and complete recovery.
How to Fuel Medium-Length Rides
Ride Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Primary Concern: Carbohydrate replenishment
What to Drink: 1 bottle/hour of water or light hydration drink
What to Eat: 30 to 60g of carbs per hour from food. Natural sources like dried fruits or dates are best, but energy bars and/or gels work, too.
Pro Tip: Start fueling within the first hour and stay consistent throughout.
How to Fuel Long Rides
Ride Duration: 3 hours or more
Primary Concern: Carbohydrate and electrolyte replenishment
What to Drink: 1 bottle/hour of water or light hydration drink
What to Eat: Generally, you should be taking in 30 to 60g of carbs per hour, in total. Eat more solids at the beginning of the ride, and switch to blocks, gels, or chews for the final part of the ride. If you’re drinking plain water, make sure some of your snacks have a bit of salt. Long rides can be hard on digestion, and everyone is different, so experiment and see what works for you.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a decent breakfast on your long ride days, and start snacking within the first hour.
After Your Workout
What and when you eat after a workout determines not only how much you’ll get out of that workout, but how well you will recover for the next one. Right after your ride, have a small, high-carbohydrate snack. Then, within 2 hours, have a balanced meal with plenty of protein and some carbohydrates.
Remember to always stay hydrated!
Our Bike Shop Partners are here to help you maximize your Bike MS experience. These partners help create a foundation for an extraordinary and safe ride each year – always ready to assist you with gear, training rides, service and much more!
St. Louis Area:
Big Shark Bicycle Company
- Big Shark- Big Bend: 1155 South Big Bend St. Louis, MO, 63117; Phone: 314-862-1188
- Big Shark- Urban Shark at the Foundry: 3765 Foundry Way, Suite 187 St. Louis MO 63108; Phone: 314-881-0322
- Big Shark- West Chesterfield and Chesterfield Power Up Training Center: 17233 Chesterfield Airport Road Chesterfield, MO, 63005; Phone: 636-534-8080
Did you know…? Big Shark has been honored with Bicycle Retailer's Top 100 award and is considered one of the nation's top 100 bicycle dealers. Locally, the St. Louis Riverfront Times readers' poll has voted Big Shark Bicycle Company the best place to buy a bike almost annually. Continue learning about Big Shark on their website!
Trek Bicycle – St. Louis Ballwin
- 13922 Manchester Road, St. Louis MO 63011; Phone: 636-394-2453
Did you know…? Trek started in a small Wisconsin barn in 1976. Now, decades later, their mission to make our world a better place to live and ride continues with force. They only build products they love, provide incredible hospitality to their customers and change the world by getting more people on bikes. To learn more about Trek, visit their website!
- 235 Mid Rivers Mall Drive Saint Peters, MO 63376; Phone: 636-936-2453
Did you know…? Granada is a family-owned business and has been in the Blackwood family since 1978! Originally purchased by Ken Blackwood, every one of the Blackwood children have worked the shop at some point in their lives. In fact, September of 2019, Brad Blackwood bought the shop from his father and will continue growing the cycling community through experience, friendliness, and gratitude. Continue learning about Granada Cyclery on their website!
- 7534 Manchester Road, St. Louis, MO 63143; Phone: 314-78-9566
Did you know…? Maplewood Bicycle has been a part of the St. Louis cycling community since 1973! They wear the name "bike geeks" with pride. They love what they do, and it shows! They sweat every detail. Commuting, racing, riding with their kids, charity events, multisport—you name it they are there with a smile and ready to go again tomorrow! Continue learning about Maplewood Bicycle on their website!
The Cyclery and Fitness Center
- Edwardsville: 2472 Troy Road Edwardsville, IL 62025; Phone: 618-692-0070
- Shiloh: 1225 Thouvenot Lane, Shiloh, IL 62269; Phone: 618-233-0070
Did you know…? Since The Cyclery and Fitness Center's inception, they have been continuously growing equipped with top-qualified staff. This team is hard to beat thanks to their friendliness, wild enthusiasm, outstanding selection, and desire to do a better job than anyone else. No matter when you need them, you can count on The Cyclery to help you! They are available nearly every day of the year with a trained mechanic on site. Continue learning about The Cyclery and Fitness Center on their website!
The Bike Factory
Location: 616 Franklin Avenue, Edwardsville IL 62025; Phone: 618-659-8706
Did you know…? The Bike Factory promotes wellness and happiness through cycling and welcomes the opportunity to share their passion for cycling and the benefits it brings with cyclists of all levels. The Bike Factory is focused on customer service and their goal is to pair you up with the perfect bike and accessories to help you “Enjoy the Ride”! The Bike Factory Experience is truly, unlike any other. To continue learning about how the Bike Factory goes above and beyond for their customers, visit their website!
- 203 N. Providence Road, Suite 103 Columbia, MO 65203; Phone: 572-874-7044
Did you know…? Cyclex Bicycles offers a wide selection of high-quality bicycles, plus a full-service repair shop for whatever comes up and down the road. They host group rides and other events to connect you with other cyclists in the Columbia area too! Whether you're a lifelong biker or just kicking off, they can't wait to welcome you in and get you cruising. Continue learning about Cyclex Bicycles on their website!
Walt's Bike Shop
- 1217 Rogers Street Columbia, MO 65201; Phone: 573-886-9258
Did you know…? Walter Gerard, founder of Walt's Bike Shop, was fascinated with bicycles from a young age. After a European bike tour with his family in 1963, Walt became enamored with the derailleur gearing he saw on the European racing bikes. Years later, he returned to Europe on a second bike tour and spent days learning from experience mechanics in British bike shops. Bringing his knowledge home to the states, a mentor suggested he begin selling imported bicycle parts and selling them in Columbia. After bargaining with his parents, young Walt opened Walt's Bike Shop in a vacant barber shop on Hickman in 1967. Over the years, the shop has expanded and continues to serve the Columbia community by introducing individuals to an outdoor lifestyle. Learn more about Walt's Bike Shop on their website!
More miles mean more progress – see who’s leading the way toward a world free of MS with their training miles for Bike MS.
Bike MS Kick Off Ride
- Breakfast provided (coffee, bananas & bagels)
- SAG & mechanic support
- Hydration station on route (Gatorade & water only – bring your own snacks)
Visit the Bike MS tent post ride to learn more about the Bike MS community and enjoy discounted registration for September’s event!
- Saturday, May 13th from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM
- Granada Cyclery – 235 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Peters MO 63376
- Start with weekly rides of about 20 to 25 miles
- Increase 10% to 20% per week
- Initially, don't be concerned with speed
- Keep terrain mostly flat
- Start increasing speed and gradually add hills
- Include short, one-hour interval workouts and/or other cross-training
- Increase hill training; learn to use gears
- Target minimum moving average speed of 12 to 14 mph
- Longest ride should be 70% to 80% of day one distance (55 to 80 training miles)
- Taper reduce distance the last two weeks
Benefits of Training Rides
- Helps get you in physical condition to complete the ride
- Gradually build up distance and add hills
- Include cross-training activities during the week
- Helps you learn to ride in a group on the roads
- Focus on safety and courtesy
- Opportunity to test nutrition/hydration strategies
- Opportunity to make a lot of new friends
- Carpool to rides
- Enjoy meals at local establishments, support the community
- Opportunity to see Missouri and Illinois like you've never seen them before!