The 2014 Bike MS Coast the Coast ride

Is it May again?

The Bike MS “Coast the Coast” event was nearing again, and this year was very different. Although I had signed up earlier than most previous years, I didn’t really have a team to belong to. Sure, I found a team organized (and comprised of?) a handful of fellow JPMorgan Chase employees, but I’d never met them. In fact, I had communicated with the team captain two months ago, but we never had a chance to meet up. I tried again Friday, the day before the big day, but he was out of the office. Oh well. This year was also a bit different in that I had zero time to prepare. Due to the inclement weekend weather this year, and a busy schedule, I had no opportunities for practice rides. Not a one. At least I did have my bike serviced and a new cyclocomputer installed. That was it.

I also decided on a modest $300 goal and a 50 mile ride. With this hectic schedule between home and work, I didn’t feel this big urge to spend a lot of mental energy to beg and plead for donations. I would ask, but I wouldn’t try to kill myself asking for donations. If people wanted to donate, great. If not, oh well. There are plenty of friends and family who never donate year after year, so it gets a little frustrating at times.

The big day finally arrived, and despite all the rain the night before, it was a beautiful Spring day. I arrived at Monmouth University a little after 8 AM, and the gym was smaller this year, and it seemed to have fewer participants milling around. There were fewer team names on the wall. My old CentraState cycling team had only two members participating! That was probably most shocking of all.

In any case, I ate a quick bagel for breakfast, got my rider number on, and headed to the starting line. I spent most of the ride on my own, occasionally making small talk with people I met along the way. We got started around 9:30 AM, and I arrived back at the University a little after 1:30 PM. So, even with breaks, I finished the entire 50-mile ride in about four hours, which I think was pretty damn good, especially without any practice rides. When you can jump on the bike and ride 50 miles without pain or suffering, that’s a damn good feeling.

Lastly, I grabbed a quick lunch at the gym, then headed home. It was a simple, quiet ride. A little disappointing to have to ride by myself, but eh, what can you do sometimes?


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