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.
What to Wear for Bike MS
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.
GlassesTinted 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.
GlovesPadded 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.
- How to Train
What to Eat & How to Hydrate
How to Fuel Short Rides
Ride Duration: 1 hour or less
Primary Concern: Fluid replenishment
What to Drink: Plain water or a low-carb, electrolyte hydration drink
What to Eat: Most people start with enough stored energy for a 60-minute workout, but carry a banana just in case you’re out longer than expected or you start to fade.
Pro Tip: For optimal recovery, eat a full meal within an hour of finishing an intense workout.
How to Fuel Medium-Length Rides
Ride Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Primary Concern: Carbohydrate replenishment
What to Drink: 2 bottles low-carb, electrolyte hydration drinks, at least
What to Eat: 30 to 60g of carb per hour from food.
Pro Tip: Don’t wait until you’re hungry or thirsty to eat and drink. Take small nibbles and sips from the get-go.
How to Fuel Long Rides
Ride Duration: 3 hours or more
Primary Concern: Carbohydrate and electrolyte replenishment; food boredom or palette fatigue
What to Drink: 2 bottles low-carb, electrolyte hydration drinks, at least
What to Eat: 30 to 60g of carbs per hour, total. Digestion can get harder as rides get longer, so eat more solids at the beginning of the ride, and switch to blocks, chews, and other easily-digested foods during the final part of the ride. Just be sure to drink plenty of fluid to chase down gels, so you don’t get GI upset.
Pro Tip: Supplement bars and gels with carb-rich, low-protein, moderate-fat "real" foods. Don't worry about specific amounts of protein or fat; just eat what tastes good so you keep eating.
Bike Shop Partners
Our bike shop partners are ready to help you maximize the Bike MS experience. They are a great resource on bikes, service, equipment and training advice. Visit one of them to make sure you and your bike are ready for Bike MS!
The Official Bike MS: Colonial Crossroads Bike Stores are major supporters and partners of the National MS Society, supporting our efforts to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and raise funds to support research, programs, services, and advocacy for those living with MS.
The Official Bike MS: Colonial Crossroads Bike Store personnel are cycling enthusiasts with the experience and knowledge to help make your Bike MS experience safe and enjoyable. The Official Bike MS: Colonial Crossroads Bike Stores provide the service, knowledge, and expertise to help you maintain your bike and other cycling equipment. Services may vary from store to store, so be sure to contact the store to inquire about their team support programs.
Multiple Locations – West Broad, Midlothian and Carytown
Agee's Bicycles has served the Richmond community longer than any other bicycle shop, first opening our doors in 1910. The Agee family has set a standard for customer service that has led to Agee's being voted the "Best Bicycle Shop in Richmond" on numerous occasions and named to the national Top 100 Bicycle dealer list many times.
Carytown Bicycle Co.
Multiple Locations – Carytown, Greengate, and Midlothian
Our company was founded in 2007 in the historic Carytown shopping district of Richmond, VA. We build, sell and repair bicycles as well as stock bicycle apparel, accessories and components. We are deeply invested in bicycle culture and community. For this reason we take great pride in offering the best experience with every customer we meet.
Conte’s Bike Shop
Multiple Locations –
Charles R. Conte, Sr. opened the first of the Conte’s family-owned bicycle stores in Newport News, Virginia in 1957. By 2002, the corporate headquarters was moved to Virginia Beach. Thereafter, David Conte acquired all of the ownership interests in the company. In 2014, David Conte and Wayne Souza joined forces to launch the Conte Bicycle Group. Conte's Bike Shop is proud to have been selected as a 10-time winner of the coveted “Top 100 Best Bicycle Retailers” in the country designation awarded by the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
Coqui Cyclery was founded in 2011. Clint Kronenberger and his partner made the decision to refurbish a long-neglected building near Forest Hill Park to help beautify the city and to be close and accessible to the local riders of the James River Park System.
Chesapeake’s Premiere Wahoo Studio & Endurance Training Center. We offer personal training, online coaching, weekly spin sessions, outdoor group bike rides, and yoga for athletes.
Pedal Power RVA
Staples Mill Road, Richmond, VA
At Pedal Power, we firmly believe that bicycles are made to be ridden! Our promise to you is a friendly store environment (no judgement) and knowledgeable staff. We will facilitate your riding enjoyment with proper bike fit strategies and generous demo rides during your search for new or used equipment. Additionally, if an existing bike requires preventive maintenance or component service/upgrades that prevents you from riding, we can provide you with a loaner. We are your local go-to electric bike shop too!
Molly’s Bicycle Shop & Blind Dog Brewery
Molly's is a full service family owned and operated bike shop and brewery servicing the Tri-cities, Richmond, and the surrounding areas of Virginia. We repair and service all human powered bikes. No matter the bike's age or where you purchased the bike, our certified mechanics will ensure that your bike is repaired correctly and safely. We also sell new bikes, accessories, and the gear you need to make your next ride your best ride.
Olde Towne Bicycles
Multiple Locations – Fredericksburg and Woodbridge
Whether you're looking to blaze down the roads, carve the trails, or just cruise around the neighborhood we have what you need! We stock all styles of bikes including adult tricycles and kids’ bikes. We also have apparel, bike components, bike racks, nutrition, and more. On top of that we have a full-service repair shop that can diagnose or fix just about anything. Family Run & Family Owned.
Newport News, VA
Village Bicycles is owned and operated by Walter Gardner. Walt and his staff have been helping folks put wheels to the road since 2009. Anytime you stop in, you’re likely to see Connie out front sharing her equipment expertise and John in the shop giving some TLC to the bikes coming in for repair. Walt started racing bikes in 1974 and fell into a summer job with Conte’s a few short years later. He found his passion for bikes and racing and never looked back.