SKLZ CEO and 3rd year participant of the MDC,
John Sarkisian presents Mike with his official jersey
SKLZ Team Member Mike Carlson has begun training for the 620-mile bike ride down the California coast with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This is his first time participating in the Million Dollar Challenge. See what he has to say as he embarks on this journey.
Do you have any prior cycling experience?
I've been riding bikes for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I was really into BMX, thru high school and college it was mountain biking, and since moving to San Diego 5 years ago I was riding a beach cruiser about 4-5 times a week. This road biking is brand new to me.
Why did you decide to participate in this event?
I spent a lot of time talking with Tim Norris about his training and the ride during last year's event and found the whole thing pretty inspiring. I've wanted to pick up cycling for a few years but never made the time to just do it. I figured jumping head first into a 620-mile ride would be a good way to commit myself.
What do you want to get out of the experience, both the experience of training and the experience of the 7-day ride?
I want to finish this challenge with an expanded sense of what my body is physically capable of achieving and also a better sense of what I should be thankful for. I hope to finish this challenge with some good stories and some new friends.
What do you look forward to most?
I'm looking forward to getting into better shape during the training and meeting new people. For the MDC ride, I'm looking forward to the 7-day journey down the California coast, meeting the challenged athletes, hearing their stories, and getting inspired.
What do you look forward to least?
I'm not exactly sure what riding a bike for almost 100 miles a day for six straight days on a skinny hard seat does to your ass but I'm not looking forward to finding out.
What do you think will be the most difficult part of training?
Our group rides start at 7am on Sunday mornings...I've never even seen 7am on a Sunday before. For the next few months, my Saturday nights are now: shave your legs and make pancake batter night - Yayyyyy!