SKLZ team member Tim Norris is participating in the Challenged Athletes Foundation's annual fundraiser the Million Dollar Challenge, a 620-mile bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego. We check in with Tim who is now 5 weeks into his training.
Why have you decided to participate in the Million Dollar Challenge? What is your motivation?
Tim: I've had a bit of self-reflection. I want to do something bigger with my life. It's like hitting reset and getting things going again. I want to get active, get up off my tail. I want to be more healthy, athletic, energetic. I'm going to be a grandfather soon and I want to be an example-- to myself, my family, kids, friends, coworkers. It's extreme, but I know I can do it. It will be life changing.
Have you ever cycled before training for the Million Dollar Challenge?
Tim: I've never ridden like this before. About 6-7 years ago, I had a mountain bike and I used to bike to work, hit the trails. It was great exercise. But I got rid of the bike and took a break.
What are three things you've learned about cycling you didn't know before?
Tim: 1. You've gotta shave your legs! It's an etiquette thing. I was told to do it and I did it.
2. There's a lot of technique [in cycling], lots of learning involved.
3. Biking shorts are very unfriendly at times.
What has been your best training ride to date?
Tim: My third weekend ride was the best so far. It was 59 miles from Del Mar to Oceanside, east to San Louis Rey and back around. It's the longest I've ridden so far and I felt good afterward. I can really get up for the weekend group rides because I'm competitive.
What will be your longest training ride before the MDC?
Tim: We'll be doing back to back Century Rides (1 Century Ride is 100 miles) at the end of September covering some major elevation. During the MDC there are big hill climbs through Big Sur on days 3 and 4. We'll be prepping for that.
Do you have any tricks for staying motivated?
Tim: I just keep reminding myself I've got to be ready. I'm not there yet and I've got to be ready.
How has your training effected your well-being?
Tim: Very positively. I have a clearer mind and I've lost weight.
If you could give yourself a pep talk during the most difficult part of your 620 mile ride in October, what would you say?
Tim: Considering who and why I'm riding, for the Challenged Athletes, I'd say, look at these guys, we're doing it for them. I also have some military training in my past which taught me to keep going. Focus on the short term and just keep trucking.
What three words describe your experience so far?
Tim: fun, motivating, exciting