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...one Saturday in late September every year I'd witness thousands of cyclists ride past the front of my house...

Why I Ride: Brian Hink

The Rider

Brian Hink

Hometown

Ocean City, NJ

Number of years riding with CMBC

4

THE RIDE

What kind of bike do you have? What’s awesome about it?

I have a Fuji Robeaux road bike. My ride isn’t very custom, so, unfortunately, I don’t have any of the tricked out specifics some riders will have, but it’s a great ride.

When riding, what is a must-have item? What do you never leave the house without? Why?

Besides the essentials like a helmet, biking shoes, jersey, and padded shorts, water is absolutely key — especially during these hot summer months. If it’s a lengthy spin, 30+ miles, energy bars are a great way to keep fuel in the tank. A phone is pretty key, for both logging the ride on a GPS tracking but also if something happens while out on the road, nice to be able to call for help if you need it. I also always have a spare inner tube in my saddle bag as well as a patch kit and the tools for changing out the tubes. And something that a lot of people probably don’t think of, but having your ID is probably one of the smartest things you can have on you. I live in Mays Landing so anytime I’m going for a ride, I’m on a road with a six-inch shoulder and cars whizzing by at 60 MPH. I take a spill or someone clips me driving too close to the shoulder? I want to be identifiable as I’m lying unconscious on the side of the road.

What’s on your playlist?

I don’t listen to music when riding. I personally think listening to headphones is a really bad idea as it’ll just make you less aware of your surroundings, and with all of the road noise, it’s almost impossible to hear the speaker on my phone.

THE ROUTE

Which BikeMS: City to Shore route are you riding?

I’ll be doing the 80-mile option. I’ve done the hundred a few times and it isn’t that much extra compared to the 80, but I have an 8am flight to Yakima for hops selection the next day so I’m not trying to kill myself.

What is your favorite route to train on? Why? How long is it?

I do a great route where I head towards Egg Harbor City, loop out past Batsto, and cruise through some of Galloway on my way back to Mays Landing. I’ve done it as a 20-, 40-, and 50-mile loop, and it’s just a really scenic ride. Out by Batsto, there are actual shoulders to ride on, do that’s awesome.

What’s it like to bike 25-180 miles?

It’s really tough mentally. You’re going in knowing that you’re about to spend eight hours on a bike, and to in the beginning it’s really easy to psych yourself out of it, but as you ride on you get past that and just resign to the fact that you’re putting in a full day’s work on a bike. And your ass is pretty sore afterward, that’s for sure.

THE REWARD

Why do you ride for BikeMS?

I grew up in Ocean City, and one Saturday in late September every year I’d witness thousands of cyclists ride past the front of my house (they’ve since changed the route, so we no longer ride past my parent’s house, which is a block away from the finish line). I grew up on a bike — in a shore town you don’t get a ride to your friend’s house or to get to work, you bike there. I got out of biking for a couple of years but got back into it when I was around 25, bought a nice hybrid bike, and started going on long rides with my brother, Andrew. Back in 2011, we were recording his album (my house doubles as a music studio so we do a bunch of recordings for various projects there) and talking about the City to Shore, and how cool it seemed, and signed up right then and there. Trained hard for three months and in September of 2011, we did our first of five straight years before I took last year off. We even joined the Maine chapter of Bike MS and in May of 2012 & 2013 did back to back years of Ride: Bar Harbor – which was absolutely incredible, 30 miles cruising through Acadia National Park was out of this world. They, unfortunately, stopped doing that ride but if they brought it back I’d go back up for it in a heartbeat.

If you could sum up the experience in one word, what would it be?

Exhilarating

What do you think of the CMBC brew, City to Shore?

I love it. It’s evolved slightly over the years but has still stayed true to what it was the first year we brewed it in September of 2013. That beer was actually the first beer I kegged off solo after switching over from the taproom to production the day before the ride.

To donate to Brian, please see here.

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