Why I Ride: Jason Neff
As we get closer to the ride, we’ll be checking in with the brave and intrepid riders on our BikeMS: City to Shore team. This week, we’ll be meeting one of our BikeMS: City to Shore team veterans, Jason Neff.
Tinton Falls, NJ
Number of years with the team
Which route are you doing this year? Which have you done in the past?
Even though I thought I was crazy last year to attempt the 80-mile route in my very first BikeMS experience (with barely any training myself), my team and I were successful! This year, we were motivated enough to not only recruit more teammates but to also raise the stakes and attempt 100 miles!
Why did you choose that route this year?
100 miles is an ambitious venture, but after last year’s incredible experience, I am positive that with the right training, mentality, and encouragement from my fellow riders that the “century” can be achieved.
How do you train for BikeMS: City to Shore?
My focus has been on endurance and stamina. There are several rest stops along the route, but the day is long and strenuous. My training actually dates back to my years of biking all across campus at the University of Delaware. In recent years, I have run obstacle courses like Savage Race with my old roommates from UDel and my future wife, Adrienne. She and I take our bikes out to ride whenever we can and try to mix up the routes to stay fresh. When we cannot get out for a ride or even a run, we practice yoga to keep our bodies loose and our minds focused.
What’s on your playlist?
The soundtracks from the Rocky movies never fail to pump me up. But when I am looking for a more relaxing ride, I have plenty of progressive house mixes to keep me grounded.
Do you have any pre-ride rituals that you do?
Before I went out onstage for plays in high school, my go-to song was “Right Now” by Van Halen. To this day, it has stood the test of time when it comes to getting myself game-time ready. As it pertains to BikeMS, pre-ride nerves do creep in every now and again. When they do, I travel deep inside my mind and remember who I’m riding for and why I’m going on this incredible journey. I wear my heart on my sleeve, as well as the hearts of everyone with MS past and present that need the love and support we give.
What is your advice to new riders?
Some important tips are to pace yourself, don’t rush, stay hydrated, and eat but not too much. But above all those things, for new riders, the feeling that will come over you as you approach the finish will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. After having conquered the 9th Street Bridge and only a half-mile remains, crowds have lined both sides of the road and are cheering you on. “You’re almost there!” they say. And it all comes rushing over you at once: that you’ve made it to the end and that your efforts have truly made a difference in this world.
What inspired you to ride?
I want to push myself and ride further than I’ve ever gone before, but not for the recognition or because my friends are doing it too. I want to do my small part in helping to bring us closer to a world free of MS.
What do you love about BikeMS: City to Shore?
I love the thought of thousands of people, young and old, from all walks of life, sharing one common goal. While there may be countless different teams, even the slightest of acquaintances are instantly friends in their united efforts to raise funds and awareness for MS.
To donate to Jason, please click here.