SharePoint Ryan Rides to End Cancer

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself – I’ve heard that you’re a heavy player in the SharePoint community. How did that come about?

A: I haven’t been as active in the SharePoint community recently, but over the past 4-5 years I have tried to be very active in the local and national SharePoint communities. It all started when I decided I wanted to start blogging about SharePoint, so I tried to find a bit of a niche around SharePoint & PowerShell. From there, I created a presentation I was comfortable sharing and started speaking at SharePoint Saturday events, as well as user groups in and around Ohio.

I evolved a bit from there, and have since focused on other, more business-focused presentations. I’ve presented quite a bit since my first session in 2011, and have even had the privilege of contributing to two SharePoint-specific books – 1 from an editing perspective, and 1 where I was one of three authors. Additionally, I try when I can to support user groups and conferences from a planning perspective, including the Dog Food Conference here in Columbus; as well as SharePoint Saturday events in Cincinnati and Columbus.

Q: Why did you sign up for Pelotonia?

A: For me, Pelotonia was important for two reasons:

  1. From a fitness perspective, I needed a goal – something to strive for – that would give me a hard date to plan and train for.
  2. I think everyone knows someone who was affected by cancer, so it goes without saying that I wanted to do anything I could to help. Since every penny goes to The James at OSU for cancer research, it was a win-win; I could have a fitness goal, but along the way I could get donations to help fund cancer research. I believe some day there WILL be a cure, so if my fitness goals could tie into a way to support the funding of cancer research, that’s a no-brainer.

Q: What route did you chose?

A: I chose the 50-mile route, which is more like 47 miles. 25 miles was too short, and 75 miles seemed a little too aggressive for this year.

Q: Were you an active cyclist prior to joining the Pelotonia event? If no, are you going to be now?

A: It’s funny, I didn’t think I was going to jump in this deep, this soon. I bought my road bike in March (5 months to the day before Pelotonia), as I wanted to start putting in lots of miles. For me, fitness has always been a challenge – my weight and fitness levels have fluctuated my entire life – but I always loved riding bikes. I started test-riding road bikes about a year ago, and did entirely too much research on all things #cycling.

On the day I brought my bike home, I rode the first 10 miles with my friend and neighbor, Jeff. I’ve now put over 900 miles on my bike since March. Over those 5 months, I’ve transformed from a guy with a road bike, to a guy who wears cycling shorts, cycling jerseys, and who clips into the pedals. At this point I’m all-in, and definitely consider myself an active cyclist. I plan to keep racking up the miles, and hope to complete my first full century ride (100 miles) later this fall.

Q: Did you visit any specific local bike shops to obtain the gear needed to complete the ride?

A: Oh yes, I've been a frequent customer at both Bike Source in Dublin; as well as Performance Bike. I also shop online quite a bit, but Bike Source and Performance are definitely my “go-to” stores.

Q: What did you like most about the event?

A: Wow, that's a tough question. I think the best part of it was the nearly continuous line of supporters along the ride. I doubt there was more than a mile stretch at any point that didn’t have supporters / people cheering. There were signs, and bands playing, and kids giving high-fives, even a group of motorcycles, all cheering and clapping for us. The stretch of Pelotonia is huge, and it was great to see people outside cheering on the riders.

Q: Is there anything specific that you dislike about the event?

A: Just that it’s over. I built it up in my head for 5 months, and now it’s over in the blink of an eye. Other than that, nothing – it’s a world-class event that is about as well orchestrated as it can be with 8,000 riders.

Q: Is there any advice you can give someone who might be a first year rider in 2016?

A: Get your saddle time! Don’t worry too much about wearing the right clothes (although padded cycling shorts are a MUST!), or whether or not you can ride that many miles, saddle time is all you need. Go out and ride, even if it’s a 10 mile spin around the neighborhood. The more you ride, the more conditioned you’ll be for the big day. In addition, try and ride with other people to learn the dynamics of a group ride. You’ll pick up the rest along the way, but without time in the saddle; your body (and your butt) won’t be ready.

Q: Do you plan on participating next year?

A: Absolutely, the only question is how many miles!

Q: What has surprised you most about your Pelotonia experience thus far?

A: The overwhelming support of friends, family, and co-workers. The amount of donations I received for my ride, as well as the support on social media and in person has been huge.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: My good friend Jason Keller is an amazing dude, and I really appreciate the support of everyone in the TekDog family! If my journey to riding Pelotonia inspires even 1 person, then my mission is complete. #OneGoal #PelotoniaProud