Couch to 200 (Pete Basso)

0D5A5750We are a little over 1 month from the BTC 200 ride and most of us are way behind banking miles in our Strava accounts.  Covid-19 restrictions including social distancing have made it a lot harder to wake up for that cold, early morning ride without a buddy or group to meet you at the ride start. Let’s face it, it’s been a rough start to the season.

So if you’re like me you’re wondering, “How am I going to capture some essence of riding form with the time left before our ride date?”  It’s a legit question.  A question that I’m going to tackle right now.  

First we must break this down to what is needed to complete this ride.  

  • Lower body endurance
  • Upper body fitness, hand, arm, shoulder and neck strength 
  • Nutrition / hydration regularity
  • Bike fit, how you’re positioned on your bike

Let’s unpack this bullet point by bullet point.

  1. Lower body endurance:  
    1. Riding daily for 60-90 mins at least 4x per week.  These are higher intensity rides
    2. Your first few weeks outside you should focus on recapturing your base fitness.  Ride at z2 / z3 pace 
    3. On the weekend, try to mix in a 3 to 4 hour ride
    4. After the first couple of weeks, start riding with higher intensity on your daily rides with short z3 and z4 intervals, (2-4 mins), short power hills.  For the longer weekend rides, mix in some longer z3 intervals and hill climbs.  Group rides are excellent for this kind of intensity. 
    5. It’s important to build intensity thru hill climbs and intervals as we get closer to the ride date.  That fitness will make it easier for you to sustain the 18mph pace over 200 miles.
    6. Ride at least one century ride, (100 miles), in May and another in June.  
    7. The week of the ride, you’ll taper by riding easier rides leading up to the day of the ride. I’ll be more specific in emails leading up to the ride. 
    8. Stretching – make sure you are stretching both upper and lower body parts.  Stretching builds strength.  Here’s five great post ride stretches.  
  1. Upper body fitness:
    1. Leaning over your bars for that long does take a toll on your upper body.  Specifically your triceps, shoulders and neck.  Spending time on your bike definitely helps to get your body used to that positioning.  However, building strength in your core and upper body will help make the ride more enjoyable.
    2. Planks – perfect for building arm strength, core strength and neck strength.  Do 3 sets at 1min three times per week.  As we get closer to the ride and you get stronger, move the time to 90 seconds then 2 mins.
    3. Pushups – this will vary based on your current upper body strength.  Try 3 sets of 10 – 20 pushups 3x per week.  Increase the reps as you get stronger.
    4. Here’s a good video that you can use to strengthen your core
  1. Nutrition and Hydration: 
    1. We provide nutrition and hydration on the ride but you need to get your body used to certain foods on longer rides.  We’ll provide items such as Erin Bakers Breakfast Cookies, Gu Gels, Bonk Breakers, Cliff Bars, Salted Nut Rolls, Gatorade, Red Bull and more.  Because the ride is not “intense” in nature, you’re less likely to have problems with varying foods.  But if you have a sensitive stomach, make sure you’re dialed in on what works for you.  Try different foods on your longer weekend rides. Eating real food on these rides is more important than eating bars the whole day.  Lunch will provide you with the ability to add some real to your caloric intake.
  1. Bike Fit:
    1. Very important.  If you have not been fit on your bike by one of the local bike shops, invest the money and get it done.  It can change your whole experience on your bike and eliminate potential problems while riding 200 miles.  If you have any discomfort on your bike, believe me, 200 miles will expose and exacerbate that discomfort.  Best to get it taken care of now and enjoy the ride.  

While I’m not the world’s foremost expert on training and fitness, I can share with you that after completing seven of these rides, I’ve learned what it takes to finish the ride in comfort.  If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me.  I’ll do my best to answer them.  If I can’t help you, I’ll point you in the right direction.  

Keep the power to the pedals and the wheels turning.  We’re looking forward to the ride date and the sharing this glorious day with you.  (More emails will follow over the next couple of days)

~ Pete Basso

BTC 200: 2020 is On!


Break the Cycle 200 is totally happening on June 26, 2020.

This year’s event will be modified for cyclists and runners due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. The heart of the event will remain, but the format will be changed.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it today! Now is the time to start raising awareness and funds to help end modern slavery, starting in Iowa.

Cyclist Details

  • You’ll still ride 200 miles in one day, but the route will be changed to a trail-based loop that starts and ends in the Des Moines area.
  • We know comfort levels with riding in groups will vary. Our aim with this modification is to accommodate your social distancing preferences by making a way for both small groups or individuals to complete their 200 miles in a safe and supported environment.
  • If riding in crowds of any size aren’t your thing right now, then we’ll help you complete a virtual 200 through Zwift. BTC 200 will help cover the cost of Zwift as is needed to complete the 200 virtually.
  • If you plan to ride the virtual 200, please respond here to let us know.
  • Volunteers will wear PPE, tables will be sanitized, and extra hand soap and sanitizer will be provided at each stop.
  • The ride will end in the Des Moines area and we’ll have a celebration following the ride.



Runner Details

  • We will continue to have a team relay style event.
  • Instead of loading up a bunch of sweaty guys and girls together into small minivans, we will hold the event at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines.
  • Holding the event in one area will allow us to keep the team relay style event while at the same time being able to maintain social distancing as needed.
  • Runners will be able to run as much as they would like and be encouraged to push themselves to their limits while enjoying encouragement and camaraderie from their teammates.
  • Although the run relay looks different this year, we are excited about the new possibilities it allows.
  • Your safety and ultimately raising awareness and funds to end modern slavery are our priorities.

2016 OK200 Ride Recap Part 2 – West Des Moines to Adel

We started at Valley Church in West Des Moines, Iowa.

We got going a little later than 5 AM after having to mess around with ride radio to get it working.  The last few ride waivers were signed.  Rocky Vest called the ride to order, I offered a morning prayer, and off we went.   Sun was lighting up the sky a little and the temperature was just a little brisk on bear arms.  As we went by a west des moines fire station, i remembered three years ago, riding by the same place in a pouring rain, and one or our first female riders ever, Dee Mable, flatted there, less than a mile into the ride.   McCoy, Vest, and Kunze led the ride out west on Raccoon River Road toward Booneville holding 19 mph.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

from the front

from the front

We crossed the Raccoon River and rode up out of the valley, being careful not to exceed more than 13-14 mph as we ascended, careful to not blow out legs so early in a 200+ mile day.  A quick descent into the town of Van Meter and an abrupt turn up county road R16 right at sunrise.  I can’t remember a better sound and sight than cruising along the river through a scenic valley at sunrise.  Wheels whirring, gears shifting, quiet breathing, the morning sun illuminating the valley. Our group of nearly 60 riders took up nearly 200 ft of road.  We quickly made it over Interstate 80 and followed the North Raccoon River valley passing the puckerbrush road.  Once we made it out of the river valley we went by my child hood home and stomping grounds.  We saw jeff colwell and my parents offering encouragement.


It turned out that road R16 was going to be reconstructed on Monday the 27th, and the crews had done a little pre-construction work on the concrete.  Some of the lateral cracks and potholes were severe.  We did our best by calling out the cracks and potholes but still sustained 3 or 4 flat tires in the 3 mile stretch of road.  Luckily we had a Bike World van and technician to change flat tires.  In past years, Pete Basso did most of the tire changing, but it was incredible to have a van full of equipment plus a bike mechanic along for the ride.  As we made it to and crossed Hwy 6, we waited for awhile in Ortonville to allow the folks with flats to catch up and then cruised on toward Adel and the first stop.  We spent some time on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.  The runners had been hassled last year not having passes, so this year we got an event permit plus a day pass for everyone who rode the ride #official.  The crew was led by McCoy and Kunze into Adel.

We took the first right turn onto the historic brick streets, hit Rapids street, took a left and proceeded across Nile Kinnick Drive (HWY 169) where we made our first stop, hosted by the First Christian Church of Adel.  The Hall family (Scott and Kristy) and Pastor Dour Pfeiffer made sure that all the facilities were in working order (it turned out that the water had been shut off the night before, and if not for some quick acting by the Hall’s could have turned into a bio-disaster at the first stop) and the 20-some miles in, we had our first stop .  Everyone was feeling great.

OK 200 Thank You Cards

Pick up your free Okoboji 200 Thank you cards at The Permanent Collection, 520 e. 6th, 50309 (between the DSM Bike Collective and Alba on East 6th) in the Des Moines East Village.  OK 200 Thank You CardsAsk for the OK200 thank you cards.  They are flat, 4.25 inches x 5.5 inches, blank on the back, come in white or army green, and come with an envelope.  In today’s age of digital overload, a handwritten note of appreciation to a donor, volunteer, rider, runner, or sponsor speaks volumes.  All you have to do is pick them up and then send them out.

As a general Des Moines East Village PSA – If you are worried about parking: a) ride your bike, b) find street parking, c) park in the free State of Iowa Parking garage located at Des Moines and Penn Ave, d) park near a Des Moines B-Cycle station and ride, or e) Park in downtown and take the free D-Line bus that circuits downtown.

OK 200 Thank You Cards

Julie Kirkpatrick’s Creativity and Passion Fuel Donations for the OK200

OK200: Hi, Julie, thanks for agreeing to sit down with me to answer these questions. What you did was fascinating and creative. We love your passion and wanted to share it with others.

First, tell us about yourself and why you got involved with the OK200 this year?

Julie: I am married to Cam Kirkpatrick, and we have a 2.5 year old son named Jonah. Cam is an engineer, and I am a cycling, running, and triathlon coach with Zoom Performance. We are both long-time members of the wonderful, generous Des Moines area cycling community. We have a number of friends who have participated in OK200 in previous years, so we’ve had some exposure to the event. Since the birth of our son, we’ve cut our cycling from hours upon hours of training and racing down to bike commuting to work and Burley rides on the weekends. So, while we won’t be participating in the ride itself, we definitely wanted to be a part of it!

Julie Cam and SonOK200: How did the idea come about?

Julie: The idea for a garage sale came out of necessity more than anything else and just grew from there. We’ve moved three times in the last six years. Once you’ve packed up all your belongings a few times, you start to realize how much excess you have! And, having a growing child means that there are always boxes of recently out-grown clothes, gear, and toys piling up. Many of the things were hand-me-downs from friends; we didn’t feel right selling their stuff and making a profit off from it, so we decided that we would pick a charity to support with the proceeds.

OK200: I can certainly relate, three girls later, we make consistent donations of clothes and toys yearly.

Julie: Human trafficking has been going on forever, but it feels like it is gaining more exposure recently. The more I read about it, the sicker I felt, and the more I prayed about it. I began to realize that every night when I would climb into bed, I was able to shut my eyes and rest peacefully, knowing that I was safe, loved, and not fearful of what would happen to me before I woke up in the morning. There are far too many girls, boys, and young women who can’t imagine what it feels like to rest like that. That’s why we decided to help.

First, I started talking to a few girlfriends about throwing a few things in the sale, and as a few of them joined in. This is when I set a goal of raising $1000 – OK200 had a goal of raising $100,000, and I thought it would be amazing to raise 1% of that. I’ve held garage sales in the past and made $500-800, so I thought that with a little help maybe we could hit $1000. I thought we could handle a few more things, so I cast my net a little wider. I put post on Facebook asking for donations, and I got a few more responses. Now neighbors, other cyclists, and friends were dropping off boxes, bags, and other items that were originally destined for Goodwill or city-wide trash day. The garage was packed to the gills, and I figured we’d probably come pretty close to our goal!

OK200: WOW, one great idea after another. I love this!

Julie: I did a quick pre-sale a couple nights before the actual garage sale and quickly sold almost $200 in just over an hour. By the end of the first day, we had made over $1100! We’d surpassed my goal, and we still had one more day to go – and a lot of good stuff left. By the end of the second day, the total climbed to over $1600 to help victims of human trafficking. There are still some really good items left that I will be trying to sell over the coming weeks, so I expect to see the number grow some more. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone for their donations, and there is still more good to come from this. Currently, my garage has boxes of sale leftovers marked for donation to the Animal Rescue League, the Des Moines Bike Collective, Central Iowa Shelter and Services, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Hope Ministries Thrift Shop, and more. Everything that was donated will be doing good somewhere in our community.

OK200: Incredible, this one idea has led to over $1600 earmarked for the survivors of sex trafficking and you were also able to contribute to at least 4 other charities? I would call that a highly successful idea.

We can’t thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. Just as we have experienced over the years, our community is so givng and always willing to help out others.

Julie, thank you for your time today. We appreciate your friendship and willingness to share your story with the rest of us.

OK200 Chick Fil-A Night


Chick Fil-A is one classy organization.

For the last 3 years they have allowed the OK200 group to invite our OK200 community to their restaurant in Paradise Pointe, (on Mills Civic), for a night of food, fun and sharing our mission.  They give us a percentage of the receipts we collect from our friends as a donation.  In return, we FLOOD their establishment with red shirts and lots of hungry people.

April 20th was no different, in fact, it was our biggest turn out we’ve had yet.  Talking with the manager, they were slammed from 4:45pm till a little before 8pm.  We were able to advocate our OK200 cause with those whom have not heard of us and promote the issues of human tracking to our local community who, (like us at one time), don’t even know this problem exists right here is Des Moines.   These “spirit nights” promote opportunities to add riders, extra volunteers and to make new friends for the future.  One of the more rewarding aspects of the evening was watching the kids of OK200 having a blast while serving dinner to the patrons.  They refilled drinks, cleaned tables and helped with the “Spin to Win Wheel”.   We are thankful for these little souls and their eagerness to jump in and help.

The night was a success, we ended up collecting enough receipts to amass over $550.00 in donations.  So when you’re out and about and feeling hungry, please consider Chick Fil-A for lunch or dinner.  Their team is amazing and so gracious.  I can’t tell you how accommodating they have been to us over the years.

Here are some photos from that night, enjoy…

2016 Chick_Fil-A 5 2016 Chick_Fil-A 2016 Chick_Fil-A 12 2016 Chick_Fil-A 1 2016 Chick_Fil-A 9 2016 Chick_Fil-A 8 2016 Chick_Fil-A 112016 Chick_Fil-A 14 2016 Chick_Fil-A 7 2016 Chick_Fil-A 15



OK200 Kickoff, So Much To Be Thankful For

Today’s media brings us instant and constant exposure to the rigors this world harbors.  It can be enough to make you want to turn off your TV’s, moderate your social media feeds and just hide.  Everyone seems to have experienced this sensory overload at least once.  However, there’s no better way to battle negativity then by arming yourself with the cloak of Christ and a whole lotta positivity.  It’s a mind shift that doesn’t happen over night, but certainly will help you see the world in a different, more uplifting light.  For me, getting involved in helping others while doing the things I’m passionate about is what adjusts my mind and heart to make that important shift.

Four years ago, a couple of friends of mine asked me if I wanted to ride 200 miles in one day?  Like any insane person, I immediately said, “YES”.  Not knowing much more than that, I was committed, (to at least one ride).  Shortly after I committed I was then told I had to do a little fundraising for a cause that I knew nothing about.  Within a few weeks I was learning more and more about this unbelievable and horrific crime known as “Human Trafficking”.  I was a father of a couple of little girl and one on the way, I was human, I had feelings and I was mortified.  Fear can sometimes be a good motivator, so I allowed fear to drive me to open my heart and mind to learn more.  Before long, I was ALL IN on fighting for this cause.  By the way, back then,  there were just 9 of us and about 4 volunteers.  Now I have 3 beautiful daughters and our group has grown to hundreds of caring people.  What a blessing.

Today, we celebrate a community of people consisting of our closest friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances.  All this in just 5 short years.  The outpouring of support has been awe-inspiring and down right humbling.  Witnessing so many people putting others first and dedicating time, money, effort and talents to help others they have not ever met is incredible.  So incredible in fact, that we decided to host an “OK200 Social Event” last Thursday night just to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of our community.  We are appreciative and grateful for the friends who have been with us from the beginning and the new friends we continue to make.

If you missed the social, hopefully you can join us at the next one or for a training ride.  Check our Facebook page for more information and give some love to our incredibly generous sponsors below.

Photos of the Social – April 7th, 2016