After months of training, Kristopher Novak finally sees the starting line in sight.
This June, the Keller resident and University of Texas student will ride a bicycle from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska as part of the Texas 4000 initiative (benefiting cancer research), the longest annual charity bike ride in the world.
“It’s finally fewer than 100 days away,” he said. “It is such a surreal feeling, finally being in the double digits.”
While Novak enthusiastically signed up for the Texas 4000 after hearing about it from a friend, fear quickly set in.
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be physically fit enough to ride 70 miles day after day,” he said. “Now that I've ridden some longer distances, I feel more confident. Recently we had our half-century test, where we were required to ride 50 miles in fewer than five hours. Everyone who rode passed.”
Another endurance test found Novak and his team riding 60 miles, including up a hill that was “so steep trucks weren’t allowed to drive on it.” During spring break, they rode more than 150 miles over a three-day period.
The prep work has been difficult but doable, despite one minor setback
“Back in December and January, I had hip flexor pain after finishing my rides,” Novak said. “The cause, I discovered, was that I was spinning my pedals too fast in order to bike at lower resistance. Now that I’ve slowed down my pace, I haven’t had any issues.”
In addition to training, Novak takes 15 hours of courses at U.T., including senior design and two labs.
“When I'm not on the bike, I’m at a desk,” Novak said. “I really enjoy these classes, however, so the workload is fairly manageable.”
For more info on the Texas 4000, check www.texas4000.org. If you’d like to help Novak reach his financial goal (he’s just over halfway to raising $8,000), go to www.kristophernovak.com.