Motiva bike club puts pedal to metal, rides 150 miles for MS

By Joe Paul

For nearly three years, a group of employees at the Shell/Motiva Refinery in Norco has been putting the pedal to the metal to help fund multiple sclerosis research.

With this year’s Louisiana Bike MS Ride set for Oct. 3 – 4, the Motiva High Octane Cycling Club riders are hitting the road in hopes of getting ready for the 150-mile ride.
Group organizer Oliver Boyd said the riders’ roster varies from 40 to 60 members each year, but the group’s purpose has remained constant.

“It is mainly a social club,” he said. “It is really just a chance to get people together, get them some exercise and enjoy themselves.”

Last year, the group did more than just enjoy themselves – they raised a lot of money. Teaming up with other local Shell riders to form the Shell/Motiva Louisiana Team, the group raised more than $32,000, placing it as one of the top 410 fundraising teams in the nation.

Locally, the team had about 20 riders from the Norco refinery participate in last year’s ride, and the training for this year’s 150-mile trek is about to kick into full swing.

Bike MS usually releases a detailed training schedule in July, and Boyd said the group follows it to prepare for the race. But the group is already participating in rides across the area as well as taking to the levee to log some miles.

“The training moves around a little bit so we don’t have a set location. Sometimes we’ll ride on the levee, and in fact, we had one last weekend starting at the 310 bridge,” Boyd said. “We’ll ride to Jefferson and back, and that’ll probably be 25 miles.”

Some riders traveled to Baton Rouge this past weekend for a ride, and Boyd said those weekend events will continue until the Louisiana Bike MS event as will some shorter rides for beginning riders.

As for the makeup of the group, Boyd said it is a unique mix of several different skill and fitness levels.

“Some of the guys are tri-athletes. We have one member who probably does a 100-mile ride every weekend, and we have some other folks who have beach cruisers,” he said, adding that their 12 mile per hour pace is quite leisurely.

“It is not a competitive club. It is just strictly for fun.”

Rider Clayton “Snookie” Faucheaux mirrored Boyd’s description of the club, adding it has been a great way to get in shape while helping those with MS.

“It is something that we have all enjoyed doing, and it takes some training to be able to finish the MS 150,” Faucheaux said. “I’m in better shape now than I was before, and I’ve had fun doing it while helping a great cause.”


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