Scott Gustafson is a busy fellow. He’s a veterinary surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery and practices throughout the entire Willamette Valley, southwest Washington and Olympia. Busy though he may be, he understands the importance of taking time out to ride.
As many people know, an activity like Cycle Oregon can be life-changing. Success takes training, discipline and sacrifice. There’s a large contingent of riders who use the event as a way to rehabilitate themselves from some kind of illness or addiction and then continue to ride as a way to maintain a new (and improved) way of life. Scott is among them. Three years ago he had a spinal tumor, and Cycle Oregon was part of his path to wellness.
He continues to do the event year after year because he enjoys it and because it forces him to work riding into his hectic schedule. To that end, he just bought himself a snazzy customized Sprinter van so he can keep his bike and gear with him and be ready to ride whenever and wherever he may be.
This year Scott used CO3 to be better prepared for the Week Ride, and he found the riding and climbing to be very much to his liking. He also enjoyed the small groups, the food, the hotels and the chance to meet members of the communities. Based on what I hear from some of his fellow riders, he’s going to tear it up in September.
Training and Paying your Taxes
When it comes to training, Scott is a big believer in taxing the body and “feeling the burn.” He always trains with a heart rate monitor and says he feels naked without it. It provides assurance that he’s pushing himself as hard as he thinks he is, and it also shows how fast he recovers after a long effort. All that information provides a lot of inspiration.
His biggest piece of advice for new riders is simply to hang in there. By the end of the week, your body will also adapt. Your average heart rate will plummet, and everything will get easier. “The body is an amazing machine, and the more you work it, the better it runs, which is absolutely evident throughout Cycle Oregon,” he says.
The same is true for managing everything that needs to be managed off the bike. The first couple of days may be a little hectic, but you’ll soon get into a groove – ride, shower, swim, do laundry, go to announcements, boogie, sleep and repeat. By the end of the week you’ll have it down and be able to go indefinitely.
So keep on training and, like Scott, you’ll be ready come September.