Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Will you donate Wednesday

Ok folks, it's Will you donate Wednesday!
(bet you didn't even know that was a thing)

17 days until I start my 150 mile MS ride

Amount of money I still need to raise before my ride

yes, you. donate here!

Number of people your donation will help  (it's time to donate)

$0.01 - infinity
Amount you can donate that will help find a cure

Amount of money I'd like to raise to help people with MS and their families

Number of solar eclipses I watched this week
(except we were in the 97% path so it didn't really look like this at all)

Well? Why haven't you donated yet?!

Please help support my ride and donate today!
Thank you

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Why I ride MS...and why you should care (and donate)

I am back to beg for your generosity. In the next 39 days I need YOUR help to raise more than $1,200 to support the National MS Society.

What follows is a story about how a mitsva became personal, and a long-winded appeal to your emotions that you will be swayed to part with your hard earned cash to support a good cause.
If you are already convinced or just don't feel like reading the rest of my story (I'm not offended!), and are ready to do your good deed for the day/week/year, get your wallet out and:

Ah, it looks like you are still here.

Ok, here is why I ride the MS150 and why finding a cure for MS is important to me.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. The disease is progressive and increasingly debilitating. In the U.S. there are about 400,000 people living with MS and 2.1 million worldwide. So, it is likely that you have a friend or relative who is living with MS.
However, prior to last year, I did not have a personal connection to MS. I love to ride my bike, and being able to combine an activity I love with a good cause is reason enough to fundraise. So, for the last 6 years I have raised money to champion research into finding a cure for MS, education about MS, and support for people with MS and their families. Add to this, I get to do the ride with my dad every year (and my brother for the first time this year) and I can find no arguments against spending one weekend in September each year riding 150 miles in large circles to nowhere with about 2,000 of my closest riding buds in New Bern, NC in a joint effort to promote longer, healthier lives for people with MS and support their families.
But last year it became a personal quest. All because my dad left the key for the cable lock that secured our bikes to the car in Chapel Hill - about 3+ hours from New Bern. Oops. It is, as we quickly discovered, much more difficult to steal a bike off a cable-locked Yakima hitch rack than bike thieves would make you believe. Or maybe my dad and I would just be hopeless bike thieves (quite possible). Regardless we had bikes, we were in the right place, but we were going to go nowhere quickly without some help.

avoid these bike shop employees
If there is one thing I have learned in my many years of being a cyclist: people who work in bike shops are resourceful - and in legal possession of sharp tools. So we made our way over to the expo area and I randomly picked a mechanic who didn't look like an axe murdering psycho and explained that my dad and I are idiots and our bikes were going to be permanently locked to our car without the help of a nice man with access to sharp tools. (Note, just to be safe I left out the "legal" part.)
And this lovely person that I selected said something to the effect of "Sweet! I love destroying stuff!" And with that, he instructed us to pull our car around to his tent, Cycling Spoken Here (visit them in Cary, NC!!), and he pulled out a nice, big pair of cable cutters, and voila! our bikes were free.

This is Steve

Meet Steve. He IS Cycling Spoken Here. And he is an all-around mensch. He and his shop have been supporting the MS 150 New Bern ride for may years.

Another thing I have learned in my many years of riding a bike, it's that saying "thank you", especially to any bike shop employee who frees your bike from your own stupidity, is essential. And what says 'thank you' better than a six-pack of craft beer? Mmmm. Beer.

Except this particular non-axe murdering, not-psycho and very lovely bike shop owner does not drink beer. Oops. Our bad...again. (Proving once again that you really can't save us from our own stupidity.)

beer...for lunch
On the other hand, starting with a mistakenly forgotten set of keys, we met a very nice new friend who saved the beer we bought for him and gave it back to us at the lunch stop on day 1.

And, more importantly, he made my MS ride a personal cause. Finding a cure for MS is near and dear to Steve's heart because he, too, wants to pay it forward. Steve's mom, Rena, had MS. She passed away in 2016. Steve has generously allowed me to champion his personal cause.
So, last year, this year and for however many more years I end up doing this ride, I ride in honor of the memory of Rena.

Riding for Rena
When you donate:
  • 60% of your donation will be used for programs, services and advocacy related to MS in the southeastern U.S.;

  • The remaining 40% of your donation will be used at the national level to support research efforts to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever.
0% of your donation will go to line someone's pocket.

Please donate now. With YOUR help WE can prevent MS.
Thank you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

MS 150 ride report - in rhyme (of course)

Because you haven't suffered through enough of my bad poetry over the last month, here is my entire MS 150 ride report in rhyme...

Day 1 - Sept. 10, 2016 - goal: 75 miles

Day 1 is done.
We had some fun.

The headwinds blew.
Alas, tailwinds...few.
Road kill ahead.
Are all possums dead??

Forecast is hot!
Salt stick, Gu shot.
Pbj for lunch.
Ooh! A beer! Thanks a bunch!
25 miles left to go,
Think we'll take this part slow.
This is a ride, not a race.
We set a leisurely pace.

75 miles. Well, a bit more.
Man! my tush sure is sore!
50 more miles to go,
But we'll leave that till tomorrow.

Day 2 - Sept. 11, 2016 - goal: 50 miles

Day 2 is now in the books.
Hot and windy. I am cooked!

Moment of silence to start the day.
National anthem, and bikes away!

Wait a second, let us pause
To remember the MS cause

Your support has helped a ton,
but the drive is not yet done.
Go here, friends, and donate now.
If you've done so, to you I bow.

Lots of sun. Clear blue skies.
The road is straight, not a single rise.
Wildflowers and dragonflies abound.
Butterflies, all around.

50 miles, now we're through.
Pretty sure my butt's black and blue!!
Let's get inside. AC! A fan!
OMG! Now, that's a bike tan!

125 miles we did endure.
To raise awareness for a cure.

Until next year, this job is done.
Thanks to all of you. You're #1!

And for those who prefer a more traditional thank you...

Dear all,

I have just returned from our MS 150 adventure and I want to say thank you to each an every one of you for your support, donations, thoughts, and positive messages. My dad and I had two fantastic rides, covering 125 miles, to raise awareness of MS and the need for research, advocacy and support for people with MS and their families.

Almost 2000 people participated this year and more than $1.3M was raised. With your donations, I was able to personally raise almost $1250, which may be an all-time record for me. ALL of this money will go to improve the lives of those supporting and those living with MS.

As promised in my many poems leading up to the event, you can read my ride report (also in rhyme) here: [don't click. you're already there. ;-)]

Thank you again!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Will the rhymes never end???

the time has come
for me to go
to ride, and ride, and ride some mo'.

thank you much...
for your support
and in return, a ride report

with all your help
we can secure
the funds we need to find a cure

it's not too late
to donate now
can't think of more, so here's a cow

Haiku about why I should not rely on my wrenching skills

Bottom bracket creeks loudly
Will fix it myself.

Ineptitude proven...
Bike wrenching skills are rusty.
Sudden failure looms.

Please donate to this
worthy philanthropic cause.
Broken bones heal*.

*no bones were actually broken in either the writing of this poem or the riding of the bike I wrenched.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

But wait! There's more bad poetry to be had...

Luna: "Do you want to
 share my baby squirrel?"
Generosity is so nice.
Maybe you should donate twice?


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More terrible rhymes: Old McDonald had MS

Old McDonald had MS

But if you donate to my ride
  We can find a cure

With a dollar here
And 2 dollars there
Here a buck, there a buck,
Everybody give some bucks

got chocolate milk? my dad did.

Old McDonald had MS

Your donation will support
   Research and programs
Money will also go to services
   For those with MS

With a dollar here
And 2 dollars there
Here a buck, there a buck
Everybody give some bucks

You only have 9 more days
   To support my ride.
Please consider giving today
   Thank you in advance

With a dollar here
And 2 dollars there
Here a buck, there a buck
Everybody give some bucks

Old McDonald had MS
   With your help there's a cure

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The final stretch - Time for terrible poetry

In an effort to raise the final $400 to make my MS150 fundraising goal, I will be sending out a poem each day until I either reach my goal or get on my bike.

Heading out to ride.
MS150 looms large.
Did you donate yet??

My goal seems so elusive
Please donate today.

If you want to make this poetry terrorism stop, please donate today!!

thank you.