Ok, here is why I ride the MS150 and why
finding a cure for MS is important to me.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
donate now. With YOUR help WE can prevent MS.
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...
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: http://rtsfabblog.blogspot.com/ [don't click. you're already there. ;-)]