Thanks to all my friends who donated to our MS150 ride. Well, it turned out to be the MS105 ride. Tropical storm Gabrielle caused the ride directors to cut the Sunday course down to 30 miles in case the weather turned nasty so no one would be stuck too far out. As it was, we rode through a couple of rain squalls but nothing too bad. But Saturday’s 75 mile course was beautiful and we took a leisurely pace through the flat countryside around New Bern. That was after a bit of a rough start. Karen and I got separated at the start – so many people on bikes!!! They did a staggered start and she went off with the faster group by mistake. I was stuck behind the line until they started the slower group. Then I got stuck in a pack of riders who missed the first turn and in the process of turning the group around I did what EVERYbody told me I would eventually do but until that moment had managed to avoid doing – forget to unclip. It’s almost comical, that moment when you realize you’re stopped, locked in your pedals, and about to go over like a tree. There’s no stopping it. Fortunately I only scraped my knee but also twisted my seat around so had to pull out the tools (glad I packed them) and get it back on straight and then wind my way through hundreds of riders hoping to catch Karen. I didn’t see her until the first rest stop at 15 miles but then it was great after that. We took advantage of all the rest stops staffed by volunteers many of whom have MS – some of them people we know. Over 1800 riders took part on Saturday. There were over 350 of us on Sunday who didn’t get scared off by the dire sounding weather reports. The whole thing was a great experience and a wonderful way for us to raise money for this cause. I’m so glad I did it but mostly I’m pleased that so many of my friends agreed with me that this important cause deserved time, effort, and money. I can’t tell you how moved I was by all of your support. And especially the number of people who responded with stories about their friends or family dealing with multiple sclerosis.
Never having done any kind of fund raising before I started out with the recommended goal of raising $500. I agreed to bring in a minimum of $250 and half expected to be paying some of that myself. When the responses started coming in I quickly passed $500 and so raised my goal to $1000. You helped me pass that in a very short time and so again I raised it to $2000. As of today I have almost $1700 in donations to the MS Society and all together we’ve raised almost $800,000!!! They’re still tallying the donations brought in the day of the ride so that figure will still rise. I’ve got until October 1st to turn in the rest of my donations so if you want to help out go to my ride page at nationalmssociety.org or mail a check to me made out to the National MS Society. I am so happy to have been a small part of this effort. I had a lot of fun, met a lot of great people, saw some beautiful countryside, and rode the most miles in a day I have ever ridden. YOU could do this, too!!! Really – there were people there of all ages – some in their 70’s, kids, everything in between. There are several ride options from a kids fun ride, to 30, 75, and 100 mile/day options and it’s flat in New Bern so it’s pretty easy. Lots of well supplied rest stops, take your own pace, lots of support from volunteers and medical people and police. There are over 100 events across the country. Think about it for next year – it’s an experience I highly recommend.
Thank you again for your help and support.