Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bike MS ride in New Bern, NC

Team CBC and hundreds of other prepare to start
Two weeks ago I bicycled in the Bike MS ride in New Bern, NC along with over 2,000 other riders. The weather over the weekend was perfect (mostly in the seventies with only light breezes). On Saturday, I rode with a group of about 40 to 50 people, mostly folks I know from CBC. We averaged slightly over 20mph for the 100 miles and had a great ride. Because of the nice double pace line and the lack of hills, it felt like less effort than a my typical Saturday 60-mile ride. That was good as there were a lot more miles to ride on Sunday! 

Laura and John riding by one of the great views
The evening festivities on Saturday and Friday were also great and I got to spend time with quite a few people that I’ve become friends with through cycling and elsewhere. On Sunday, I rode 75 miles with some good friends, including Laura and John. That route went to Oriental and provided some beautiful vistas along the water.

Me, Laura, Geoff, and John after 75 miles on Sunday
For all that I had a great time, the more important aspect of the weekend was the cause for which I was riding and raising money. The cause is multiple sclerosis (MS) which is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, especially the brain. The symptoms of MS can be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. There are medications which can help, but finding the right one can be difficult. 

Happy to be done after 2 days and 175 miles!
 Three people very close to me have MS—my son, Davey (who has two young sons of his own), my brother, Jamey, and my friend, Laura (one of my riding buddies on Sunday). Between them, they have experienced most of the symptoms I listed earlier. My real hope is that the money we raise at events like Bike MS (which hopes to raise close to $2M this year) will speed the research necessary to discover a cure. And, until that happens, that it will provide help to those who are suffering from the more advanced stages of the disease. 

Thank you to the many folks who supported me (and the National MS Society) on this ride. If you were meaning to do so, but have not yet gotten around to it, you still can donate until October 7.
Thanks again for your support. I hope to see you out riding!

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