Last week, I rode 100 miles (in one day!) to raise funds and awareness in the battle against MS. Over the years I have done a number of these rides back in Minnesota but I hadn't done one for a long time when I was prompted to fly back in 2008 to join my niece, Alli, in her first MS150 (150 miles over 2 days). That was only Alli's first MS150; now 12 years old, she's completed 3 of them. So I figured I should step up and do NYC's MS100.
It took a little longer than I expected, since it takes longer to ride up the hills of Palisades Interstate Park than the flatlands of Minnesota. But it was a lovely day for a ride, the rain of the preceding week lifting for the weekend just long enough for me to finish the ride, which took about 10 hours from entering the Lincoln Tunnel to returning to Pier 94 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. The photo is of my "I ride for" bib & the medal they gave out at the finish (more photos here).
Probably the most memorable moment of the ride was in Garnerville, NY. They were holding their Columbus Day parade a week early, so there were vintage cars and civic leaders in sashes milling about as the marching band warmed up; nothing to lift your spirits like riding out to the marching band rendition of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."
However, the most memorable aspect of this entire experience has been the generosity of my friends and family, who in a very short time helped me raise over $1,500. Sadly, this is in part due to the fact that MS touches so many lives that many people donated in honor of someone they know affected by the disease. It is my hope that someday soon there will be a world without MS, and that in the meantime those with it can remain as positive as my Uncle Ron, who took his last step 15 years ago and yet feels that "Even though my legs and my arms don’t work anymore, I wake up every morning with a smile. I have a great deal to be thankful for. I am a happy man. I am a lucky man." (Read more from Uncle Ron here.)
Thanks again to all who donated!