Monday, August 06, 2007

MS 150 Bike Tour

This past weekend I rode my bicycle from Waukesha > Whitewater > Madison to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. My grandmother, my uncle, and an aunt have MS so I have a very compelling reason to ride. For those of you who aren't familiar with MS, here's a good explanation: There currently is not a cure for MS. Some drugs that have been able to stop the disease from disabling the person, and they also help them to recover after an attack.

We started on Saturday morning at 7:30; there were 19 riders on our team. I joined my FIB friends from Illinois - Amil, Greg, and Jim. All of us wanted to ride 100 miles both days, so we stayed together with the goal of reaching 200 miles. All of them are experienced cyclists, which is great because everyone can ride at the same pace in a draft line.

On Saturday, we had beautiful weather. The sun didn't shine for more than 15 minutes all day long, but the clouds kept us cool and the humidity was low. We were lucky to escape the onslaught of rain that occured in the afternoon - we reached our team tent at the same time that the rain started. We ate, checked into the Whitewater dorms, showered, and headed to the Saturday night party. Cyclists were honored on stage for years of participation, as well as how much money was raised. In total, all of the 1689 riders raised an incredible $1.65M for the continued research to cure MS.

The number of volunteers is amazing - these folks contribute their entire weekend to the cause. They support us by directing traffic, taking care of first aid issues, fixing bikes, distributing food, information, and liquids. I don't think that I met one volunteer who was in a bad mood! It was great to see that most of the volunteers & riders were there to show their support for cure for MS. Most people either have MS themselves, or they have friends/family that they ride/volunteer for.

I had a good weekend - I didn't fall, nor did I have any flats. However, Emil was very unlucky. He had two flats & a punctured tire on Saturday. On Sunday, he had another flat tire. Luckily most of these were near rest stops, but we had to repair one rim on the side of the road. Replacing the tube wasn't an issue, but keeping the mosquitos at bay was like trying to convince sharks to go home during a feeding frenzy.

I want to thank everyone who supported me - I appreciate your generosity.

Ryan Kari
Sanjay Venkateswarulu
Dan & Melissa Trittin
Lynn & Craig Mules
Claudia & Darryl Immel
Jason Shimko
John Byrne

I'll be posting photos on Flickr soon enough - Emil is mailing me a CD.

I'm headed to northern Wisconsin tonight for a weekend kayaking & camping. I should have something decent to share next week!