March 28, 2012

MS 150 - Why I Ride

This April, I will be riding in this year’s BP MS 150.  It’s a two day bicycle ride from Houston to Austin.  Despite the name, it’s actually a 180 mile ride.  I’ve ridden a number of times.  I’ve also ridden some of the other MS 150 rides in Texas.  There was the ride from San Antonio to Corpus Christi that was pretty much entirely into a headwind the entire way to the coast.  Then there was the Frisco to Fort Worth ride that included a lap around the track at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Houston to Austin is the biggest of the rides, with 13,000 riders, and something I look forward to every year.  I look forward to it for the personal challenge as well as doing my part to help the National MS Society fund research, advocate for change, and help people with MS and their families lead powerful lives. I believe in the work they do and like being an active part of it.

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive neurological disease that affects people in many different ways. It could be paralysis one day, loss of vision the next or impaired memory the day after that.  There is no cure.  Many people in this country is newly diagnosed with MS every single day.  The research that has been funded through the National MS Society has led to recent breakthroughs in treating the symptoms.  It’s so fulfilling to see results from the fundraising efforts.

The experience is such an empowering one.  The ride itself is fulfilling.  I did my first century on day one of my first MS 150.  The training, preparation, and accomplishment of crossing the finish line after two days and 180 miles is extremely rewarding.  More than all of that, I am honored and humbled to be part of something bigger.  I am humbled to see 13,000 riders with orange bandannas that represent someone with MS that the rider is honoring.  I am humbled by the number of people who cheer all of the riders on.  I am humbled by the people living with MS, thanking us at the breakpoints.  I am humbled every time I see a rider wearing a jersey that reads “I have MS, that’s why I ride!”

The ride is fun, rewarding and extremely fulfilling.  It’s also hard, painful, and tiring.  It’s a reminder of what people who live with MS experience every day.  And that is why I ride.  This year I’ve organized a team at my company, Bazaarvoice. where generosity is one of our core values.  I can use your support, both moral and financial, in this endeavor.  You can send me some words of encouragement or sponsor me here.  

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