Why do I ride?
I ask myself this question when my Team Captain (Captain of the year MS Ride 2014) Elaine Rankine sends out the email asking if I’m in again for the next year. It doesn’t take me long to respond with a confident “yes”, and it’s the same thing that brings me back every year. Honestly, I don’t have someone close to me who suffers from MS…all I have to do is think back my first MS Ride for motivation.
I remember being ready to go that early July morning at Grand Bend Motorplex in the light rain listening to the “It’s time to ride” speech. Looking back, I had done more than enough training. My racing bike was in tip top shape, water bottles were topped up, I was wearing all the right gear but was still nervous with what I was about to embark on…and then I looked at the rider beside me.
There seems to be a mixed bag of participants at rides like this. There are the obvious cyclists on super-sweet bikes that look fit and ride fast, the casual riders with decent equipment, big smiles that take their time and then there are people on old, rusty bikes that really shouldn’t be ridden around the corner let alone 153 kms, wearing running shoes and gym shorts accompanied with what looks to be limited fitness. The rider beside me that morning was the third type. Instead of paying attention to the speech I struck up a conversation with this person. He told me he was riding for his mom who has MS…he just wanted to do what he could to support the research that the MS Ride’s fundraising went towards. He told me he was nervous about all the same things I was nervous about. His words gave me some perspective.
This is my 3rd MS Ride. Whenever I can during these events I seek out a rider or two who are obviously struggling and try to motivate them to keep going. I know from personal experience that no matter how much training you’ve done or how expensive your bike is, getting to the finish is always tough. Thoughts of, “does this ride ever end?” creep into my head as I pedal my way back to Grand Bend, but every time I pass by one of those riders with the not so smiley face and the 30 year old, creaking, Raleigh Mtb special I remember that I don’t have it so bad.
Outdoor training has started finally and so has my fund raising. I am at 65% of my fundraising goal. Please follow this link and donate generously.