Banana Bike Team Reinvigorated for Seventh Year of Bike MS
FARMINGTON, Conn. – When the 2012 Bike MS ride peels out of Griffin Center in Windsor on Sunday, June 3, one team is sure to stand out.
For a seventh year, the Banana Bike Team will don their signature yellow jerseys and gear up for the Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, Sunday, June 3, in Windsor.
Mike Stacy, co-host of Allan, Mike and Allison in the morning has been involved with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, ever since he joined WRCH 22 years ago. He served on the Connecticut Chapter’s Board of Trustees for several years and hosts the chapter’s MS Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony each March. After years of involvement with the Bike MS ride from a media standpoint, Stacy decided to get out and ride. He and his son, Jake, formed the Banana Bike Team in 2006.
“I’ve had a relationship with this event for 22 years now and this will be my seventh year on the bike,” said Stacy, who lives in Rocky Hill. “I’m around music all day; it’s very peaceful to put on a helmet and ride and hear nothing but wind.”
Along for the ride with Stacy is West Hartford insurance lawyer Kathy Scanlon, whose sister is married to Stacy’s brother. Scanlon was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001. For a fourth year, Scanlon will ride the 50-mile route with her husband Robert on the Banana Bike team. Stacy will also take the step up from the 25- to 50-mile route.
Mike Stacy of Lite 100.5 poses with Kathy Scanlon at CBS Radio in Farmington. For a seventh year, Stacy will captain the Banana Bike Team at the Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, on Sunday, June 3, at Griffin Center in Windsor. Scanlon, West Hartford, who was diagnosed with MS in 2001, will ride for a fourth year. The ride also features a second location at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. To register for Bike MS or to donate to the Banana Bike Team, visit ctfightsMS.org.
Scanlon, who practices law with Seiger, Gfeller and Laurie talked about her motivation to ride.
“It’s very important for me to participate and raise funds because it’s not just for research,” said Scanlon, who with her husband Robert are the parents of nine-year-old twin girls and a six-year-old boy. “It’s also to support the people that can’t afford treatments or need assistance in their homes, which is just as important. This helps them make their lives work again.”
Stacy remarked that this seventh year as captain of the “mighty bananas” has brought a little serendipity.
As he does each year, Stacy posted flyers around CBS radio’s offices in Farmington to recruit team members and spur fundraising. When co-worker Kristie Miller, an account executive in the sales department, approached Stacy, he assumed it was to make a donation. Stacy was shocked when she revealed that she has MS, and that she wanted to join the team and ride.
“We’ve worked together for a year and I had no idea she had MS,” said Stacy. “To have her come forward with her MS and along with having Kathy on the team makes it even more personal and motivates me to fundraise. We’re fighting for a cure together.”
Miller, who was diagnosed with MS in 1999, expressed her appreciation.
“I love that people like Mike take time out of their lives and use the resources they have to support a cause that affects me,” said Miller, who is in the process of moving to Wallingford. “It’s like he’s doing all this work for me – it’s awesome.”
Kristie Miller, Wallingford, poses on a hike in Colorado. Miller, who was diagnosed with MS in 1999, will ride for her first time as part of co-worker Mike Stacy’s Banana Bike Team at the Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, on Sunday, June 3, at Griffin Center in Windsor. To register for Bike MS or to donate to the Banana Bike Team, visit ctfightsMS.org.
Miller’s move to Wallingford has forced her to undergo steroid treatment because of persistent tingling and hugging sensations throughout her body. Despite the flare-up, she plans to ride the 25-mile route.
“The least I can do is get on the bike and ride,” said Miller.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Miller and Scanlon, live with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, extraordinary fatigue, stiffness in the limbs, and in extreme cases, complete paralysis.
To date, the Banana Bike Team has raised more than $2,000, thanks in large part to weekly incentives laid down by captain Stacy to his team members. Prizes for his top weekly fundraisers have included tickets to Lady Antebellum, Nickelback, Mary Poppins on Broadway, and more. The 12-member team will also receive Banana swag-bags at the ride, including yellow team water bottles, Banana Boat sunscreen, and more.
The 2012 Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, will feature two locations on Sunday, June 3, at Griffin Center in Windsor and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The Windsor ride features 100-, 50-, 25-, 12- and 2-mile routes while Westport offers 50-, 25-, and 10-mile rides as well as a kiddie ride.
Community partners for Bike MS include WTNH News 8 and Lite 100.5 WRCH.
To register for Bike MS or to donate to the Banana Bike Team, visit ctfightsMS.org.