We Ride with MS
For the 2013 Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride, the Northern California Chapter partnered with Genzyme One-to-One on a program called I Ride with MS to honor cyclists living with MS and recognize them with a special jersey. Here are the stories of why six cyclists ride with MS.
Cathy, who has had MS for 20 years, will be riding in Bike MS: Waves to Wine on Team Super Slugs. “I decided to ride this year mainly because of that anniversary, and because thanks to a drug that is working for me, I actually can ride 90 miles in two days,” said Cathy. She wants people to know a few things about MS. “Probably the most important things are that it is a "silent" disease for many of us - not really visible to others but affects us each day - maybe in small ways but still there; and its unpredictability - today I rode the new Bay Bridge bike path for a total ride of 28 miles feeling great but last week I was exhausted.”
Jamie was diagnosed with MS 25 years ago, more than half her life. This will be her fourth year riding in Bike MS on Team We Don’t MS Around. Why does Jamie ride? “ I participate to help find a cure for MS,” she said. “I am one of the lucky ones. I have Relapsing/Remitting MS and I have been able to control it with weekly injections. I first rode as a challenge to myself to see if I could complete the ride, which I did. It was just my husband and I the first year and our team has now grown to eight people. I appreciate the support of my family and friends that come out every year and ride with me.”
Laura of San Francisco was diagnosed with MS in 2009. She rides with MS on Team Menstrual Cycles. When asked why she rides, Laura says, “I want my daughter to know that MS will not stop me from trying new things. After our team was formed five years ago, I decided to learn how to ride a bike to help raise money for MS research. My daughter taught me how to ride and my team helped train me.” Laura’s favorite thing about Bike MS is that “It reminds me what my body can do instead of what it can’t do,” said Laura. “Also, I am always so moved by the outpouring of support.”
Lisa of Colorado was diagnosed with MS in 2006. “Team Little Lissie (Powered by Pure Protein) was established by my sister the year I was diagnosed,” said Lisa. “This will be our 8th time participating in Waves to Wine. Bike MS continues to be one of the greatest sources of funding for the Society - and the Society one of the greatest sources of funding for MS research in the world. Which means our efforts matter! I fundraise by asking for people's support and asking them to help spread the word. The generosity of my friends and family is overwhelming. The key to fundraising is to ASK."
Peter of Pleasanton was diagnosed with MS in 2006. Why does he participate in Bike MS: Waves to Wine? “To raise money to fight MS and to raise awareness about the disease,” said Peter. “The first time I ever hopped on a road bike, which was day one of Waves 2007, I quickly realized that I was stronger than a lot of riders who were much more physically fit than I was. So it's been fun to discover for the first time that I can be decent at something athletic. And with the way my MS impacts me, cycling has a minimal impact on my MS.”
Tom of Fair Oaks was diagnosed with primary progressive MS 10 years ago. This will be his first time participating in Bike MS and is a member of Team Avalon. Why does Tom ride? “I have been [cycling] for approximately six years and as I’ve become a stronger rider, the event offers a challenge that I believe I can do,” said Tom. “My ambulatory ability continues to deteriorate, but when I’m on a bike, it’s like I’m MS free.” For Tom, MS is a family disease. “I’m lucky that I’ve got a loving family, a great circle of friends and the resources to deal with MS,” said Tom.