Now you might be asking yourself what Bike MS is. "Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National MS Society and raises more money than any other cycling event for any other cause. To date, Bike MS cyclists, volunteers, and donors have raised more than $1 billion so people affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what's been lost and, end MS forever." Am I happy to be apart of this movement? Of course, I know people who suffer from MS and I have seen what it has done to their lives. I want to help in anyway that I can. In New Jersey I do the coast to coast ride. In which we start at Monmouth University and bike all the way down to Cape May. The most southern point in NJ. In total it is 170 miles in two days. Now yes, it is a lot of miles and a long time to be sitting on a bike. But I can still bike for those who cannot.
Here is what Bike MS is all about:
So each year for a weekend in May, I hop on my road bike and take the journey. You might be thinking that I am a little bit crazy. I'm in college, right? I could be doing so many different things on the weekend. But could I really? This ride gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with other people who enjoy riding bikes as much as I do. I have the amazing opportunity to raise money for a good cause that hopefully will be able to cure MS. I get to meet people of all different walks and hear their stories. I would much rather do something like this on a weekend knowing I am helping people, that I am a symbol of hope for someone. I'm there to inspire other young people that they can do this too.
In a demographic that is primarily middle-aged men I am a rarity in the biking community. But I want to show people that it's ok to do something you enjoy no matter how silly you look or how much your muscles will ache while doing it. It is no easy task, it takes strength, endurance, and heart. It is just you and the road out there for miles. You get to see parts of the country that you would never have seen and for that I am thankful.
This was my 3rd year riding with Bike MS and it wasn't easy. When cars honk at you and startle you to the point where you almost fall off of your bike, or when cars cut you off because they are getting impatient with you. There were points in which the wind was pushing us back so much it felt like we were biking backwards. Going up those huge bridges to cross into the shore towns you just wanna quit because it hurts so much and one wrong move means you are on the ground praying that a car doesn't run you over. But it isn't a daily pain like MS, it is a temporary short pain that in reality you can handle.
Biking on the side of a highway or some backroads in the country isn't always the safest and you must be very aware of your surroundings. We work as a team even if we do not know each other. The people in the front slow down at intersections to check and see if it is all clear. The people in the back warn us about cars coming up behind us. we all work together for no one can get through these rides alone.
If you do not know what MS is, take a look at this video:
So why do I continue to do Bike MS? Because I can!
What are you doing to help those around you? You never know how much you can impact other people's lives to make the world a better place until you get out and try.