Mother Nature Giveth and Taketh Away.
This Year’s Ride
The 2019 BikeMS Gateway Getaway Ride started off great! It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and the temperature was perfect. Even the wind played nice. I knew I wasn’t ready for the double century let alone a single century this year so the plan was to go back to the double 75. This made it easier to swallow when Mother Nature decided to literally rain (and blow, and lightning, and thunder, and hail) on the parade of bikes Sunday morning. It was to be the debut of the new REspace kit too. It’s hard to say now if I really felt like the double century was going to happen in 2018 when the remnants of tropical storm Gordon rolled through and cancelled the entire event. I’ll never know if I was truly ready then, but at the risk of sounding like a Cubs fan from 1909 to 2015… NEXT YEAR!
Why I Ride
The event had been a personal goal for a few years, and in 2009 I decided it was time when I learned that a life long friend had been diagnosed. And every year I learn that some else I know or a member of their family has MS.
I’ve participated every year since 2009, having ridden 150 miles every year except for 2011 and 2018. Well, now 2019 too. Hey, 75 miles is better than nothing. And ride or not, I’ve always raised money. This year my goal was $575 and I’ve raised $585 so far. Donations are being accepted until 12/07/19 if you want to make a donation to BikeMS this year.
What Is BikeMS?
BikeMS is a series of rides across the United States, from the Bike to the Bay Ride in Deleware to the Bay to Bay Ride in California, raising money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Each ride is a 2-day event and they are spread out through the year. The distances range from 25-100 miles each day. The Gateway Getaway Ride is unique in that it’s so large that the start and finish are in the same place due to the logistics of moving everyone’s gear from point A to B. Most other rides are from point A to B on Saturday with different routes from point B to A on Sunday. One such ride is the BikeMS Ozarks Ride that is on the same weekend as the Gateway Getaway every year. When he lived in the area, I rode that one with my brother in 2016. Saturday night we “camped” in the then recently rebuilt school in Joplin, MO (yes that one).
In the past, it was known as the MS150, but they dropped number as they added more distance options. For this reason I always ride at least 150 miles on the weekend. I started with the double 75 and went to 100/50 when I was camping in Columbia, MO. The idea was to have enough energy to pack up and make the 2 hour drive home after. Ever since I got that first century patch I have wanted to get to double patches, but haven’t managed to pull it off.
Thanks again to all who donated and enjoy the video of my ride!