Total Raised: $33,306
Greetings fellow HBC members and cycling community! I want to tell you all a little about this weekend and the great things your fellow members accomplished this weekend! I’m not going to tell you about the riding, the hills or average speed. A little story to start.
This afternoon, Andy, Dan, Donna and I were patiently waiting for the last rider to arrive in College Grove, the last and the HBC-sponsored rest stop. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon when Greg finally arrived. He was overheated and immediately plopped down in a chair. So exhausted, overheated and dehydrated he could hardly talk. I asked Greg what hurt the worst, hoping I could show him a stretch. He replied his rear end! I told him I couldn’t help much with that! He had been on the 60 mile course since 7:30 that morning, obviously not a cyclist nor an athlete.
After Greg finally caught his breath and we got him cooled down with ice water and a cold rag, he volunteered that he was riding for his wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth, it turns out, experienced symptoms of MS in 1992, and finally confirmed the diagnosis through MRI and spinal tap just recently. As he thought about what he was going to say next as his body ached, his lips trembled, tears came to his eyes and said, "This pain and suffering is nothing compared to what she experiences every day. My discomfort will be over tomorrow, hers might be for the rest of her life. I can do this."
Yes, it’s a wonderful ride. Yes, the support is excellent. Yes, the camping is great and Jack Daniels is really fun! But it’s people like Greg and Elizabeth whom we show up for.
– Your HBC team raised over $31,000 so far this year for MS. They received the award for top fund raising team. They received the aware for Most Spirited Team. As team captain, I am so VERY proud of everyone’s effort.
– Thank you Harpeth Bike Club for sponsoring the College Grove rest stop. It was super exposure for the club to 800 cyclists, and was so appreciated by all.
– Special thanks go out to Keith and Hope Walker. They put a tremendous amount of effort getting everything ready for the rest stop. Of course it was the best rest stop, though there was no vote! And, by the way, Keith serves on the MS ride committee, and did an excellent job marking the course last weekend!
– Special thanks to Donna Clements, the only HBC volunteer to work the rest stop all day both days. Thanks to Andy Goodson and Karla Mcvey for coming out all day on Sunday, and Dan Belser for loaning his truck and trailer, and coming back to help clean up.
– And super special thanks to the HBC Team members, and the money they raised, and awareness they brought to the disease, and of course the club members who supported them through their generous donations.
After we gave him some tips, words of encouragement and filled his water bottle with ice and sports drink, we sent Greg on his way to finish the last seven miles. After closing up the rest stop our exit route took us to pass Greg. He was a few miles down the road and had some traffic backed up, so we had time to watch him ride. Though his condition really made him an excellent candidate for a SAG ride, his determination gave him wings – flying up those last hills, and descending faster than cars could! I would have never expected it from the last rider, but Greg is an inspiration for me. He is an example of someone who’s family is seriously affected by the devastating effects of MS and he’s someone that’s doing something about it.
Greg, if you see this some day, I’m riding first for you and Elizabeth next year. I’m riding for Sheldon Brown my cycling hero, Joni Spear the daughter of our good friends Tom and Judy, and Mike Owen the first boy Donna kissed now confined to a wheelchair nearly paralyzed. I’m riding for Eve who I heard speak Friday night – the only person with MS to ever circumnavigate the the entire United States by bicycle, whom I can only hope gets to enjoy her love cycling for the rest of her life.
Who will you ride for?
Thank You All So Much,