Along the 175 mile-route, there are rest areas every 10-15 miles, staffed by volunteers, many of whom suffer from this debilitating disease. As the we pull in, hot, dusty and thirsty from a long, hot ride, we are immensely grateful for their support: cold water, ice, gatorade, protein bars and plenty of salty and sweet snacks to fuel the next leg of our journey. But - almost before we can thank them for their support, they are thanking us.
When a rider says, "thank you," the reply inevitably is, "No. Thank YOU for riding." At our first stop on day 2, I stopped at a table with lens cleaner for my sunglasses and struck up a conversation with a volunteer. She mentioned that treatment costs $3000 a month. It immediately struck me: Wow. I raised just over $3000 - that's one month of treatment for one person.
The weather cooperated beautifully this year and we were able to complete a 100-plus mile circuit on day one and a 75-mile loop on day 2. But ultimately, it's not about my ride - it's about support for this important cause and a future where we can imagine a world without MS.