Last year about this time, and certainly during last year’s MS Ride in June, I was convinced that I would take a year off. I had done the ride for ten years in a row. I had my share of bad breaks with two flats the first day and an eye infection that left me wearing my normal glasses on the second day. Let me tell you, the main reason I got contact lenses 25 years ago was that wearing glasses during a hot summer’s day bike ride is a pain. The photo that you see associated with this post is of me at the finish of the 2009 ride. I have a big smile on my face because I’m done. I also had my wife and son greeting me at the finish line.

This was also the time when we were dealing with a flooded basement in our relatively new home. Lots of obstacles seemed to be getting in the way of me training, and therefore, enjoying my rides. I felt slightly less prepared for the ride than usual. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t the first rider in Williamsburg. Well, despite all of what happened last year, I will be riding the 2010 edition of the MS Ride. The reason that I will is that it has become a habit. It’s something that I can still do. The obstacles that got in my way last year are nothing compared to the obstacle that is MS. All of the stuff that got in my way were mere inconveniences. What I enjoy is the challenge every year. Sure each year I ride, I will get progressively slower, and there will always be younger riders that will ride ever faster. The more I do the ride, it’s more about being reminded of the struggle, and how minor it is in comparison to people with MS. I ride for Bruce Lowery, husband of Pam Lowery, whom I work with at the University of Mary Washington. Pam has shared with me that Bruce’s struggle has stabilized somewhat, but life is still a quite a bit of a struggle living with MS.

I hope that you can support my ride this year. Encourage me to suffer for two days and 150 miles, if only to remind me that my life is pretty good.

Visit my Personal Page and donate what you can. Thank you.

Andy