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Bike MS Fundraising Progress

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Momentum Magazine and Team Winco - Behind the Scenes...

On the first day of National Bike Month, the Summer issue of Momentum, the publication of the National MS Society, is arriving at homes and available online! As I mentioned in a previous article, our Bike MS team is featured prominently in an article and on the cover! Now that the magazine is out, I wanted to share some details about how this all came to pass, what it means for our local chapter of the MS Society, and behind-the-scenes info about the photos that appeared in the magazine.

First off, the digital edition of Momentum magazine is available online here. It has also been mailed out to over 430,000 people worldwide who suffer from or are affected by MS! Here is the beautiful cover shot, taken by local Boise photographer Joshua Roper. That's my good friend and Bike MS teammate Doug Jenkins riding behind me. It's amazing that a professional photographer can make a couple of 40+ year old guys in spandex look presentable...

Momentum Magazine - Summer 2013 - Training Days!
The cover really did turn out great, and I've gotten a lot of nice comments about it. The most common ones being "you need a haircut!" and "how did they photoshop your beer gut out of that picture?"

How it Began...

I was thinking back to August 2011, right after Rick passed away - and my nephew and I were looking at Rick's old road bike hanging up in the garage, collecting dust. And now, 18 months later, it's on the cover of a national publication, helping to raise money and awareness to fight MS. Crazy! I wanted to share how this came about, and the steps along the way that led to the magazine article.

This all started when Juliann Fritz, Communications and Brand Manager for our chapter of the MS Society, contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to be interviewed by their national publication for an article on "how to train for Bike MS." I was pretty curious how they had heard about me and how this whole thing had come about.

"Serendipity!" says Juliann. "Our national PR person had gotten wind of your story and why you ride and wanted to learn more, especially about your motivation to ride and how Bike MS changes lives. Shortly thereafter, the national office also sent out an inquiry along the same lines for the Society’s magazine looking for something similar and I automatically thought of you and shared your story, your Participant Page “blog”, and how great the team you rode with was … and then, they wanted to talk to you!"

The Process...

I was then contacted last December by Kathleen Hagan, a writer for Momentum, to set up an interview. I had a blast doing the interview, because I got to sit and talk for an hour about something I love - cycling! The focus of the interview was on how to prepare and train for a long distance ride like Bike MS. (Note: I wrote a previous blog article sharing some of my thoughts on this as well...) We then had a couple of email follow-ups to clarify and expand on a few points, and that was that.

In late February, an editor from the magazine contacted me to fact-check the text of the article. Out of the 60+ minutes of talking with Kathleen, they gleaned the five sentences or so that you see in the article. I love the fact that they mention Rick numerous times.

About a week later, I got a request for photographs of our team going on training rides! Juliann explained "...as the story came together I think they liked the camaraderie of your team and wanted photos of you all riding together." We never take pictures of ourselves while we're training, so I sent them a few photos from the Bike MS event, and a few photos that my friend Jan took while on a cycling vacation in Europe last year. They thought they could use a couple of them for the magazine article, but wanted something for the cover! Kathleen Wilson, an art director for Momentum, then asked if we'd be willing to do a photo shoot here in Boise. Of course, the team rallied and all agreed to participate.

The Cover Shoot...

We scheduled the cover shoot for March 23rd. It was a typical Spring day in Boise - around 50 degrees, but a strong wind made it feel much colder. My teammates Greg Goins, Steve Baggerly, and Doug Jenkins gathered at Ivywild Park, in tights and long sleeves, ready to brave the wind. Our team captain from last year, Eric Jeglum was unable to make the photo shoot, and he was missed. But, I didn't feel too bad for Eric, as he was vacationing somewhere warm...and I kind of wished I was with him at that moment, having a cocktail on the beach!

As you might recall, we were joined by my pal Megan Nettleton, Community Relations Specialist for the MS Society in Boise. It was great that Megan got bundled up and hung out with us for a couple hours that day. As I mentioned, it was brisk out - so I didn't think it would be much fun for her - but Megan says "I had such a blast following Rex and his team in my car during the photo shoot, and got the opportunity to take some pretty great behind-the-scenes shots!" Megan indeed took some nice photos that day that we all really enjoyed, and I'll use one of those later to explain how Josh took the cover photo...

The plan for the cover shoot was for us to ride from Ivywild Park to Lucky Peak Dam. Josh and Megan followed by car, and we stopped and took a few photos along the way. Josh took so many great photos that day, they decided to use some for the interior of the magazine as well. Here's a break-down of each of the photos that made it into the magazine, in chronological order...

The first photo was taken at Discovery Park, just over halfway to Lucky Peak. From left to right, that's Steve, Greg, Doug, and me.

Page 35, top left, Momentum magazine, Summer 2013
The magazine wanted to capture photos of us hydrating and eating snacks during our ride (two very important things.) Fortunately, Steve had packed some "gummi" chews along with him and was handing them out in the picture. Megan took some pretty funny shots of us trying to chew those things. After about 20 minutes of standing around in various positions, eating and drinking, we left the park and headed up the dam. I was hoping for some great shots of our team riding up the hill on Highway 21 to the dam, but none of them made the article. Here's a great shot that Megan took...

Josh and the team on Highway 21, right before the dam
I believe that the photo used for the table of contents was taken while we crossed the dam, or shortly thereafter. This is a great photo of the entire team.

Page 6, top, Momentum magazine, Summer 2013
Once we got up and over the dam to the boat launch / parking lot, Josh had an idea that resulted in the cover photo. There is a guard-rail along the perimeter of the parking lot that overlooks the reservoir and Boise foothills. Josh had us "slow-ride" along the guard rail as he backed up in front of us and took pictures. It was pretty amusing, as we were asked to ride as slow as we possibly could. If you've ever tried to do this, you know things can get pretty wobbly - but we did our best. Here's a shot of Josh and me in action...


Slow-riding the guard rail at Lucky Peak
I took a few laps slow-riding solo, than with the team. The result was the beautiful cover photo shown at the beginning of this article.

The magazine had also wanted to get some "routine maintenance" photos - checking tire pressure, adjusting the seat post, etc. Since I was riding a 26 year-old bike, there is no shortage of routine maintenance to be done. But, in this final photo used in the magazine, I am doing absolutely nothing! In order to get a photo where my face was clearly visible, I just held my multi-tool next to my shifters and sat there looking focused for a few minutes :) 

Page 36, top left, Momentum magazine, Summer 2013
The word "professionally" should never appear on a picture of me holding a bike tool! But, the picture turned out pretty well and I kind of look like I know what I'm doing. But an experienced bike mechanic would wonder what in the heck I was doing there...

Anyway, after those shots in the parking lot, Josh and Megan headed back to town, and we rode back into a stiff head-wind. After all that hard work we hit the Tavern at Bown for a few cold ones, and laughed about the silly afternoon we'd just had.

This is a Big Deal!

So, this is a pretty cool thing for us, and for the Utah / Southern Idaho chapter of the National MS Society.

Megan has this to say..."What I want people to grasp is that this magazine is a national publication, and that a Bike MS team from our chapter not only was featured, but made the cover - that is amazing! And, how cool is it that they are all from Idaho? This is a first for our chapter, and will not be forgotten..." Again, this magazine goes out to over 430,000 people world-wide who suffer from or are impacted by MS. Overall readership is estimated to be over 1,000,000. Wow!

And, I have to mention my friend Gordy Myre is also featured in the article. I've introduced you to Gordy before - Gordy has MS and rides a bike that he pedals with his arms! Gordy is also on our Bike MS team this year. Gordy was the first person to phone me yesterday after he received his copy of Momentum in the mail, and was wondering "...how the mailman could have possibly left a magazine in his mailbox with a picture of my ugly mug on the cover..." I wonder about that myself, Gordy.

Again, the entire article may be read here, and Megan is helping me procure some physical copies to share with my top donors, of which there are many! Stay tuned!

We couldn't be prouder, and I'd like to think that Rick would be very proud as well. And thanks again for supporting us as we continue our fundraising efforts to help fight MS!

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