Hi everyone! Bike MS: Harmon's Best Dam Bike Ride 2014 is on the books! The event took place in Logan, UT on June 28th and 29th, and fundraising continues through July 31. This is my long-delayed ride recap and fundraising status article. And I'd like to tell you about an inspiring high school student who spoke at the awards banquet. It was a fantastic weekend, let's get started...
First off, here are some highlights of the ride, along with fundraising status as of July 24th...Let's start with fundraising...after all, this is why we ride.
- The event has raised nearly $1.2 Million so far! The goal is $1.6 Million - and we should meet or exceed that goal by the time they close the books on the event. I've written before about how important Bike MS is to our chapter, accounting for over 60% of total chapter revenue last year...it's so vital that we meet this goal!
- As of July 24th, Team Winco has raised $28,051! This is roughly a 30% increase from last year, and has exceeded our team goal of $25,000! Much of the credit for this increase goes to Chris Bias, more on Chris later...
- We (you and I) raised $6,326. That is a great number, but about 18% down from last year. Fundraising continues for another week so I'm hoping to close that gap a bit...If you haven't had the opportunity to donate yet, please click on the banner at the top of this blog, or on the "Donate" button to the right.
- Team WinCo's top 5 fundraisers were:
- #1 - Chris Bias, $11,400. This is Chris's first year riding with us, and we were very happy to have him. In addition to his incredible fundraising, Chris is a fun guy to ride with, a great addition to the team, and we sure hope he joins us again next year. The remainder of the top 5 were: #2 - Rex Parker, #3 Greg Goins, #4 Eric Jeglum, #5 Gordy Myre
- Great job everyone, and thanks to EVERYONE who donated and put so much time and effort into fundraising!
- Team WinCo had 15 riders at the event. We lost a couple riders due to scheduling conflicts, and a couple riders due to illness. One rider, Elizabeth McGarry, was recovering from a broken leg, but still volunteered at the event and still met her fundraising goal! Way to go, Liz!
- The 15 riders came from Idaho, Utah, and California to participate. The riders were:
- Boise: Danny Barnett, Greg Goins, Terri Goins, Michelle Halling, Doug Jenkins, Heather Kimmel, Mark Lavin, Gordy Myre, Rex Parker, and Kathleen Romito
- Salt Lake City: Chris Bias, Patrick Bodnar, Joe Cooley, and Chad Moore
- San Diego: Mike Morris
- Thanks so much to our team members who traveled to get to Logan, especially to Mike, who flew to Utah from San Diego to ride with us.
- The 15 Team WinCo riders rode a total of 1,700 miles over the two days! The number of riders was slightly up from last year, and the cumulative mileage about the same.
The course was largely the same as last year, except that the day 2 course was a bit shorter. Here are my GPS logs of the ride...
You may notice that a lot of my segment times read "2nd best time...". That is because I was not in as good of shape for the ride this year - and my times showed it. I especially struggled getting up Blacksmith Fork Canyon on Day Two, taking 13 minutes longer to get to the summit than I did last year. I will not make the same mistake again next year!
The weather was spectacular. I haven't inspected my temperature logs too closely, but I doubt that the road temperature broke 90 degrees all weekend (as opposed to last year, where we hit 109!) The following pictures sum up the riding conditions perfectly. Nice blue skies, with some cloud cover to help keep the temperature down.
|Scenes from Bike MS 2014, Day One|
The highlight of the riding on Day One, for me, was riding with our friends from Utah and California. Chris, Pat, Joe, Chad, and Mike are all good riders and really helped make the day enjoyable. The longer pace lines also help make the riding a bit easier. And the "guts" award for Day One has to go to our team captain Greg Goins who battled through leg cramps to complete the entire 100 miles. Greg does a great job of leading by example with his fundraising and riding. Here is a nice shot of the 100-mile riders at the end of Day One...
|Day One Century Riders- from l to r: Mike, Greg, Mark, Kathleen, Chris, Chad, Patrick, Joe, Danny, Rex, Doug|
Day Two included the beautiful ride up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to Hardware Ranch. I sure enjoy this climb, even it was a bit more difficult for me this year. The absolute highlight of Day Two (and of the whole weekend) was seeing Gordy ride down the Canyon. Here's the story behind that...
|Gordon Myre, the Heart and Soul of our Team|
If you've read this blog before, you know Gordy. Gordy has MS and rides at least 40 miles in Bike MS every year on a bike he cranks with his arms. It's difficult for Gordy to do much climbing on that bike, so he has to find relatively flat sections of the course to ride. This year, Gordy got a ride in a support vehicle to the top of Blacksmith Fork Canyon and rode down, a descent of about nearly 1,000 feet. We had just started climbing up the canyon when we all saw Gordy come screaming down the road, doing at least 25 miles per hour, his arms a blur of motion. Gordy had a grin on his face from ear to ear, and it looked like he was having the time of his life. We found out from Gordy later that he exceeded 30 miles per hour on his descent and was having great difficulty slowing down, let alone stopping. So what appeared to be a grin may have been a look of sheer horror! I choose to think that Gordy had a great time on his adventure Sunday - and he continues to be an inspiration to me and everyone else on the team.
Anyway, a good number of us made the ascent on Sunday, here's a nice shot of the group at the summit.
|Team WinCo at Hardware Ranch - from l to r: Shelly, Rex, Danny, Mark, Doug, Mike, Kathleen|
As was the case last year, we attended a very nice program / awards ceremony at the Cache County fairgrounds on Saturday night. The keynote speaker was a young lady who absolutely epitomizes the cause and why we ride. Anja Peterson is a 17 year-old high school student who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as a sophomore in high school. Anja is starting college next year at Utah State University, thanks in part to a scholarship from the National MS Society. A scholarship that YOU helped make possible. Anja will be studying Neurobiology, and she proudly stated that she intends to find a cure for MS. I hope Anja won't mind that I swiped this beautiful picture from her Facebook page.
Anja's speech was funny, engaging, and touching. What impressed me the most about Anja, though, aside from her finding the courage to address a large crowd and talk candidly about her disease, is that she actually made a PROS and CONS list about having MS. PROS? Are you kidding me? One of her PROS was that her nephews and nieces love to sit on her lap and ride with her in her wheelchair. One of her CONS? She falls down. A lot. And she didn't say this...but I imagine that it must be very hard to intermittently be in a wheelchair in high school, kids can be cruel. But - as my friend Annette said...Anja has "...courageously found her wings to move forward with her life..." I'm not sure I would have been able to do the same when I was her age. I expect great things from Anja, and once again - YOU MADE THIS SCHOLARSHIP POSSIBLE with your donations to Bike MS, and you should be proud.
So...it was a fantastic weekend. But the battle against MS is year-round. Here's a preview of other activities that I'll be participating in throughout the next few months.
- We (Heather and I) are attending the "Music Over the Blue" fundraiser for MS in Boise on August 7th. This looks to be a great time, you can learn more about it here.
- I've just been elected to the Board of Trustees for our chapter of the National MS Society. I'm very excited and privileged to serve the MS Society in this capacity. My first meeting as a Board member is coming up in September, and I expect to write more about this as the year progresses.
- I'm using my Passport Program privileges to ride in Bike MS - Ride the Sky 2014 in Bozeman, MT in August. I went to college at Montana State University in Bozeman, so I'm very excited to ride in Bozeman and camp out at the football stadium there. Also looking forward to meeting some of the MS Society folks from the Greater Northwest chapter.
- The MS Wine Ride on August 24th put on by George's Cycling here in Boise. A nice course through SW Idaho wine country (yes, it exists) capped off with lunch and some sampling at a local winery. You can learn more here.
So, to close - I just want to thank you again for your support. Your donations are making a difference in the live of those who have, or are impacted by, Multiple Sclerosis. I've seen it first-hand. And again, if you haven't yet had the opportunity to donate to Bike MS 2014, it's not too late! Just click on the banner or the Donate button to the right. Donations are accepted through July 31st, 2014. And if you miss that deadline, just shoot me a quick email, and we'll see what can be done.
|Rex and Heather, Bike MS 2014 Day Two|