August 5, 2008

MS 150 2008: An Amazing Ride

Who knew?

Who would have expected that, in just two days, this skinny girl from Salem could have pedaled 81 miles? Who knew that her friends would help her in raising over $4,200 to benefit those with Multiple Sclerosis? Considering extensive therapy and much prayer in prior years, who would have guessed that she would bike almost pain free? I was genuinely surprised that my body, previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia, allowed me to finish. I made it!

What gives us the strength to do that which we do? We draw strength from goals that we define through hope. I have hope that my six friends with MS regain health and vitality. I hold to hope. I feed my spirit with hope that we may conquer what seems impossible. With the hope that I hold to I can encourage my teammates (nine cyclists!) to push through circumstance of difficult and tiring terrain. And I can remind you that you also have unlimited potential to achieve your unspoken dreams.

The Daily Rider featured an article on why I ride... On the front page!
Not surprisingly, it is titled "Fighting for Friends." Check out the PDF file at

Last weekend I pedaled 81 miles smiling and dancing. I dance a real mean disco when I'm biking hands-free! (Seriously. Email me for the pic.) The ride was exhilarating. I did it! And did it well. Sweet Home, Oregon was our starting point and ending point. The route took us through a number of beautiful, historic covered bridges.

On Day One we rode 60 miles. The first 15 miles were hills. It was quite cold, misty, and windy. I was rather miserable until the fog burned off and I began the 30 miles on flat ground. This was the best part of the entire ride. On mile 40 I knew that I could ride forever. It was like walking. This must be how people running a marathon feel - one foot in front of the other.

I loved pedaling through the countryside alone; just me and the road, the sagging barns, and dry fragrant hay fields. This to me exemplifies the core moments of why we live. The countryside and ripe summer air were intoxicating. At times just feeling nature around me was breathtaking. The last 15 miles of the day were also hills, but they seemed much more approachable. I was glad to be done with day one, but enjoyed it greatly.

I took a photo of my bike odometer at the end of Day One – 61.14 miles! Yikes!

Day two was only 20 miles, but much of the ride took us through rough hills. The weather was glorious. Most of our team rode together. One teammate, Laura, towed her large dog Petra in a cart behind her bike. Crazy woman!

At about mile 17 I was in my lowest gear, groaning and weaving up a monster of a hill at only about 4.5 mph. But I didn't stop and walk my bike. I am proud of myself for this. The last two miles were downhill. When we were blocks away from the finish line I was hooting and cheering. I made it! We made it!

Here is my profile on the Oregon Multiple Sclerosis' website.
There are another $1,475 in donations that are processing as a deposit.

Thank you for giving others hope.
Continue on your pursuit of hope and peace.

Miss Rose