What I Learned About MS by NOT Riding the Bikeathon Today

My backpack is packed with extra tubes, tire tools, supplies, Clif bars, and electrolyte jelly beans. My bike jersey sits alone, unworn. I did not get to ride with my friends Tony and Andy today on the 30 mile trip around Manhattan that we’ve been training for since early spring. Here’s Tony and me on one of our recent trips. Who knew the ambulance sign in the background was foreshadowing?

I exceeded my $1000 fund raising goal thanks to you, my friends, some of whom I’ve only occasionally heard from in years but who still opened their wallets for my cause.

Hell, I’m ready to ride! I did 16 miles last weekend over hills and Manhattan is basically flat compared to where I’ve been training.  And I was so psyched to be with thousands of riders, riding the highways of NYC without fear of cars and enjoying the city skyline from my bike. The legs are willing. More than willing.

My back, however, is not up to the task.

Yesterday, after a short 5 mile warm up, I reached down to pickup my helmet and that was the straw that tweaked my back. Maybe it was two 7 hour flights in coach, or lifting luggage, or walking with a heavy backpack through London. But since yesterday morning, I’ve taken Advil, Aleve, Valium,T equilla, back patches and cold packs (only some of them at the same time). Nothing has stopped my muscles from being clenched and keeping me about 20 degrees off vertical when I stand. I walk like Bart Simpson’s grandpa.

I can only say how disappointed I am that I couldn’t ride. But on the other hand, in a few days, this will pass and I will be up and about again, happy to be riding and working and doing whatever. My sister and those with MS know this kind of feeling well – the inability to get through the day and do simple things when you need to. This small setback for me is just that. But it helps me appreciate even more that I’m basically healthy.

So, I owe you all 30 miles. I’ll be up to it, soon. In the meantime, your support helps fund research that may eventually allow my friends or my sister to bike alongside me and talk about the times when she couldn’t. Until then, we continue to ride for the cause.

Thank you.