As I’ve written in a previous post, I participate in the National MS Society’s “Ride the Vineyard” fundraiser every year. The 2014 edition was held two weeks ago today on May 3. To let people know how it turned out (and consequently to make my post quota for the week) I herewith present a trip report on the ride.
If there was ever a perfect weekend, this was it.
The weather: 60 degrees, sunny with a few fleecy clouds, almost no wind whatsoever.
The team: Five of us riding under the banner of the “Vineyard Square Wheelers”.
The location: Martha’s Vineyard. ‘Nuff said.
The bottom line: My personal and team goals were exceeded.
Four of us rode the 30 mile route which mercifully measured out to only 27. Not to be shortchanged though, we made the 5-mile trek back to the hotel to top out at 32 miles. (My nephew did the 60 while riding to and from the start. That’s 70 miles, campers!)
As you can see from the photo above, we were a stylin’ crew, sporting our hot-off-the-press (they arrived the day before the ride) Vineyard Square jerseys.
As I rode, two things were constantly on my mind:
First, my faithful and incredibly generous supporters. When I thought of all the donations people made to this cause, many sacrificial, pedaling became easier and a smile came to my face.
The second thing on my mind was also on my back. I always pin a photo of my support group on my back to make it clear to all who I’m riding for. It ain’t about me. These are the folks who motivate me. Their courage and tenacity in the face of this rotten disease are an inspiration to me. They’re a big reason why I ride.
Each year I do this ride, I’m humbled by the generosity of my supporters, some of whom I no longer am in contact with besides my annual plea for donations. I’m regularly surprised that they even remember me, never mind give me their hard-earned money. Saying “thank you” seems way too insufficient, but it’s all I can offer, so I do… every year. (Actually, I give some of them ice cream, too.)
By the way, we are still accepting donations at our team page here. Feel free to add to our total.
If any of my readers are interested in spending a weekend on the island next year and cycling with the Vineyard Square Wheelers, please let me know. We’ve had a few express interest already!
Square Wheelin’ Fever – Catch it!