by Erich Meier
In 2008, I participated in my first event after a work-out partner raved about his experiences and then began soliciting donations from family and friends. This is when I found out that my uncle’s wife, Jennifer, had been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) after having bouts of leg numbness, but was not yet ready to share her diagnosis. The first event went great, but left a feeling that I should be doing something more!
After participating in all 4 Michigan Bike MS events on multiple occasions, I ventured out to do the Vegas Challenge (NV), Bike to Jack and Back (TN), Coastal Challenge (CA), etc. with some great friends and have adopted the goal of doing an Bike MS event in every state. The locations chosen are always awesome and are only surpassed by the people that you meet during the event.
During the Coastal Challenge (Santa Monica to Santa Barbara), I met an amazing woman named Audrey. Audrey is the team captain for Team Audrey’s Heroes (TAH), which is the BP150’s (TX) largest friends & family team. Audrey was diagnosed in 2007 after numerous tests and being told that she was too young and cute to have MS, but she did. That following year 4 O2 members joined TAH for the BP150, which is an amazing event that attracts approximately 13,000 riders annually.
It is event camaraderie that keeps me looking forward to each event, but it is the people, like Jennifer and Audrey, that keep me passionate about the events.
In 2017, my state tally reached 15 through participating in the following events: Country Roads (WV) that starts at the historic Greenbrier Resort, Deception Pass Classic (WA) along the PNW Coastline, and Cycle the Silver Valley (ID) near the retired silver mines.
While each ride has been noteworthy, I am more thankful for those that have joined me over the years, their friendships, and the lasting memories that were created.
2018 will hold new routes, states, and adventures. I intend to do 3 or 4 new Bike MS rides. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.