Bike MS

National MS Society, Wisconsin Chapter

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There are all kinds of reasons to participate in Bike MS: TOYOTA Best Dam Bike Ride. We are honored to share the quotes below from your fellow riders. If you would like to share your reason for riding or provide an observation about the event, please send an e-mail including your name, Bike MS team name (if applicable) and the number of years you have participated in the event to: info.wisMS@nmss.org. Be sure to put “Why I Ride” in the subject line.

Why We Ride.

This year, I was challenged by the heat, the headwinds, and the hills. I quickly lost track of the number of times I heard "on your left" but each occasion was a reminder of all the people working towards a world free of MS. When referring to Bike, we often say "it is a ride, not a race", however, I truly felt this year (more than any other) that those that peddled past me understood that it IS a race to find a cure for all those challenged by the limitations imposed by MS and they take their commitment to the cause very seriously. I regularly refer to Bike weekend as my favorite of the summer; the energy of all those involved motivates me and reminds me that I'm not alone. Bike weekend is an amazing infusion of family and friends that propels me for a full year and I'm already counting down the days until Bike 2013...the 30th anniversary and my 5th year as a rider! Our team is growing and we continue to raise (and achieve) our fundraising goals! While I receive most of my motivation and encouragement throughout the year from fellow SPROCKET ROCKETS, when I'm on the course it doesn't matter what, if any, team we're riding for...we all encourage each other and take care of each other. And off the course, we support each other as well. I've met some of the most amazing people in my life through Bike and other MS related experiences. Each year, my 'family' grows!

The Wisconsin Chapter is firmly dedicated, extremely organized, and something to be proud of...I call many of the staff and volunteers my friends and together we are fiercely focused on supporting each other on the journey towards a cure.
Amy Rowell
Sprocket Rocket

Blue Line

Raising money and riding every year is my way to show my wife, Eddy, I care about her and the problems MS presents for her. She has had MS for 20 years and we ride tandem together. My daughter, my son and my best friend all ride with us. What could be better?
Tom Magnus, bike participant seven years
Team: Fast Eddy’s “We don’t tread lightly”

Blue Line

I have a friend with MS, a friend's father had it, a friend's brother has it, another friend’s sister has it, the son of a friend has it ... I could go on and on. One of the things that struck me when I started doing the ride is that just about everyone I know, knows someone with MS. I had no idea how many people were affected by MS until I started riding.
Susan Grzeskowiak, bike participant three years
Team: Happy Feet

Blue Line

When our Daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 21, my niece and nephew told me about the MS bike ride. Feeling so helpless, I decided to start a bike team to raise money to help fight MS. At least I felt I would be helping her. We started out with me, my husband, our son, our niece and a couple of our son’s friends. Of course the boys thought they were in great shape and didn't have to prepare. My son was riding a dirt bike, and thought that would be just fine. By the end of the first night the boys were exhausted. The next day, my son couldn't even raise his leg to get on the bike. I'll never forget, he took Tylenol and rode standing up the entire day because he was riding no matter what. He said his sister lives with MS every day, and he could make it through the ride.
Barbara Lenz, bike participant 10 years
Team Captain: BIBS

Blue Line

I believe people should ride in this ride because I have done numerous bike rides and the Best Dam Bike Ride is the best in the area.  It is very well organized and everyone comes together for a similar purpose. And being diagnosed with MS myself, it is a blessing to see ALL of these people come together literally for you. I have cried every year.  My family and friends have done the ride with me every year and it is truly a memorable experience.
Jessica Hendriksen, bike participant two years
Team: Jess’s MS Fighting Pedal Pushers

Blue Line

Two things make Bike MS stand out: the route and the full support that is in place for every turn of the wheel. I rate the support as being as close to perfect as can be.
Joe Holland, bike participant 17 years
Team Dam Numb BuMS

Blue Line

I have had the opportunity to ride in other organized rides, and nothing compares to the care and support that MS provides for the participants in their annual bike ride.  The passion that the MS staff and support people have for the care and well being of its riders is only exceeded by the passion it displays on Saturday evening for the cause that brings us all together each year - the goal to keep people with MS moving.
Dennis A. Christiansen
Team Captain: SPROCKET ROCKETS

Blue Line

I’ve ridden many charity rides in Wisconsin and other states and there is no ride I’ve ridden that is as well supported, organized and fun as the Wisconsin MS 150. The Wisconsin MS 150 has many riders covering all levels of cycling capability, nearly all ages and on a wide range of bikes. Nothing makes you feel better than watching the determination of so many people fighting for a common cause.
Ken Minor, bike participant 12 years
Team: Sonic Streamers

Blue Line

My sister, Marya, was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago. Her diagnosis was chronic/progressive and she was severely affected. She was in a nursing home for the last nine years of her life and she passed away in 2006. I have been participating in the BDBT for 16 years and have raised over $53,000. I ride in memory of my sister and for all those that are battling this disease. Last year my daughter, Rebecca, rode in her first BDBT. Her older sister, Sara, did the MS ride in Colorado for the first time. They also want to honor their Aunt Marya.
Dave Pucely, bike participant 16 years
Team: Rolling Rocks

Blue Line

I ride because I can! And so many other people can't. I ride because my wife and friends have MS and I can't fix them but I can pedal hard and I can organize a team and we can all raise money. We don't do it because we'll get recognized or get to stand up and accept an award or cure the disease ourselves. We do it because it's all we can do.
Ron Sweeney, bike participant three years
Team: Fraboni's Porketta Pedalers

Blue Line

I have talked to a lot of people who have done different rides nationally. They all have said that the Wisconsin MS 150 is one of the best run and supported rides in America. They treat us like kings and queens for the weekend and all we have to do is ride.
Hubie Sydow

Blue Line

This ride is the most well-organized, emotionally fulfilling charity event in which I have ever participated. The supporters make me cry every year when they sign my number, hug me and thank me at the end of the ride. I love the peace and camaraderie of the ride.  It is like a vacation for me and I owe it to every person who donates to make it possible for me to attend and support a great cause.
Tracy Palmer

Blue Line

 

 

I was originally recruited to ride by a friend and I participated for the personal challenge. Over the years, I have learned more about MS and witnessed how MS can impact a person’s work and personal life. Today, I ride for my coworker, my friend.
Tricia Perkins, bike participant 4 years
Team: MG&E Power Peddlers

Blue Line

The first year that I rode a young lad about 16 rode beside me for a few miles. We chatted and I asked him why he was doing the ride. He said, “My mom has MS and this is one thing that I can do for her. She does so much for me.” What a great kid.
Phyl Erickson, bike participant 6 years
Team: Kathy’s Kause

Blue Line

I was diagnosed with MS in March of 1998. My brother, Rick, started doing the BDBT five years before I was diagnosed and then our brother, Ed, was diagnosed with MS in 1999. I started doing the ride with Rick in 2000 and we have been doing it ever since. Ed can’t ride a bike at this point, so Rick and I try to raise as much money as we can to support the fight against MS.
Drew Govek, bike participant 10 years
Team: FMA Psycholists 

Blue Line

 

I was diagnosed in 1994, at the age of 29. I began biking at the age of 35. Walking was becoming more difficult, and it was frustrating to always move so incredibly slow! I was facilitating the Newly Diagnosed Series, and feeling kind of smug about being able to ride a bike. (I was not GOOD at it, but was proud of being able to mostly stay upright) When I mentioned it to the class, Karen Minor said, "You should join my husband’s bike team, Sonic Streamers, for the MS 150!" I replied, "Sign me up! I'd love to!" When I learned it was 150 miles (at that point I was riding about 6 blocks), I couldn't believe I had promised to do this.
Christin Harding, bike participant 9 years
Team: Sonic Streamers

Blue Line

Ever since my mother, Debbie Lindgren, was diagnosed with MS things obviously changed in our lives but in a way almost for the better, if that is at all possible. She is a very positive person who believes these rides will someday raise enough money to come up with a cure for MS. Her positivity has spread through our entire family to make sure we get the most out of each day and realize just how special life is and how it can change in an instant.
Travis Lindgren

Blue Line

I would have to say heat, wind and rain are always a challenge when riding 150 miles. There have been times I would call my husband and ask him,” WHY am I doing this to my body?” Brian would kindly remind me it was not about me, it was for those who could not ride. 
Cyndi Cahill, bike participant 9 years
Team Captain: Waukesha Y-Ders

Blue Line

We ride for the HOPE, the COMMITMENT and the FUTURE of a world free of multiple sclerosis. We ride as a group of friends, family and teammates to support our dear friend, Wendy Machi, fight the terrible effects of this disease. Riding with Wendy is such a motivational experience that once you try it - it is hard to stay away from the energy, fun and togetherness we enjoy. We ride to raise money so that one day those individuals who cannot ride, walk or snowmobile will be able to do these things again. Plus, it is one of the best rides in Wisconsin and is enjoyable for everyone of all ages. The diversity is what is exciting - just ordinary people putting in an extraordinary effort to make a difference in our local communities. We also like hosting the Blarney Bash - it is very rewarding to help in such a short period of time. If you haven't been to the event - come on by in 2011. It will be on March 12th.
Patrick & Mary Topp
Team Captain: Team Wendy

Blue Line

In 2008 during a long stretch of riding alone and wondering why I ride, I looked up and saw a sign along the roadside that read, "Thanks for riding. I have MS.”  I looked down the long driveway and a woman was waving to me. This is why I ride.
Tricia Perkins, bike participant 4 years
Team: MG&E Power Peddlers

Blue Line

I know the biggest reason I ride is my daughter, who has MS. The Saturday night program of each ride is still as emotional as the first one. I leave thinking, “How can I do better?” Maybe next year will be the year for a miracle.
Barbara Lenz, bike participant 10 years
Team Captain: BIBS

Blue Line

What’s the best part about Bike MS? My inner slacker feels that the best part of the ride is the downhill sections. My inner gourmand loves the eats at the second-to-last rest stop. And my inner party animal says it is the halfway party.
Joe Holland, bike participant 17 years
Team Dam Numb BuMS

Blue Line

I have talked to a lot of people who have done different rides nationally. They all have said that Wisconsin’s Bike MS is one of the best run and supported rides in America. They treat us like kings and queens for the weekend and all we have to do is ride.
Hubie Sydow, bike participant 6 years
Team: Spoke Busters

Blue Line

I ride because I know that Society-funded research has had an extremely positive impact on the lives of many with MS, and I could not get past the first weekend in August without feeling the need to help those with MS.
Dennis A. Christiansen
Team Captain: SPROCKET ROCKETS

Blue Line

I am fully aware that each year may be my last. I am fortunate to be in remission right now, but I know it could be temporary. So why do I ride Bike MS? Because I still can.
Christin Harding, bike participant 9 years
Team: Sonic Streamers

Blue Line

As long as I am able to ride and give back, I will. I will continue to JOIN THE MOVEMENT.
Cyndi Cahill, bike participant 9 years
Team Captain: Waukesha Y-Ders

Blue Line

The first time I did this ride I was in pure amazement from the start and until I crossed the finish line. I have never been on a more organized ride with this many participants plus the scenery along the ride, and just the pure happiness of the people who ride.
Travis Lindgren, bike participant 4 years
Team: Family Ties

Blue Line

I tell new riders not to look at it like pedaling 150 miles at one time. It is 12-15 miles at a time and then you get these great rest stops. Some of the rest stops are a must. The entertainment is priceless. 
Cyndi Cahill, bike participant 9 years
Team Captain: Waukesha Y-Ders

Blue Line

The route is scenic with the small towns and a great rural setting.  The hills are beautiful and challenging.
Dave Pucely, bike participant 16 years
Team: Rolling Rocks

Blue Line

We all have our own reasons for riding; and every one is just as important as the next. We’re all heading towards the same goal that magical cure. Then we’ll party.
Barbara Lenz, bike participant 10 years
Team Captain: BIBS

Blue Line

The ride is not only well organized and supported, but it is designed to support all levels of biking ability and interest. I can recruit hard core riders that just want to get out and bike 100 miles of challenging terrain, or I can tell beginners that support will be available when they decide they have had enough for one day. The routes each year are well researched and provide a very enjoyable tour of our beautiful state.
Dennis A. Christiansen
Team Captain: SPROCKET ROCKETS

Blue Line

The support on Bike MS is outstanding. The rest stops and meal stops are efficient and fun and make the ride seems like a rolling party instead of a task.
Ron Sweeney, bike participant three years
Team: Fraboni's Porketta Pedalers

Blue Line

I have ridden for Jim, a friend who was a distance bicyclist and training to run marathons when he was diagnosed with MS. Three years later he was confined to a wheelchair. Jim later died of complications associated with MS. So I continue to ride for those who cannot.
Joe Holland, bike participant 17 years
Team: Dam Numb BuMS

Blue Line

I love helping others and I love to ride my bicycle. It started as a personal challenge to ride 150 miles. This year the challenge goes out to all of my biking friends as I ask them to join me in the fun. The last two years only two of us rode together. My team is five right now and four others want to join us. Not only does this mean more fun, but more money for a great cause. Thank you for allowing us to make a difference for others while doing something we love!
Tracy Palmer, bike participant 2 years
Team: Heart of the Valley Power Pedalers

Blue Line

I discovered I had MS when I had a numbing, burning sensation across my torso. I went through a few medications at first and nothing helped so the doctor ordered a brain MRI to rule out anything neurological and to be "on the safe side." Not two hours after I left the hospital I got a phone call from my doctor. I was too afraid to answer the phone at first. She left me a message and told me I had to call her back right away. I was terrified. The thought of something actually showing up NEVER crossed my mind. I called her back and she told me that I had "abnormalities in my brain that appeared to be too small for tumors but appeared to be lesions as seen in patients with MS." She told me to remain calm and enjoy my weekend and nothing was certain. How could I remain calm??? All weekend I did research. I didn't even know what MS was!!! An MRI of my spine, a test for optic neuritis and a spinal tap soon followed. It was confirmed on April 29, 2008. I had this debilitating disease called multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.
Jessica Hendriksen, bike participant two years
Team: Jess’s MS Fighting Pedal Pushers

Blue Line

I know the biggest reason I ride, of course, is my daughter who has MS. The Saturday night program of each ride is still as emotional as the first one. I leave thinking, “How can I do better?” Maybe next year will be the year for a miracle.
Barbara Lenz, bike participant 10 years
Team Captain: BIBS

Blue Line

I ride for my wife, Mindy, who was diagnosed in the fall of 2006. I got started in Bike MS in 2007. My friend, Don Ehlenfeldt, whose wife has had MS for 30 years, approached me and another mutual friend, Garry, about possibly doing this ride. As I was very much overweight and out of biking shape, I thought he was crazy: ride 150 miles?!? I had never ridden further than 30 miles in one day in my life. But then I went to the Bike-O-Rama event in Madison and spoke with a woman manning the Bike MS booth and recruiting members for her team. The more I talked to her, the more I was hooked on the idea. I got in touch with Don and Garry again and we decided that not only COULD we do this, we HAD to do it! We organized our team, learned what we could about road biking from one of our first recruits and bought bikes. Four years later, our team of 25 is more than just fundraising or riding partners: we are friends and family and doing something for others (raising funds to combat the scourge of MS), and for ourselves (we get in shape and get a lot of personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment). It leads me to the conclusion that it would be almost impossible not to do Bike MS.
Ron Sweeney, bike participant three years
Team: Fraboni's Porketta Pedalers

Blue Line

Once when we were struggling with the ride, I heard someone say, "People with MS do not get a day off, so why should you stop riding?" That was enough to make me finish the ride. Getting to Madison and coming over that finish line is always emotional.
Cyndi Cahill, bike participant 9 years
Team Captain: Waukesha Y-Ders

Blue Line

Bike MS is one of the best supported and well run rides any of us have ever done. You get on your bike in Waukesha and all you really need to do is pedal until you reach Madison.
Ron Sweeney, bike participant three years
Team: Fraboni's Porketta Pedalers

Blue Line

In 2006 I donated a kidney to a friend, Jim Abler.  He is doing well and is also a member of the Rolling Rocks team.  I am grateful that I was able to help him out and that we are able to ride together in this great event.
Dave Pucely, bike participant 16 years
Team: Rolling Rocks

Blue Line

It's hard to pick out just a few of my favorite Bike MS memories: Our team dinners in Waukesha on the Friday night before the ride … the folks who put out water and candy bars at the end of their driveway for us … the little kids with a drink stop … the people who sit in their front yards and clap as we go by … the farmhouse with the sign that reads, "I have MS. Thank you for riding!" … getting to the finish lines with my teammates … having a cold beverage and hashing out the adventures we've all been through. They are all part of one of my best weekends of the entire year. The only way it could be better would be if someone stood up at the Saturday night party tent and told us they found the cause, they know how to cure it. Then my wife could ride with me and we'd find another cause.
Ron Sweeney, bike participant three years
Team: Fraboni's Porketta Pedalers

Blue Line

When I feel myself getting tired, I see people who have been diagnosed with MS on the route still riding. When I see that resolve, I keep riding because I am reminded what this ride is all about. It's not about you or me, it's about a solution and that is why I ride: for the solution to MS.
Benjamin Richardson
Captain of Team: MSengers

Blue Line

I’ve also been blessed to share this ride with all three of my children, my son-in-law, my brother and even my dad. My wife and mom have helped as well so it’s truly a family affair for us that is just impossible to pass up. The last two years in particular I’ve ridden the ride on a tandem with my son. It seems like one of the few times we get some uninterrupted time together doing something we both find fun, rewarding and good for us. One year my daughter and new son-in-law did the ride on our tandem with a just married sign on the back. My son-in-law had a tux jersey and my daughter wore a white jersey. They were a great pair that year.
Ken Minor, bike participant 12 years
Team: Sonic Streamers

Blue Line

I have done many different bike rides and the MS is my favorite.  There is a positive energy from the starting line to the finish line that flows everywhere in between. I enjoy the route because you go through so many different places and you really feel like you have accomplished something in the end. For me, having people with MS cheering me on at the finish line is the best part of the ride.
Susan Grzeskowiak, bike participant three years
Team: Happy Feet

Blue Line

I think last year was the most challenging ride for me. I had hip replacement in December ‘08 and a second in January ’09. Something went wrong and left me with no feeling in my left lower leg and foot. My husband had to help me re-learn how to bike. My foot had to be strapped in, because I couldn't tell when it was on the pedal. When the ride started I was really nervous, but my team really stepped up. I managed to ride 65 miles on Saturday, all the while thinking my five-year-old granddaughter was not going to see me give up. On Sunday, to my surprise, my daughter and granddaughter were there to see us cross the finish line. No words could ever convey how I felt at that time.
Barbara Lenz, bike participant 10 years
Team Captain: BIBS

Blue Line

What stands out about the route? The occasional tobacco field aroma and the quaint little villages we ride through that a person would never know about except for the bike route: Indianford, Concord and La Grange. And the lake country we pass through -- Waubesa and Kegonsa.
Drew Govek, bike participant 10 years
Team: FMA Psycholists

Blue Line

I ride today because of the diagnosis of my daughter, Amy Rowell. However, that is not how my wife Kathleen and I began our interest in the ride and MS. In about 1990 we were looking for additional ways to enjoy biking. We had heard about the fabulous ride organized by the Wisconsin MS Chapter, at that time called the Best Dam Bike Ride, and decided it would be a ride that fit our goals. As we learned more about the ride and the MS Chapter, and as we saw and heard the Saturday evening program explain the impact of MS. we became more interested in the cause than the ride alone. When we received the news that our daughter, Amy, was diagnosed with MS, I personally had a mixed reaction of sadness and relief: sad for our daughter, but relieved because I knew an organization existed that was moving forward to help people like our daughter. I am not sure what initially brought us to the Wisconsin MS Chapter, but I am thankful everyday for the organization and the work you do to help people like my daughter.
Dennis A. Christiansen
Team Captain: SPROCKET ROCKETS

Blue Line

My absolute favorite memory of the Best Dam Bike Ride is seeing my team at the end and realizing how much money we raised for this cause and to help people with this diagnosis. For me, it really hits home. This ride reminds me EVERY year that I have family, I have friends, and I even have strangers that want to help and are there to support me and everyone like me. It makes me feel fortunate to have these people in my life. My other favorite memory is at the rest stop on the first day in Whitewater and everyone that has MS is called to the stage. When I walk up there and I see all the people that surround me I know I am not alone in this fight. And to be up on that stage and look at all the people who do not have MS, all under that same tent literally because of and for you, is a sacred feeling.
Jessica Hendriksen, bike participant two years
Team: Jess’s MS Fighting Pedal Pushers

Blue Line

I ride for my wife, Karen, who was diagnosed shortly before I started riding in Bike MS. I quickly learned about the impact the MS Society has had on funding research that has led to recent discoveries of several new medications. I feel I need to do more now to raise more money and awareness for MS, so we can speed up the race for a cure so that it arrives before my wife is permanently impacted.
Ken Minor, bike participant 12 years
Team: Sonic Streamers

Blue Line

My team and I ride for a lot of people. Some have a single person they ride for, but I just ride for everyone.  We have a lot of friends, neighbors and people from church, etc. that we ride for. We like to ride Bike MS as it is a really well run ride, a good distance for the two days and a great cause to support.
Hubie Sydow, bike participant 6 years
Team: Spoke Busters

Blue Line

I will never forget the experience of finishing in Madison several years ago when we were greeted at the finish line by individuals affected by MS who thanked us and then asked if they could sign our rider numbers. I tell this story every year to my team: an individual told me he could not hold a pen a year ago, but on that day thanks to MS research, he was able to sign my rider number. If he is willing to do that, we should be willing to ride and ask for donations in support of this individual and others impacted by MS.
Dennis A. Christiansen
Team Captain: SPROCKET ROCKETS

Blue Line

I ride for my cousin Jessica, my college friend Paula, my friend Stacey's aunt and one of my customers.This ride is the most well-organized, emotionally fulfilling charity event in which I have ever participated. The supporters make me cry every year when they sign my number, hug me and thank me at the end of the ride. I love the peace and camaraderie of the ride. It is like a vacation for me and I owe it to every person who donates to make it possible for me to attend and support a great cause.
Tracy Palmer, bike participant 2 years
Team: Heart of the Valley Power Pedalers

Blue Line

This area of the state is beautiful and so peaceful. I love the variety of terrain.
Tracy Palmer, bike participant 2 years
Team: Heart of the Valley Power Pedalers

Blue Line

The scenery is great and so is the ride. Sure there are some hills but, it is Wisconsin....get over it!
Hubie Sydow, bike participant 6 years
Team: Spoke Busters

Blue Line

Doing the MS Ride is such an awesome feeling, knowing that you can ride your bike and make money for research
Phyl Erickson, bike participant 6 years
Team: Kathy’s Kause

Blue Line

The first time I did this ride I was in pure amazement from the start and until I crossed the finish line. I have never been on a more organized ride with this many participants plus the scenery along the ride, and just the pure happiness of the people who ride.
Travis Lindgren, bike participant 4 years
Team: Family Ties

Blue Line
 
Our team is hoping with each pedal stroke it will bring us that much closer to a cure. The program on Saturday night is a must.  I think if most riders would come to that program, it will make them want to come back year after year. It is so satisfying to know that by biking and doing something you love, you are helping so many people. Believe me, it is not easy riding 150 miles. But with training and determination anyone can do it. 
Cyndi Cahill, bike participant 9 years
Team Captain: Waukesha Y-Ders

Blue Line

Why do I ride this year after year?  The event itself is fantastic, from the camaraderie of everyone working for the same set of reasons, to the wonderful volunteers, to the enjoyment of getting away from the daily grind on our bikes along the open scenic roads that frequent our beautiful state.  Then comes the real purpose
of helping others that are less fortunate, that can’t just get up and go like the rest of us take for granted. 
It makes you appreciate the health that you and your family do have, while the biking keeps you healthier in the process.  Plus those little perks of character building, meeting new people, and cold beer at the finish line.  A better question is why wouldn’t I?
Mike Blise, bike participant 21 years

Blue Line

My Sister Linda has MS and she used to be a very active and social person, traveling the world. Now she is a shell of her former self and it pains me to see what this disease can do to a person. I ride for her, I ride because I can be active and social, and I ride because the Wisconsin Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Ride gives me and others an opportunity to ride and raise money for others who can't! 
Michael Martz, bike participate 2 years
Team Happy Feet

 

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