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Old 06-07-07, 04:07 PM   #1
BikeNC
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MS Ride - Help!

I need sponsors! It's for a very worthy cause. MS affects many people. Chances are that you already know someone, a friend, a relative, or neighbor that has the dreaded disease. You could make a donation, on their behalf. Most people know very little about Multiple Sclerosis . I knew very little about the disease, until I was diagnosed in May 2000. I knew that it wasn't a good thing, but I didn't have a clue as to what it was, or how it attacks your body. I learned very quickly, through my neurologist,
publications, and the internet. I read everything I could get my hands on, and absorbed it like a sponge.


MS is a disease that attacks your central nervous system. For reasons unknown, your immune system begans to see the protective tissue surrounding your nerves, known as myelin, as "the enemy." Myelin is much like the insulation surrounding an electrical wire. The immune system continues to eat away at the myelin, until the nerve is exposed. The exposed nerve(s) then began to "short", or divert messages to the wrong parts of the body. The real problem begans when the nerve starts to repair itself, and starts building scar tissue. Signals that normally travel from the brain to the many parts of your body, are blocked, or sent in the wrong direction, when they meet the scar tissue. This is what causes the severe numbing, malfunction, loss of use, and problems with balance & coordination, with various parts of your body. It affects everyone differently, depending on which nerves are attacked. It can affect your sight, hearing, taste, your ability to walk, talk, swallow, ect.

I'll never forget that Sunday morning, when I got out of bed, showered, and began to shave. I noticed the left side of my face was numb, but I figured it was just from sleeping hard. Later in the day, I noticed that the numbness was still there, and was getting worse. Over the next few days, the numbness started to travel down my neck, into my shoulder, and down my arm. I slowly began to lose coordination, in my arm and hand, and it got to the point that I couldn't tie my shoes, or button my shirt. My wife begged me to go to a doctor and have it checked out. My boss said that I had the symptoms of a stroke! Well, that got my attention! I went to a doctor, and after asking a few questions, he had me to close my eyes, extend my arm and finger straight out to one side, and try to touch my nose (much like a sobriety test). I didn't even come close! The doctor said "holy s**t, there's something going on, inside your body. He then sent me to a specialist, for MRI's, and I was then sent to a neurologist, with the MRI results. The MRI's showed lesions, in the brain, and one where joins the spinal cord. After perfoming a spinal tap, and blood test, my neurologist confirmed that I had Mutilple Sclerosis. I was immediately placed on Solu Medro, which was administered intraveneously, once a day, for five days. I was then trained on how to give myself Betaseron injections, every other day. I've been on them now, for seven years.

Down through the years, I've suffered several attacks, which have affected my arms, hands, speach, mobility, and short term memory. Chronic fatigue is another problem I have. Chronic fatigue affects every MS patient, and it's something that we're constantly battling. Being a very active person, it was hard to deal with, but, I decided that it wasn't going to defeat me.I looked at it as a new challenge. I decided I was going to do everything I could, to take care of myself. I started to eat healthier, and exercise. The continued use of Betaseron has helped to lessen the severity of the disease, and getting plenty of sleep, and knowing my limitations has also helped. I'm happy to say that my condition has improved, in the last two years, and I can walk without the aid of my quad cane. I'm able to once again ride a bike, which wasn't possible for several years. The Betaseron that I'm taking, and many other medications, that were developed for MS, exist because of research. That research was made possible by donations made through charity drives like the MS Tour to Tanglewood, and many other events. Your donations are what keeps the research going for new medications, and a possible cure.


Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to stress how important your donations are. It doesn't matter how great or small the donation is, it WILL make a difference. Thanks, for listening. If you want to sponsor me, in the Tour to Tanglewood, and make a donation, here's the link to my page: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/sit...0&s_tafId=8371
Thanks, Mike
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Old 09-03-07, 07:14 AM   #2
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Well, the MS ride is less than two weeks away, and I'm only $102 short of my $750 goal. All I need is for 21 people to donate $5, to reach it. That's a small amount, but it could go a long ways toward helping to find a cure for a devastating disease. To make a donation here's the link:
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/sit...0&s_tafId=8371
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-03-07, 11:26 AM   #3
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You're now a bit closer to your goal. Good luck with the ride. I just began riding after a 10 year break. I hope to do one next year.
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Old 09-03-07, 11:56 AM   #4
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You're now a bit closer to your goal. Good luck with the ride. I just began riding after a 10 year break. I hope to do one next year.
WOW! Thanks, for your most generous donation! When I checked my e-mail, I was pleasantly suprised!
About the ride, I'm excited and nervous at the same time! This will be my first group ride, and I didn't get to participate in the group training rides, because of recovery from a broken collar bone I'm going to ride cautiously at the beginning, until the pack starts to thin out.

Like you, I took a few years off due to medical problems, and it sure feels good to be back on the saddle again. I'll let you know how the ride turns out, and I'll post some pics.

Thanks again, for the donation. God bless
Mike
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Old 09-06-07, 10:14 PM   #5
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weee!
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Old 09-07-07, 04:55 AM   #6
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WOW! Thanks, for your most generous donation! When I checked my e-mail, I was pleasantly suprised!
About the ride, I'm excited and nervous at the same time! This will be my first group ride, and I didn't get to participate in the group training rides, because of recovery from a broken collar bone I'm going to ride cautiously at the beginning, until the pack starts to thin out.

Like you, I took a few years off due to medical problems, and it sure feels good to be back on the saddle again. I'll let you know how the ride turns out, and I'll post some pics.

Thanks again, for the donation. God bless
Mike
Hi Mike,

You are a little bit closer to your goal now. And I've posted about your ride to my blog:

http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...-fight-ms.html

My readers were generous in helping me. Let's see if they can help you.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:18 AM   #7
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Hi Mike,

You are a little bit closer to your goal now. And I've posted about your ride to my blog:

http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...-fight-ms.html

My readers were generous in helping me. Let's see if they can help you.
Hi Neil, I just checked out your blog, and I'm touched that you extended yourself to help out a fellow cyclist. Raising funds for the MS Society has been the highlight of the year, for me. As an MS patient it's been great to be on the giving end, for a change. I have a cousin that also has MS, and I'm honoring her by riding with her name as a part of Linking Lives. Thanks again, for your help and I really appreciate the donation.
God bless,
Mike
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Old 09-12-07, 09:03 AM   #8
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Hi Neil, I just checked out your blog, and I'm touched that you extended yourself to help out a fellow cyclist. Raising funds for the MS Society has been the highlight of the year, for me. As an MS patient it's been great to be on the giving end, for a change. I have a cousin that also has MS, and I'm honoring her by riding with her name as a part of Linking Lives. Thanks again, for your help and I really appreciate the donation.
God bless,
Mike
How is your progress, BikeNC? The ride is this weekend, isn't it? I hope you will post a report about it.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:53 PM   #9
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How is your progress, BikeNC? The ride is this weekend, isn't it? I hope you will post a report about it.
Hi Neil. I'm happy to report that I've exceeded my goal of $750, by $78 I've had some members of my church to pitch in, over the last week.The ride is three days away, and I'm excited & nervous at the same time. Close to 1500 cyclist are registered, so for a guy that's never rode in a group ride, it's going to be pretty interesting! I'll let you know how the ride goes, and will probably post a few pics.

Mike
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Old 09-14-07, 09:38 AM   #10
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Hi Neil. I'm happy to report that I've exceeded my goal of $750, by $78 I've had some members of my church to pitch in, over the last week.The ride is three days away, and I'm excited & nervous at the same time. Close to 1500 cyclist are registered, so for a guy that's never rode in a group ride, it's going to be pretty interesting! I'll let you know how the ride goes, and will probably post a few pics.

Mike
Mike,

Just be careful. Riding with a group of cyclists can be as dangerous as riding with street traffic.

Good luck with the ride. If you like, I'll post your ride report and photos to my blog.

Best wishes,
Neil
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Old 09-14-07, 10:33 AM   #11
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Hi Neil. I'm happy to report that I've exceeded my goal of $750, by $78 I've had some members of my church to pitch in, over the last week.The ride is three days away, and I'm excited & nervous at the same time. Close to 1500 cyclist are registered, so for a guy that's never rode in a group ride, it's going to be pretty interesting! I'll let you know how the ride goes, and will probably post a few pics.

Mike
Good luck with your ride.... a few simple tips for riding in a group for the first time (especially a large one with a lot of people who haven't ridden together):

- Most important... don't panic and have fun
- don't slam on your brakes, this causes pile ups
- look before making a move
- give a relaxed sounding 'on your left' if you're passing someone really close (don't need to startle anyone)
- call things out like 'gravel', 'car back', 'slowing', etc...
- point to major hazards in the road (pot holes, recessed manhole covers, glass, etc)
- use hand singals for turning & slowing (point in the direction of the turn, or hand down palm open for slowing)
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Old 09-14-07, 10:46 AM   #12
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Thanks Neil and Grahny, for the tips. I'm making my last minute preps, for tomorrow. I'll have to get up before the rooster crows. Heck, I probably won't sleep a wink tonight, from the excitement!
Mike
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Old 09-14-07, 01:08 PM   #13
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Good luck Mike. I'll be out there myself. I ride with the RFMD Signal Strength Team.. Usually it's a great ride, but looks like we might be getting a little wet tomorrow morning....
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Old 09-16-07, 07:27 PM   #14
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Good luck Mike. I'll be out there myself. I ride with the RFMD Signal Strength Team.. Usually it's a great ride, but looks like we might be getting a little wet tomorrow morning....
Sorry for the late reply, but I was busy with last minute details, Friday. Fortunately we only had a few dark clouds to pass over Saturday, but they passed rather quickly with no rain. Sunday was gorgeous!
You're right, Knobster, it was a great ride! This was my first group ride, and it was.....AWESOME!!

I camped Saturday night, and didn't sleep much, because I was too excited! I had my buddy Burke, from here on BF (Burke Wells) to ride with both days. He PM'd me over 2 months ago, and we had been e-mailing each other since then. We met, face to face, for the first time yesterday, and he's such a great dude! It's like we had known each other for years. This was his third group ride, and he showed me the ropes. Not only is Burke a solid cyclist, but he's also a excellent camera man. He took some awesome action shots, during the ride. Anyone that will juggle a camera while screaming down a mountain at 40mph, will try most anything!

On Sunday morning I ran into another friend, Tim, that I had rode with once before. He asked Burke and I to ride with him and his friend Fabert, back to Greensboro. Tim took all three of us to school! He is a former Cat 3 racer, and a beast!! Tim, if you're reading this, my legs hate you! Seriously, Tim's pretty cool, but he'll make you work! BTW, out of 1500 cyclist, Tim was second to cross the finish line, Saturday!
He sandbagged Sunday, so us "mere mortals" could keep up!


The only bad part about the ride is that it's over



Mike

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Old 09-17-07, 01:32 PM   #15
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It was.....AWESOME!!
We did indeed, have such a great time. Mike was such an inspiration in so many ways... Not only does he live with MS, but to have just been through what he's been through over the past three months (recovering from a broken collar bone), and then turn around and complete this two day ride as strongly as he did... Man, it was just incredible to witness.

Everybody should be so lucky as to experience something like this, at least once in life. It was like bicycle heaven... 1,500 cyclists on the road, all spread out in both directions as far as the eye could see. Cops & volunteers were at all the intersections & stop lights, holding traffic and waving us through. The sag support & rest stops were incredible, and the meals we were treated to were so very good.

And like Mike said, it was almost a shame when this thing was over, simply because of how much fun it was to be a part of.

Burke
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File Type: jpg Burke & Mike 800x600.jpg (66.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Mike in action.jpg (89.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Mike & Tim on the road_cropped.jpg (98.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Mike taking the lead.jpg (95.1 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg The campground.jpg (94.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Uh oh where did I park mine.jpg (98.2 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Finish Line.jpg (67.4 KB, 25 views)
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Old 09-17-07, 03:44 PM   #16
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OK, here's my photo contributions. They're not as exciting as the action shots that Burke took, but they'll give you an idea of the festival atmosphere, of the Tour to Tanglewood.

Mike
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File Type: jpg Bike's Well Deserved Rest.jpg (96.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Burke's Honories.jpg (99.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Mike's Honories.jpg (96.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Century Riders Departure.jpg (97.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Countdown to Start.jpg (97.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Early Morning Arrival.jpg (98.9 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Finish Line.jpg (98.8 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Last Minute Preps.jpg (97.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Rest Stop.jpg (98.4 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Sea of Cycles.jpg (96.3 KB, 16 views)
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Old 09-20-07, 03:51 PM   #17
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awesome pics, and congratulations on finishing the ride! I am doing one myself this oct. 13-14 in so cal..i'm nervous..my first group ride also..!!
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Old 09-20-07, 07:31 PM   #18
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awesome pics, and congratulations on finishing the ride! I am doing one myself this oct. 13-14 in so cal..i'm nervous..my first group ride also..!!
Hey, don't sweat it! Just go by the guidelines that Grahny posted earlier:
- Most important... don't panic and have fun
- don't slam on your brakes, this causes pile ups
- look before making a move
- give a relaxed sounding 'on your left' if you're passing someone really close (don't need to startle anyone)
- call things out like 'gravel', 'car back', 'slowing', etc...
- point to major hazards in the road (pot holes, recessed manhole covers, glass, etc)
- use hand singals for turning & slowing (point in the direction of the turn, or hand down palm open for slowing)

If you follow these tips, you shouldn't have any problems. Trust me, it'll be over before you want it to be! I had so much fun, that I can't wait 'til my next group ride! Good luck with your ride, and have fun

Mike
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Old 09-27-07, 02:53 PM   #19
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My moment of triumph: Crossing the finish line on Sunday 16th
Mike
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Old 09-27-07, 03:00 PM   #20
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that is an awesome pic! i know you're not suppose to wear headphones during the MS ride, but were there ppl still on the ride with theirs? I just know I'd be a total beginner and be riding alone most of the time and the music would be of great help. But i dont want to get in trouble.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:40 PM   #21
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that is an awesome pic! i know you're not suppose to wear headphones during the MS ride, but were there ppl still on the ride with theirs? I just know I'd be a total beginner and be riding alone most of the time and the music would be of great help. But i dont want to get in trouble.
Thanks! You know, I don't recall seeing anyone with headphones, during the ride. There's usually cyclists of all skill levels in these types of events, so I don't think you'll have to worry about riding alone. I'm not the strongest cyclist, yet I was riding with some and sometimes passing others, during the ride. While riding with a group, you'll want to be able to hear their audible warnings, so group riding with headphones isn't very safe! Trust me, you'll be having so much fun that you won't need any music

Mike
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Old 09-28-07, 12:23 AM   #22
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Congrats! It looks like your MS150 ride had more people than the one in Washington state. Although I am super proud of my team of 85 riders that raised $125,000.
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Old 09-28-07, 11:13 AM   #23
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Congrats! It looks like your MS150 ride had more people than the one in Washington state. Although I am super proud of my team of 85 riders that raised $125,000.
WOW! 85 riders raising $125,000!? That's pretty awesome! Great job guys!
Mike
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