My first MS Ride is in the books. BP MS Ride 2016 was a short one because before we even left Austin, day 2 was canceled due to incoming weather.
A lot of people were not happy, but safety does come first and while I was amongst the unhappy, I was also understanding. Now that I have ridden my first MS Ride I can say without a doubt that my feelings about the ride are mixed.
NOTE: These are my negatives and personal feelings and have nothing to do with the charitable organization. The sole reason for the ride is to raise money to fight this awful disease.
MS Ride Cons
It’s for a great cause, this is probably the most known charity in the world next to cancer. I personally, however, hate asking people for money no matter how worthy the cause. It makes me feel uncomfortable for reasons I cannot explain. I was stressing over reaching the minimum, but I did and then some. It felt great to hit the mark.
Most people who know me would think this would be a given, I would like to say that the whole shyness thing kinda melted away, but it didn’t. It wasn’t always easy to figure out what to do or when, but somehow between me and my riding buddy we managed to ask questions of complete strangers and get to where we needed to be when we needed to be.
I don’t have MS, but I do know a couple people who do have MS.The clapping and cheering along the way made me uncomfortable because I was not the one with MS. I was the one doing what I love to do — a lot — ride my bike. I don’t see myself as a hero or doing anything spectacular. All I did was ask others to donate to MS in my name so that I could ride my bike from Houston to Austin. The cheering and clapping as we rode by was uncomfortable.
The outbound logistics was well organized, but the return logistics failed miserably. Even if they didn’t cancel Day 2, the organizers should have had a contingency plan for cancellations. It was apparent that if there was contingency plan for cancellations that they were either not prepared or they needed a contingency plan to their contingency plan. We waited more than 2 hours for a bus to return us Austin and in the process got soaked just standing there. We didn’t get that wet riding 100 miles. It was the first time during the ride that I was less than thrilled.
MS Ride Pros
This tops my list of awesomeness. I got to ride 100 miles on FOFL flat ground and small hills. I got the best of both riding worlds, riding in groups and riding alone. With the ebb and flow of the 10,000 riders it was easy to fall between groups and hook up with others. I smiled the entire 100 miles. I loved every minute of being on the bike, even in the 2 light drizzles. It was such a great feeling I’m already trying to figure out how to do another long ride.
A lot of money was raised for this worthy cause and I am very proud to be a part of it. It was a great accomplishment.
Despite the stresses of raising money, figuring out the logistics, and missing out on riding into Austin, I had a great time riding and hanging out with riders. If I decide to do this again, I know better what to do and what not to do. I think the next ride will be an even better and happier experience.
MS has announced that next year the 2017 BP MS 150 will roll on April 29-30, 2017. So come join a ride.