Monday, June 29, 2009
Where did June go? It is almost July 1 (Happy Canada Day!!) which means that registration fee's will be increasing! Make sure to get those friends of yours who have been waiting to sign up to register! You can register 24hours a day at MSBikeTours.com!
The first RONA MS Bike Tour is just four weeks away! Make sure you are out enjoying your bike - go for a few rides a week to prepare your legs for the tour!
Happy Canada Day everyone!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The RONA MS Bike Tour is less than a month away and we would like to remind everyone to get their bike tuned up before the big day. It is every important that everyone ensure their bikes are running smoothly before setting out. Please take the time to visit your local bike shop and drop off your bike for inspection and adjustment. Please remember that as the Tours gets closer many shops will get busy so it pays off to tune up your bike early. Taking the time to make sure your bike is properly serviced before riding will go a long way to increase the enjoyment of the ride.
Tell me about your experience with multiple sclerosis.
I was diagnosed with MS in July 2002. As the loss of feeling started in my left foot and worked its way up to numb and bind the left side of my body, I realized something was horribly wrong. I have relapsing-remitting MS and have been fairly fortunate over the years. This unpredictable disease has decided to leave my left side alone and hang out with my right foot and leg.
I have adapted my life style to accommodate this disease but it has not ruled over me and my family. Actually, thanks to MS I have taken on a healthier lifestyle even though I am still learning how to pay closer attention to fatigue. It is a sneaky little side effect that can be quite debilitating. I consider myself very lucky, I have family, friends and an employer who have learned and understand the unpredictable nature of this disease. They do not identify me through MS but they do understand and will accommodate when needed. To them I am wife, mom, daughter and friend. Not Kate with MS.
I am excited to think of the future day when no one else will be diagnosed with MS. And I truly believe that I will see that day in my lifetime.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming tour?
First off, I can’t wait for Lori Anne (Lori Anne McNulty, Senior Manager, Fundraising Events) to lose the cow-boy hat because we will be the biggest ride in Canada!!!! Think of it…more cyclists…more donors…more research dollars. It all adds up to end MS!
The tour is absolutely the best weekend of the summer. All these people come together and participate in the greatest team I have ever been a part of. The team consists of crazy riders and crazy volunteers where every rest stop is filled with fun, laughter and food! Mmmmm….really good food!
What does being an MS Champion mean to you?
Being an MS Champion means that I can adapt to what has been forced on me! As others have said and I will copy them …I have MS but it does not have me!
MS is a cruel and unpredictable disease that alters so many lives in so many different ways. I am overwhelmed and humbled at the number of people that ride and raise money to end MS.
As an MS Champion, I also get to say “thank you”. I am able to use Disease Modifying Therapies and have access to a wonderful MS Clinic. And it all comes from research dollars raised by previous and current riders.
I hope that I can put a face to the disease and help others who are living everyday with MS.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
2009 in Ontario marks the launch of the MS Champions program. This is an opportunity for participants who live with MS to voluntarily identify themselves to show the different faces of MS: this is Kate’s story.
How long have you participated for?
I have volunteered for two years and this will be my third year cycling, making this my five year anniversary with the Grand Bend to London Tour.
Why did you first get involved?
My husband and friends decided to do more for MS and started training for the Grand Bend to London ride. I was at a stage where I thought I couldn’t ride, so I volunteered. I was one of those people who got up at 6 am to help out at the registration tables. I then worked my way to UWO and helped at one of the tables handing out ribbons and stars. It was overwhelming to hear the stories of the cyclists. I met some cyclists who have MS and I started to think…’if they can do it, why can’t I?’
I started eating better, took off those pounds that had easily accumulated over the years and then started training for the ride. The RONA MS Bike Tour turned me around. So now I have become a MS cyclist and I will ride as long as I can. I am expecting that old age will turn me into a volunteer again and not this disease.
What does it mean to you to know that so many people participate in events like the RONA MS Bike Tour to raise funds to help end MS?
It is so clear to me that this horrible disease touches so many people. Friends, family and loved ones ride in the RONA MS Bike Tour to say enough is enough…this disease has to end. It is overwhelming to see the number of people who participate in the ride. This tells us all that the number of people affected by MS is equally overwhelming.
The research dollars are so important to help End MS and every rider and volunteer shares this common goal. The RONA MS Bike Tour means that we will all be part of changing the future of MS.
Be sure to check back for part 2 of Kate's story to learn about her experience with MS and what she's most excited about the upcoming tour.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I'm the captain of team "Grindin' the Gears" from the Grand Bend to London tour. Our team is going into its fifth year, though some of the members of our team rode sans-team for years before we linked up. Four of us have ridden with the team every year, and we each try to bring someone new each year, so I think our team this year will have around twelve riders (plus three who won't be able to make it this year).
I think we retain and grow our ridership because of our attitudes throughout the tour. This recruiting method isn't instant, but it has worked pretty consistently for us over the last five years. We are an adult team from all over the province, not really connected except for the tour weekend, but when we are on the road we look and sound like we are a lot younger and more familiar. We have a LOT of fun on the road. If you are in our tour, you'll remember us as the ones who dress up in costume every year... usually in Hawaiian gear, but we're changing it up this year! You'll have to wait until the ride to see though!
We also bring dorky decorations for our bikes and helmets, and we spend time before the ride reacquainting ourselves and helping our rookies feel comfortable. Most of us have bells and honkers on our bikes, and we like to use them whenever we can. We are VERY positive on the road, taking every opportunity to encourage and joke with each other. We stick together or ride in packs on the first day, making sure that everyone feels like part of the team. I love the riders in our tour, and I definitely challenge other teams to focus on creating a "community on the road" like we have, because I truly believe that this has helped us grow our team steadily and increase our goals - last year was 10 riders raising 10,000 - we did it!
To prepare for this sense of community on the team, I send out emails to the team as frequently as I can, using my MS Tour account. I send ideas on fundraisers, invitations to join fundraisers our team members are running, training motivation, and just general pep talks for the team. We often get jokes and ideas circulating among the team members as we get closer to the ride, which helps our ride-day relationship.
When I get a chance to post again, I'll focus on some fundraisers that we've had success with.
Go Grinders! See you all in Grand Bend!! :-)
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 20 is the London area training ride. Leaving from 1100 Dearness Drive (MS Office) at 10:00am, the ride is a 40 km route with 1 rest stop at the half way mark! Be sure to bring your helmet & water bottle! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-510-7777 ex. 23.
PS: Be sure to check out this link for a great video! Use OneTrueMedia to create your own video to tell your story. Be sure to share your creation with us!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The 2009 RONA MS Bike Tour is fast approaching and we at Reynold Cycle would like to share some helpful tips to ensure we all have a fun and enjoyable ride.
This week we’ll be talking about hydration and the importance of keeping hydrated while riding. When riding in any temperature personal hydration should not be neglected by anyone, especially those setting out on longer rides - certainly if you will be riding for more than a couple of hours, even at a moderate pace, hydration is important. If your personal hydration is neglected the most common result is basic dehydration;
Low-level dehydration may have no obvious symptoms, but still makes riding less comfortable, less efficient and less pleasurable. Most importantly, proper hydration will help offset muscle fatigue and cramps. If you tend to gulp down several glasses of water or soft drinks at the end of a ride, you’ve probably reached this point.
To be on the safe side it is recommended that a rider consume at least one full liter for every hour of strenuous riding. For the upcoming MS Bike Tour be sure to carry at least one water bottle on you at all times, two is even better. Also, be sure to refill at the numerous rest stops along the way and you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable fun ride.