As February is the Month of Love, the Greater Carolinas Chapter is featuring stories of love and Bike MS, in addition to why people love Bike MS!
One such inspiring story is about Bill and Lynda Sadler of New Bern, NC. Bill has been cycling in the Bike MS: Historic New Bern Ride for 13 years and Lynda has volunteered for the ride for 12 years. Bill and Lynda have several friends who live with MS, and these friends serve as a source of inspiration for them. In fact, there are currently 154 people in Craven County living with MS.
While Lynda volunteers and Bill cycles, they are very much involved in several key roles. Lynda primarily recruits volunteers and manages them at the breakfast tent, serving 1,500 cyclists on Saturday and Sunday, as well as at two rest stops. “Through the generosity of our friends and family, I have raised more than $15,000 in support of this great fundraising ride.”
Bill cycles, in addition to taking on pre-ride volunteer tasks. He and five friends go out during the week before the ride and spend a couple of days painting arrows on the road for the 30, 50, 75, and 100 mile routes for Saturday and Sunday. They drive approximately 410 miles, stopping at every turn and in the middle of every straight stretch to paint color coded arrows along the side of the road. That is Bill’s biggest project, other than cycling his double century [200 miles] on Bike MS weekend. Lynda and Bill both also serve on the local (New Bern) planning committee.
Couples Fun at Bike MS
Lynda: Although our focus for Bike MS is very different in that Bill cycles, and I never cycle, we work together in assorted ways. He helps move supplies – lots of supplies – including 55-gallon bottles of water – to the breakfast tent at Union Point. I sometimes drive him around to paint arrows. But the coolest parts about participating together are the social events surrounding the ride. We love to meet up at the end of the day at the convention center to catch up with friends, drink terrific beer (Thanks, Carolina Brewing Company!) and enjoy the great buffet meal provided by the Society for participants in Bike MS. Every cyclist and every volunteer has a story.
Why They Love Bike MS
Lynda: I love Bike MS primarily because the funds raised do, in fact, help support local residents who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. To be able to be a part of this is really a big deal to me. Also, personally, I just flat out enjoy working with the Society staff and some pretty terrific volunteers.
Bill: I love Bike MS because it gives me a sense of accomplishment for doing something for the local community and for a great cause. My favorite activity is cycling and to be able to do it to support the National MS Society’s goals is a bonus for me.
Why Other Couples Should Get Involved with Bike MS
Lynda: To an amazing extent, Bike MS is a couples’ and a friends’ event. You get together with people you like, and you spend a weekend doing something different from any other weekend of the year, and you feel good about yourself while you do it. I am impressed that Bill can ride his bike 200 miles in a weekend, year after year after year. Bill says he is impressed that I can persuade 20 people to get up at 4:30 am to transport yet more supplies and set up for breakfast in the dark – twice – year after year after year. Bike MS plays to our strengths in a lot of different ways. And so it is with our friends. Beyond the main activity of cycling, there are opportunities to support the ride as HAM radio operators, registration volunteers, rest stop assistance, supply transport, bus and van drivers, medical staff, and there are even cheerleaders at rest stops and along the route. There are important jobs for all kinds of talents and skills.
Gearing up for 2016 Bike MS
Bill and Lynda say that they can’t wait to get started on the 2016 event! Consider registering too as a participant or volunteer for one of our Bike MS events today. Click here to learn more about the three rides in our Greater Carolinas Chapter: Historic New Bern, Tour to Tanglewood, and Breakaway to the Beach.
For more information, call 1-800-344-4867.
Manager, Public Relations and Marketing, National Multiple Sclerosis Society