By James F. Finn
After a series of delays caused by a papal visit, a hurricane and business travel, I was able to complete 180 miles on my bicycle to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. My supporters pledged $2,600 and I intended to keep my commitment.
Two Saturdays ago, the first day of the ride began at the crack of dawn. My previous 350-mile excursion in Central California served as great training for the MS ride (read parts 1 , 2 and 3). The mountains of Northern Virginia, West Virginia and Western Maryland proved to be a worthy challenge. The gradual climb from my Arlington apartment to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia — and back — proved difficult with brisk headwinds. One hundred and six miles down on the first day.
The second day was geographically flatter than the first but still proved difficult. I felt very uncomfortable on bike seat for the first 10 miles riding down the George Washington Parkway towards Mount Vernon. My groin and lower back were sore from the century ride on the day before, however, the aches disappeared as I eased into the ride. I rode through the District, Alexandria and Bethesda to clock the miles. Seventy-five miles down on the second day. 180 Miles for MS Accomplished! The key to success on this ride was twofold: (1) avoid looking at the mileage on the cyclometer and (2) enjoy nature and the scenery.
My brother, Samuel, drove my car for support and made the ride manageable. We mapped out six rest stops for both days. Usually these stops were for 15 minutes and I would have something quick to eat, stretch and check the hardware.
Despite my minor aches and pains, I knew they were only temporary. The ride was worth raising awareness about a lifetime of pain and suffering endured by those afflicted with MS. Thank you to my Dimension Data colleagues, friends and families for your support. We did it!