Thursday, August 11, 2011

MS 150 - Riding for MS - Not Ourselves

This last weekend I had a great time on my 14th Multiple Sclerosis 150 Bike Tour. On a fundraising ploy, I made the challenge that if I raised $2500, I would dye my hair orange and if I raised $3000, I would dye my hair and wear a skirt on the ride. Care to guess how that turned out?

As of this posting, I have in the neighborhood of $3400 raised. I'm quite happy to do silly things to raise a little money for the MS Society. For those of you who gave me the wonderful whistles and the one marriage proposal, sorry, I'm taken.

It seemed that the banquet is where things went wrong for some. You see, the MS Society did a couple different things after the ride this time. Upon completion, you received (a very useful) head/sweat band from the MS Society. It was a trade off for patches for riding the century loop on the ride. Seriously, you would have thought that you was physically taking money away from people from some reactions.

The uproar from not getting a "patch" for the century ride -- of which I have a stack of -- somewhere -- actually caused at least one person to tell one of the MS ladies that he wouldn't return next year. *pause for effect* Yep. That's right. Somebody actually said they wouldn't come back because of the century patch. Seriously. Oh yes, it was an adult, just in case you were wondering.

I do admit, there were some 'traditional' things at the banquet that didn't happen this year that I missed: Recognition of top teams, top fundraisers (although they were on the video), rookie riders, and riders who have participated in multiple years. Missed, but nothing that would cause me major panic.

Maybe I'm 90% optimistic and only 10% pessimistic, but something really has to set me off to get THAT excited over anything. We need to remember why we are there. It isn't about us. It's about the MS Society. We are raising money for the MS Society. It isn't about a self gratification. We should be thankful for all they do for us on this ride. The support, the cheering, all the things that happen behind the scenes: It's simply incredible!

My rant is coming to a close but this has been eating at me all week so it had to come out. If the person who actually told the MS Society they wasn't going to ride over a patch is reading this -- and I hope they are -- sit back, relax, and think about it. Why are you riding this ride? For yourself or for the MS Society? Is a patch worth upsetting the wonderful ladies of the MS Society? What do you do with the patches anyway? I will gladly give you my stack of patches that are somewhere in my garage. Also, if you are reading this, I hope you are person enough to send an apology to the MS Society and plan on riding next year. It isn't about the patch, it's about people living with MS.


Jessica said...

Thank you for your comments, Kevin. It was my first year on the ride. Overall, a good time. The volunteers who pulled things together did a good job.

Frankly, from my point-of-view, the veteran riders like yourself also help it the ride come together, esp. for the newbies like myself. Y'know ... because if you don't know where you're going, follow someone who looks like he/she does (then hope for the best!).

It's worth mentioning, too, that the ride coordinator is a newbie herself, and deserves props in doing the best job she could. It's all an experience, all around, so I look forward to next year with open arms.

Snakebite said...

Way to go and great job!

Who was the dude who proposed to you???

bikingbrady said...

I'm not sure who it was. I learned a valuable lesson though: Don't come late to a banquet if your a dude in a skirt.

Snakebite said...

Just tell everyone it's a kilt. They'll still look at you funny, but it puts a whole new twist on things.

DIRK said...

I also heard comments about the number of door prizes at the banquet. I didn't win one, and I am OK with it. I wasn't there because I was getting a prize at dinner.

Dan Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Bennett said...

great job!
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