So, the big question is what does our MS Ride look like this year? Since the safety and well being of all of us during this COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest concern; the National MS Society has made this a virtual ride, which basically means we ride on our own, raise money and share our experience virtually. They realize the donations will be down this year and have been fiscally responsible themselves to cut costs within their organization so money raised still goes toward research and programs for people and families with MS.
We’re the Peppy Pedalers and we will prevail. Just because we have a worldwide pandemic going on doesn’t mean we don’t do anything. Many of us live with MS and that hasn’t gone away. We know how important it is to keep moving, keep riding, keep getting together and keep raising money for the cause.
Although the ride will be different this year, we’ll do our best to raise money and do a safe ride or many safe rides. Here are some options depending upon how comfortable you are with getting together.
- You have freedom. You can ride on our own or with a couple of friends. You can make up your own route, pick your own day or days (you can even watch the weather ahead of time) . Just do the best you can with fundraising and share your experience through social media.
- You can host a small group ride and invite some friends to join you. Again, pick your route, day, distance, etc. Do the best you can with fundraising and share your experience.
- We’ll be doing a one-day Peppy Pedaler’s ride on Saturday, August 1stwith Sunday August 2ndas a rain date. We’ll be gathering @ 7:00am, and have wheels out @ 8:00am.
We’ll be starting and finishing at the same place
- Lake country Recreation Trail Landsberg Center, 2900-2940 Golf Rd., Pewaukee, WI
- We’ll be riding on the Lake Country Trail
- There are rest rooms at the start, at the pavilion near Hwy P and in a park at the end of the trail in Oconomowoc
- We have permission to park in the Ingleside Hotel Parking lot next to the Landsberg Center
- To be respectful of the virus, we will not be sharing food this year. We will have some drinks when we return
- There will not be any supported rest stops on the ride. Please plan to have enough water and food packed with you for the distance you choose
- Choose your distance, if you ride to the end of the trail in Oconomowoc and back it will be about 30 miles. If you don’t want to ride that far, you can turn around at any point. If you want to ride further, you can do so on your own or with the group you’re riding with.
- Let’s do our best with fundraising
- We’ll have fun and share our experience on social media, e-mails, texts, etc.
- Join us on our Friday morning rides. Every Friday morning that it’s not raining, many of us living with MS and some awesome volunteers get together at Nettesheim Park in Pewaukee @ 7:00am and ride for 1-1/2- 2 hours. We started this in May (7 years ago) and will continue into the fall when the temperature gets below 45 degrees @ 7:00am
- We have fun and help each other ride anyway we can
- Join us when you can!
We will need to be COVID smart and be personally responsible to ourselves and each other. The biggest thing is if you have a fever, symptoms or have been exposed to COVID, please don’t come. We’ll be outside, let’s give each other space. We can have a COVID safe ride as long as we’re personally responsible.
This is a different year, let’s make the best of it. Personally, I will be choosing all four options this year. I’ll be riding by myself, getting small groups together, riding the Peppy Pedaler’s team ride and riding on Friday mornings. I hope to do a nice job of fund raising as well.
I usually ride 100 miles each day for the MS ride. This year, I will commit to attempting to ride 100 miles at least one day (either on my own or with friends) before fall. I’ll do this for two reasons, to prove to myself that it’s possible even with my MS challenges and to share my experience.
The National MS Society is going to have century patches available again this year for those who ride 100 miles. If you want a patch, ride 100 miles and let them know. They’ll send you a commemorative patch.
Now more than ever, we need to raise as much money as we can for the National MS Society during this pandemic. Again, MS has not gone away just because the COVID-19 pandemic came. The National MS Society stepped up immediately and did research on MS and COVID combined just as soon as this pandemic set in. They continue to provide us with research, educational information and programs for people and families living with MS. We need to get this thing figured out. We’re making progress but we’re not there yet. YOU are making a difference and helping!
As we ride, let’s keep all the people who can’t ride in our thoughts and prayers. Just think about what it would be like to lose your eye sight, mobility, have cognitive challenges, spasticity, neurological pain, be isolated and all the other mental and emotional challenges that comes along with living with MS. We’re riding for all of them!
Let’s have some fun, raise some money for the National MS Society and continue to make progress for people and families living with MS!
Thanks so much!