Each year, more than 100 MS 150 bike rides are held in different U.S. cities to raise money for the 2.3 million people living with multiple sclerosis. The famous 180-mile Texas route, from Houston to Austin, is the largest ride in North America with over 13,000 cyclists and 3,500 volunteers participating in the two-day endurance event. Last year, the event hit a new fundraising record of $20.3 million dollars to contribute to the MS Society! This year, alliantgroup has another group of courageous riders who have decided to take on the 180-mile challenge, joining as a subteam of the Saint Arnold’s Brewery Cycling club.
Here’s what alliantgroup cyclists have to say about their experience and what motivates them to ride 180 miles in just two days on a bike!
Chuck Hardy, Statistician, Quality Control: Veteran cyclist and team leader, this will be Chuck’s third MS 150 ride! Chuck enjoys cycling as a way to spend time outdoors and hang out with great people. He’s completed several long distance rides, including a 100-mile ride from Irvine to San Diego. When several of the people in Chuck’s life were impacted by MS, he jumped at the opportunity to combine his love of cycling with the chance to raise money for those with the terrible disease. Despite a demanding professional schedule, Chuck rides two to three days per week, including one long-distance ride on the weekend.
Patricia Butterfield, Associate, Education & Awareness: As the second-most experienced rider on the team, Patricia initially started cycling as a way to improve her health. Coincidentally, registration for the MS 150 was going on around that same time, and with a little encouragement from other cyclists, she signed up for the ride despite having ridden no more than a few miles on a bike. By the time she completed the 180-mile journey, Patricia found a new passion and lost 35 pounds while bringing her blood pressure within a healthy range. Currently, Patricia rides three to four days a week and averages 50 miles on the weekends.
Gina Maurino, Associate Director, Business Development: As one of the newest members to the group, Gina began riding just five months ago as a way to stay active and de-stress. Turns out, there’s much more to cycling than just the health benefits, and Gina is feeling completely energized by the camaraderie and friendships she’s developed with other riders. While traveling for work makes riding daily a little difficult, Gina still finds time in her busy schedule to ride at least two days a week with her longest ride to date of 72 miles!
Chynna Foucek, Implementation Project Associate, Team Sandum: Although new to alliantgroup’s cycling team, Chynna certainly isn’t new to the sport. In her college years she worked for a bicycle delivery service and discovered she really enjoyed cycling. She found that cycling not only kept her in shape and helped clear her mind, but she loved the social aspect of riding. Currently, Chynna rides three times per week, with her longest ride (100 miles) taking a little more than six hours to complete. While Chynna is excited to make the journey from Houston to Austin on a bike for the first time, she plans to continue racing after the MS-150 in distances up to thirty miles.