Toyota MS 150 Bike the Bluegrassby Phil Patterson, Team DOT Louisville Captain
On June 5th and 6th, I participated in the MS 150 for the sixth year in a row. It was a beautiful weekend with perfect skies and temperatures. The route travels from Georgetown south crossing over the Kentucky River and on to Danville where we stayed overnight. The ride was well supported with great SAG stops and bike mechanics. This two-day ride is a fund-raiser to raise awareness and money towards finding a cure and supporting the many people who have been stricken in the prime of their lives with Multiple Sclerosis.
Eight years ago, my wife Dot was diagnosed with MS. In 1999, I set my sights on doing my first MS ride. That is when I bought my first bike and began training. I rode that ride with a close friend, Darrell Edwards, who also coached me prior to doing the ride. Darrell had been doing the ride for several years for his mother who also has MS. Since then, I have ridden and fundraised every year for this worthy cause. Each year with Dotís help I have been top fundraiser, raising a total over the last five years of $49,000. But this year, 2004, by far was the best of the best. Thirty-three cycling friends, mostly from the LBC, came together to become the first TEAM DOT LOUISVILLE (named by Cheryl Brawner) in honor of Dot, my wife. We had one rider who came from Houston, Tex., to join our team. She rides the MS rides in several different states each year.
Note that most of these riders had never done fundraising before and some had never done 75 miles back to back totaling 150 miles in two days. I set the team goal at $30,000 and arranged for team jerseys, which each team member had to pay for him/herself. Again with Dotís help the two of us began motivating and coaching our new team in fundraising, showing them how simple it was writing and sending out letters. Maurice & Jan John mailed out letters and raised over $6,000. Some had their own ideas for raising money. Dean Brooks, who teaches spin class at Milestone, sat riding on a stationary bike in the foyer of Milestone Fitness for 12 hours straight and collected $3,000. Some sent e-mails and some just asked.
Several of the team members had their doubts that we could ever reach such a lofty goal. My personal goal for the ride was $15,000 and I felt sure that Dot and I could easily show the other 30-some teammates just how easy it would be for all of them to raise the other $15,000. The letters went out and the money flowed back in. Some moneys were accompanied with touching letters of thank you and appreciation for working towards such a worthy cause. As of June 10th, TEAM DOT LOUISVILLE has turned in just over $46,000, making us the top fundraising team. I again was top fundraiser with Dotís help contributing $14,843 of the teamís total. TEAM DOT LOUISVILLE also won the most spirited team award and the most colorful team award.
Dot and I are proud of how this team of cycling friends rallied together for the benefit of others in need. We all are looking forward to a bigger and better team in 2005.
The local cycling community ought to be very proud of this teamís accomplishment.
THANKS, TEAM DOT LOUISVILLE!
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web posted: 25 July 2004
last updated: 1 August 2004