My name is Darren, and I'm going on a little bit of an adventure. I say "a little bit" because I'll be carrying a cell phone, driving a modern automobile, and be making frequent stops at Target. Realistically, this is about as much of an adventure as Dr. Phil is a doctor. The joblessness I'll be returning to when this is over is probably the most adventurous part of the whole thing.
Here's what I'm actually doing: I'll be packing up my car with clothes, food, a roof tent, and my bicycle, and driving around the country for two months. The idea is to visit some of the country's best mountain biking areas - The Sierras, Sedona, Moab, Denver, Pisgah... it's a long list. I'm sure I'll miss some places, but whatever–I have to stick to a schedule.
There's a little more to the story though. Most folks, I assume, are familiar with Multiple Sclerosis. It's an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 400,000 people in the U.S. alone, and ~2.5 million globally (source). For those who aren't familiar, it's a disease that is often completely devastating to the lives of those who have it, and there is no known cure at this time.
This feels like the part where I talk about my experience of growing up with a mother who had M.S., but I'm going to save that story for a later post. For now, all I'm going to say is that it was easily the single most formative experience of my life, and it's why I'm using this trip to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Details on what they do can be found here, but in short, the money raised will go toward research that will hopefully lead to a cure.
My hope is that this specific cause will resonate with cyclists and other athletes who appreciate the fact that their bodies are still able to function at their full capacity, which is something that M.S. often takes away. For those people, the simple act of riding a bike - something we learn as weak, clumsy children - is not even remotely possible. To those reading this, I ask that you think about those people, and if you have the means, support research to find a cure so that they might be able to enjoy the same parts of life that we do.
Thank you so much for your time and attention. My donation link is below, and again, to both those who can contribute and those who can't, thank you.