30th Annual MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose
Alan Burkin - Riding Since 1993
“I was encouraged by a workmate to sight to sign up for the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose in 1993 when I was having difficulty passing my medical provincials for para-medicine. My brother had developed MS in 1985; one of my better friends was also diagnosed that same week. My brother died from complications in 2002; my friend had passed away a few years earlier.
“Through work, I have also met and treated many MS patients. MS is a difficult disease; it ebbs up and down, giving hope and taking it away. My fundraising and hopes to eradicate this disease are ongoing. I am inspired by all those that try very hard to live and progress while hindered by its many side effects. While we continue to hope for a cure, we are also seeing progress towards one.
“We have had many stormy weather years in the tour. It’s a little discomfort for me, but a great hope for many others. I congratulate all the organizers and volunteers for doing such a great job every year for the last 30 years.”
Colin Brecht - Team Captain of the BDO Bikers
“I first participated in the MS Bike as more of a challenge than anything, after a discussion in my office between some co-workers. My late wife, Shelly, and I signed up to join our team of 7 riders that first year. Her diagnosis of MS in 2013 had impacted her ability to do the things she loved. She wasn't able to run or be as active as she wanted to due to numbness in her feet and legs as well as a feeling of a loss of balance.
“We didn’t know what to do but I knew I had to do something and joining the team was the first step. As things went on, Shelly wasn’t able to do the ride, but I had to keep going. Things did get better as her relapse passed and she was able to resume running and even riding in the MS Bike again in 2015. Just before the ride in 2015, we found out that Shelly was pregnant. We were expecting our first child in January of 2016. The last couple years have been a whirlwind of emotions, ups and downs, and trials and tribulations.
“In late 2016, Shelly was also diagnosed with ALS, which certainly explained the events that had transpired over the last year and a half. In retrospect, Shelly had completed Day 1 of the ride in 2015 one month pregnant and suffering from both MS and ALS. She was easily the strongest person I've ever known and probably will ever know. Shelly lost her battle with MS and ALS on March 29, 2017. I, however, will keep fighting and moving things forward as best I can to continue the battle.
“It is a challenging and rewarding weekend filled with some laughs with team members (especially over a few drinks after the ride). The Saturday is a fun day with everything going on. Sunday, well, that’s another story. It’s usually a tough day, but it’s nothing compared to what those who live with MS and other neurological disorders go through in life.
“In one word, a cure for MS would mean joy. In one sentence, “A cure would mean my daughter would have had an active and able mother.”
Dawn Carver - The Menstrual Cycles
“Ten years ago, I was approached by a few of my hockey teammates to join them on a ride to help raise funds to fight MS. I was truly naive about MS and sometimes still feel that way. I soon came to realize that I had so many friends and family fighting this battle and just how tough of a battle it is!
“Three years ago, I was diagnosed with invasive ductile cancer. I had just finished my third round of chemotherapy treatments when the MS Bike Leduc to Camrose took place. In my mind, I was going to do this ride. I knew what my illness was and the course of action to getting better, whereas those who have MS still do not have that confidence in their treatments. That ride was definitely a mental battle for me. I managed to complete 20km the first day and then ride the whole way on Sunday. As I rode and thought about quitting, I just tried to remember how difficult the struggle was for a person with MS every single day. I crossed the finish line that year and it will be a moment I will never forget. My whole team waited for me, supported me, held my bike, and helped me off of it, as I could not do that for myself. This is how I hope I make others feel by just riding and raising funds to help fight MS. I hope they feel same the support and care that my team showed me that day.
“When I hear MS, what do I think of? I think of my friend Mary and her constant positive attitude and smile. I admire her so much her strength, her heart, her kindness, her drive, and her determination. I have learned so much from her and others. A cure for my friend Mary and all others would be a blessing. Wouldn’t it be so nice to say, ‘We found a cure for MS’?”
Devin Mahoney - L.I.A.M.S. Team
“I started L.I.A.M.S. Team with some friends when my brother, Liam, was diagnosed with MS in 2014. I ride to show him and everyone else living with MS that I have their backs and that I support them.
“A cure for MS is within reach; we’re helping by raising money to find it and we have a good time doing so. My fondest memory of the event was seeing Liam cross the finish line himself. It took him a while to finish the tour, but his perseverance was so inspiring to see.
“This will be my 5th year riding in the tour but a few of my teammates have been at this a long time. My dad is going into his 25th year riding and another teammate has been at it since the first year of the Leduc to Camrose ride!
“A cure for MS would mean everything. It would mean my brother and thousands like him could live their lives without the fear of the next relapse.”
Doug Anderson - L.I.A.M.S. Team
“I participate in the MS Bike Leduc to Camrose in honor of my mother who had MS for over 40 years. I have participated in the tour since 1990 and 2019 will be the first one since the passing of my mother. I have numerous fond memories of the tour, with one of the best being the ride in 1998 when my sons and father rode it with me. Every year since 1991, a former neighbor has come to Edmonton to make this ride. One of the most memorable parts of each and every year is how upbeat everyone is at the dinner on Saturday.
“A cure for MS would be fantastic. It would be so great to have all those that suffer with MS gain their full mobility again.”
Doug Hansen - The Happy Fillmores
“I first got involved with the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose after a serious, head-on highway collision in 2006. One of my physicians had recommended cycling as a means of rehabilitation and low impact physical therapy. After speaking with a colleague about this, he invited me to participate with him in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose. Twelve years later, I have not only participated in the Leduc to Camrose tour, but also in 12 other MS Society cycling events. Along with other top fundraisers, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the USA to ride in the Tour of Champions in places such as San Francisco, Texas, and New Jersey.
“I am proud to say that the Leduc to Camrose tour is not only the largest Canadian MS Bike, but also one of the best tours that I have participated in. Although I don’t have a personal connection to MS, I am motivated to keep riding and fundraising by the amazing people I have met over the years who are affected by the disease.
“Over the course of my 13 years participating, one of my dearest memories of the event is having my daughters participate in the MS Bike with me from start to finish. When you cross the finish line, you are met by a crowd of people welcoming you and cheering you on, making the whole experience even more fulfilling. Finding a cure for MS would change the lives of so many Canadians that live with this horrible disease.
“Please join me in participating or volunteering in an MS Society event. Whether it be the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose, the MS Mountain Bike - Hinton, an MS Walk, or the First Truck Drive Fore a Cure Golf Tournament, you are helping to raise much needed funds to continue research into ending MS.”
Ivan Tolentino - Riding Since 2013
“I have participated in the MS Bike Leduc to Camrose for a number of years, first as a volunteer, and then over the last five years as a rider. This is an event like no other as it provides a tremendous, fun experience while focusing on a common goal: raising money to find a cure to end MS.
“One of my fondest memories from the tour every year is crossing the finish line with the other cyclists as we are cheered on by spectators, volunteers, and riders alike. It is a feeling of accomplishment like no other. I ride in the MS Bike each year for those who cannot participate, and to show others that as a team, there is nothing we cannot achieve when we work together.
“Helping to find a cure would mean giving freedom and peace to those who are afflicted with this disease.”
Jan Laarman - Team Captain of PCL Construction - Diagnosed with MS in 2015
“I first joined the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose in 2013 when a friend asked me to join his team as his co-worker’s wife was battling MS. After a challenging first day on the bike, I was inspired that evening by the many people living with MS who were standing at the front during the program. It was humbling to hear about the day to day challenges they faced, and how much more difficult the ride was for them.
“It wasn’t until a couple years later, August 14, 2015 to be exact, that it really hit home for me. This is the day I was diagnosed with MS. My brother-in-law and I started the PCL Construction team that year. Every MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose since then, I have hopped on my bike because I can, because of the incredible support, and because I want to raise awareness and money for ground breaking research that one day will cure this disease.
“My MS symptoms flare up when I exercise. The tremors, the numbness, and tingling in my arms and legs remind me of what could happen in the upcoming years. I am determined to keep riding in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose until there is a cure. One day I'll be able to ride my bike without worrying what the next day might bring.
“My fondest memory of the tour was the 2016 MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose - the first one I rode after being diagnosed with MS. Having my family, friends, and coworkers ride alongside of me after a difficult year was a tremendous show of support. They showed me that my family and I are not in this alone. To me, a cure would mean no longer having to worry about the future.”
Janella Hrasko - L.I.A.M.S. Team
“My first ride with the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose was in 1993. I was in my early 20’s and felt up to the physical challenge to ride further than I had ever gone before. At about the same time, I had started what would prove to be a lengthy career as a recreation therapist in continuing care, working with the residents who had a wide array of abilities and disabilities. Being in my early 20’s, I had not yet had a tremendous amount of exposure to progressive illness, but MS was one that was a little closer to home as so many of the residents I worked with were so young; some of being just a few years older than myself.
“On that first ride, I met some fantastic people with whom I made friends and kept in touch. Many of them rode that notorious year in 1994 in 8-degree conditions, driving rain, and sleet, but I was fortunate to have missed it. I returned to ride in 1995 with our team ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, which in subsequent years evolved into ‘Shifting Gears’, then ‘Shifting Rears’, and recently amalgamated with ‘L.I.A.M.S. Team’. I have not missed a beat since then, having endured rain, wind, hail, crashes, pileups, and most recently, riding with a torn supraspinatus tendon.
“Though I am fortunate to not have anyone in my immediate family who lives with MS, I see and work with folks everyday who do, and it is for them that I ride. Fast forward to 2019 and my 26th time fundraising, and I remain grateful for the abilities and strengths that I still have. They include all of those little things many of us take for granted: I talk, I drive to work, walk up the stairs, use the washroom, eat whatever I want… independence with any or all of these activities can be taken away in an instant. I am humbled by those who live with courage and determination in the face of adversity and the unknown on a daily basis. Riding in this tour to end MS is the least I can do for them.”
Jason Gregor - Team United Construction - #United2FMS
Jason began riding in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose in 2012. Since then, he has been the top fundraiser in the tour almost every year. Cumulatively to date, he’s raised over $400,000 in the fight to end MS, making him one of the top fundraisers in all of Canada. He owes much of his fundraising success to his creative fundraising ideas, hosting everything from video game tournaments to karaoke contests. Fundraising 365 days a year keeps Jason almost as busy as his sports talk radio show does and his commitment to ending MS is simply amazing.
“My aunt Theresa has MS and I’ve seen firsthand how debilitating the disease can be. That is why I ride; I participate in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose to help end MS. I also ride for the fun of it. My fondest memory from the past decade was when we had the world’s longest game of flip cup in the beer gardens… we should bring that back.
“A cure for MS would be a major relief for some of the toughest people I’ve met over the years on the tour. It would mean triumph.”
Karma Deakin-Harb - Team Captain of Abaco’s Drill Riders - Diagnosed with MS in 2011
“Our lives are sometimes defined by inextricable moments. July 8, 2011 will be a day that I will never forget. Sitting in the doctor’s office, I was definitively told that I have relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. In that single moment, my world turned upside down. After learning about what MS was and how it could affect me, I felt lost and incomplete. Fast forward to 2016, I found myself volunteering at the MS Bike and was amazed at how many people with MS were doing this incredible ride. I thought to myself that if they can do this and brave the terrible weather to ride 180km for all of us with MS, I also wanted to do it for everyone that couldn’t. I wanted to represent the thousands of individuals who couldn’t ride in the most amazing MS Bike in the country: the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose.
“My first year riding was 2018 and it was an incredible experience. My best memory of the tour was when I crossed the finish line after a day full of rain, wind, and cold. I remember thinking how that moment truly represented my MS journey so far. I had to push through every single moment of pain and fatigue to come out stronger at the end. I felt invincible in that moment, like I could do anything that I put my mind to, even though my body might resist me.
“A cure for MS would mean that I don’t have to fear my future. It would mean that I could say that I beat MS, and it did not beat me. In one word, it would mean freedom.”
Ken Kerr - Team Captain of Ken’s Kruzers
“I have taken part in the MS Bike for the past 20 years. It started when a friend who knew someone with MS asked if I would like to ride. I said sure, I could give it a try. Even though the group was smaller that year than it is now, the excitement and enthusiasm has been there every year. The ride was difficult, especially the hills, but when you ride in at the finish line all the cheers and smiling faces make the pain feel better. The hills were the hardest part and that first year we talked about the Gwynne Hill, which was hard, but not as hard as the hill at the end of the ride. That night at the BBQ, everyone got together and had a great time. I decided that night that I wanted to ride again next year.
“Every year after that, I kept riding and my team began to grow as more and more of my family and friends joined in. On the 25th anniversary of the bike tour I invited more members of my family to ride with me. It meant a lot that my sister came from Vancouver to ride with us.
“Every year we have a banner that reads “Ken’s Kruzers” and we always gather for a team photo. By fundraising $12,500 each year, I have been able ride in the Tour of Champions on Vancouver Island, in Texas, Nashville, Boston, Florida, Anaheim, Denver, San Diego, and Philadelphia.
“2018 was my last year of riding in the MS tour. I rode with my sister. I will miss it but will continue to be a part of the tour by volunteering, seeing many of the friends that I have met and wishing them the best on their ride.”
Krysta Inch - Team Captain of Inch by Inch - Diagnosed with MS in 2015
“For a week in May 2011, I lost most functionality of my right hand. After looking at my MRI images, a neurologist determined that I might have MS. Thankfully, this loss of function only lasted the week and then went away. I was given a diagnosis of CIS and was to be watched closely for any changes. I was being monitored by the neurologist and had many MRI's to watch for diagnostic changes which would indicate MS. With fear and concern, I decided to do the only thing I felt I could do: join team FIGHT and start riding in the MS Bike in 2012.
“In August 2015, things changed for me. I had my routine MRI and my images indicated some change. With these images, I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This was a huge reality check for me and it took me over a year to accept. To date, with amazing luck, I remain symptom free, but I live with the disease and fear as to when the next attack will be and how this will affect me. Moreover, the most difficult part is the worry about the things that are happening to my system on a daily basis that I cannot feel. This disease can be so silent, but the thoughts and worries in my mind are a daily struggle.
“Along with my team, Inch by Inch, with less than ten riders, we have raised over $96,000. One of the fondest memories I have is the first year that we rode with our trademark inch worms on our helmets and sporting our new team jerseys! Not only did we unite our team with an iconic image, we were also awarded the best dressed team.
“As a rider, I am no longer just fighting for others. It’s personal... I am fighting for myself! Finding the cure to MS would mean a future with no worry or fear.”
Lesley Ripley - Team Pronto! - Diagnosed with MS in 1988
“When I think of gratitude, I think of the MS Society and MS Bike.
“In 1988, I suffered from an acute attack of optic neuritis, among other complications, and was transported to Edmonton via ambulance from a small town in Alberta. Not only would I later learn of my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, but also that the MS Society would become a significant part of my life.
“Following a two-week hospital stay, and before returning home to rural Alberta, I visited the MS Society. That was the beginning of transforming something that was so devastating into hope and strength. Having had such a positive experience with the MS Society, I knew that would not be my last visit.
“In the coming months, I relocated to Edmonton and returned to the MS Society with the interest of volunteering. Ever since that time I have been involved in a variety of activities including serving on the Board of Directors, walking and volunteering with the MS Walk, door-to-door campaigns, the Carnation Campaign, MS Gala, and the fundraiser most dear to me: the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose.
“Over the years, I have met many cyclists and have made lasting friendships. For those of you who have participated in the MS Bike, you may recall seeing me at the finish line with a carnation for your helmet. It is that second day of the tour where the cyclists have often braved every element of the weather and to see them come in with a smile on their face is truly heartwarming.
“Every cyclist, all of the volunteers, and the incredible MS Staff who work tirelessly throughout the year in preparation, are who make the MS Bike the huge success it is today! A heartfelt thank you to everyone and the generous sponsors!
“A special thank you to Team Pronto! and Captain Mark as our team has raised over $365,000 since 2006 in support of the MS Society. Together, we will end MS!”
Matt Martinell - Team Captain of PCL Construction
“After my first MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose in 2014, I honestly never thought I would participate in the ride again. I was ill-prepared and obviously didn’t get what the event was all about. It was a lot of kilometers to just jump on a bike and ride. But soon after, my best friend and brother-in-law, Jan Laarman, was diagnosed with MS. It very suddenly became personal and a fight that I was more than willing to join.
“Since then I have had the privilege to co-captain PCL Construction’s team, one of the largest MS Bike teams in Canada, and raise money to fund much-needed research. It’s amazing to watch colleagues come and ride year after year and leave closer to each other because of what they experience together.
“My fondest memory of the MS Bike was watching my brother-in-law stand up at the dinner in our third year of riding together, in front our friends, family, and colleagues, signifying that he was now in a personal battle with this disease. It was immensely powerful, and I couldn’t have been more proud of him. It’s an image I hold in my memory when I ride.
“To me, a cure to MS would mean: Mission Accomplished.”
Mary MacGregor - The Menstrual Cycles - Diagnosed with MS in 2001
“I participate in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose because… I can. Eighteen years ago, I was diagnosed with MS at 35 years of age. As a single mom of three children under five, I found myself in a situation where the proverbial village helped raise my children and take care of me. At that time, someone reminded me of the saying, ‘I have MS, MS doesn’t have me,’ and once I regained my eyesight from optic neuritis and my coordination, I registered for my first ride. It was the biggest personal challenge I have ever done. I cried most of the ride as I learned that the wind in Alberta is never ‘at your back’; it just blows in which-ever direction you are headed.
“I was overwhelmed with the spirit and participation of fellow riders enduring the elements and raising money to end MS. I was addicted! Through my participation, I try to raise awareness around MS and the importance of funding the cutting-edge research that is happening right in our backyard. I have now had MS for eighteen years and I am living proof that the funds raised are making a difference.
“It is tough to identify just one memory from the event. I have been so lucky to ride with friends, my daughter Ellen, and fellow teammates on the Menstrual Cycles. We laugh, we visit, we cry, we eat, we celebrate at every rest stop, and we love to dance at the end of Day 1 in Camrose. Every member of the team is touched by MS in one way or another and everyone believes that the two days of riding is nothing compared to what people with MS endure on a daily basis. For me, some rides are tougher than others, but it is with the support of my teammates, and all of the other riders, that I am able to tackle the ride each year.
“What would a cure to MS mean to me? Relief. A cure would mean hope for the future to live a happy, normal life - free of MS.”
Shauna MacKinnon - Team Captain of the Cruz-ing Buffalos - Diagnosed with MS in 1998
“I participate in the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose because I can! I completed eight rides in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick before moving to Fort McMurray five years ago. I really missed the weekend of camaraderie, inspiration, and fun, so I finally decided to ride in Alberta, even though that means driving to Edmonton.
“After completing a ride, I come back feeling re-energized by the support from all the other riders, volunteers, and staff from the MS Society who are all working with the same goal in mind: to end MS. I am also amazed and uplifted by the support of family, friends, and my community members who donate to my fundraising efforts.
“I’ve had MS for 21 years now. I may not be as strong as I once was, and I may have a little less energy than when I first started riding in these events 13 years ago, but as long as I can stay upright on my bicycle, I will ride and raise money for the MS Society.
“A cure for MS would mean freedom: freedom from worrying about the emotional, physical, and financial toll on me. It would mean freedom from medications, freedom to stay up late on the weekends instead of being in recovery mode from the week, freedom to be more spontaneous without worrying about accommodating symptoms, and finally, freedom from worrying about being a burden on family, friends, or society in general.
“If you see someone stopped on the road looking at bugs before pushing her bicycle up one of those hills, that’s probably me. I’ll be right behind you!”
Stew Hutchings - Team Captain of SHIFT HAPPENS in DEVON to END MS
"The early days for me were in the '90s, when I remember Anne Belohorec speaking to us at the start line in Leduc. I'd been riding for a year or two but seeing her there in a wheel chair and describing how MS had changed her life was my first real understanding of why we ride. I remember how accomplished I felt after my first tour, but Anne's story was the start of my commitment to the MS Bike tour and to ride until we either found a cure or I could not ride anymore.
"Anne became a friend to my wife, Sharon, and I. As her condition improved, she was able to ride with us on the tour. Anne and Sharon took turns riding and switched at the checkpoints. Those years were filled with new experiences and my beautiful bride Sharon shared it all while encouraging and supporting my new passion.
"Over the years I have worked with all the bike tour managers and each one was able to move the ride forward in depth and scope, and ultimately it became the longest running and most successful MS Bike in Canada. Our ride has become the template for other charity rides that have had success, but none have had the amount of impact that the MS Bike - Leduc to Camrose has had for people affected by MS. I have met the most amazing people, joined in on all the aspects of ending MS, and made new and lasting friendships I will be forever grateful for.
"Cycling itself became a life style for me after retiring from the Edmonton Police Service in 1990. I became engaged in all disciplines of cycling: road, mountain bike and cyclocross. I am blessed with good health and worthwhile activities I could never have foreseen.
"I lost my beautiful bride on April 28th, 2017 after 48 years of marriage and it was difficult beyond belief, but I knew she had my back and I will continue to honor her love and support for me and the MS Society. There are so many new developments in treatments and services over the last 27 years and I am confident we will end MS. The MS angels that I have become privileged to know bring strength and commitment beyond anyone’s expectations. They fight daily with so many obstacles and I am in awe of their courage.
"The torch has been passed on from Anne to Patrycia as our spokesperson and every challenge continues to be met with the extraordinary love, passion, and commitment. My life has been changed and made meaningful through the challenge to END MS.”
Shannon Barner - Team United Construction - #United2FMS
“I accompanied my mother on her second tour in 2003, which marked it as my first year. This would also be my first introduction to the MS Society and MS itself. I returned the next year after falling in love with all the volunteers. From the start line, to every checkpoint, the support was undeniable. They helped make the challenge a fun adventure for my mom and me. Since then, at the end of each tour, I register for the next year after crossing the finish line. Doing this affirms my commitment to fundraising, training, and setting new goals to make each ride better than the last.
“The reason why I ride each year changes. I started off with no connection to MS, but unfortunately over years this has changed dramatically. A friend in her early 30’s: diagnosed. My best friend’s husband in his late 20’s: diagnosed. A boss, a neighbor. The positivity surrounding the tour is indescribable. Blood, sweat, and tears are poured into this event. To put this into perspective, the ride represents a fraction of the struggle those diagnosed with MS face each day, and that thought sits with me right there on my bike the entire time. This journey began with my mother and I am proud to say it has evolved into team United to F-MS.
“As much as I love the positive experience the tour brings, I will be more than thrilled for the day it no longer continues to raise money for a cure. I look forward to a time when the MS Bike becomes an event where we celebrate and reflect on all the we gave to have found the cure for multiple sclerosis.”
Tim Mahoney - L.I.A.M.S. Team - Diagnosed with MS in 2002
“I started riding in the MS Bike tour many moons ago when my youngest sister was diagnosed with MS. That year, I sponsored a checkpoint with Pioneer Chrysler; the next year, I started riding. Five years ago, my oldest son, Liam, woke up to find half of his body numb. He had just finished playing his fifth year for the Edmonton Wildcats as a very tough running back. This began his journey with MS.
“Despite the horrible flare up that he had a year and half later, Liam rode in the following year’s MS Bike. When many riders were quitting at the lunch stop because of the lousy weather, Liam made it to the end. I was so proud of him. My second oldest son, Devin, formed L.I.A.M.S. Team, which stands for ‘Leading Innovations Against MS’. Two years ago, we decided to merge my team of long-time riders with the younger, more energized riders on Devin’s team. And wow; have we grown in size… and fundraising!
“Last year my youngest son, Connor, rode with us. It really was a great experience to be riding with all 3 of my sons! Connor has been awesome at recruiting more people to our team and even talked a group of massage therapists into coming to our tent in Rider’s Village this year.
“This will be my 25th year riding and I am so happy to be riding with my 3 boys. My wife will be slinging soup at lunch once again and my ex-wife and sister will be cheering us on at the finish line in Camrose!
“Seventeen years ago, I too was diagnosed with MS. Fortunately, I have been symptom free for most of that time. Who do I ride for? I ride for my sister and son. But it’s also for all the other people who have been afflicted with this horrible disease. We need to find a cure and eradicate this disease that affects so many Canadians.”
Tyler Gamblin - Team Captain of Active Physio Works - Team Rehab
“I was first introduced to the MS Bike tour six years ago by my university friends who happened to be riding with the PD Slow Riders. Since then, I have never seen two good days of weather. Although this has stopped many from returning, and many from completing the 2nd day’s ride, I continue to push through both days... rain or shine.
“In my first year of the ride I had no direct connection to MS, but I thought it would be a good physical challenge that I could do with my friends. It was; and it was a really good time as well! The MS Society does an excellent job with this event with nearly 2,000 riders annually.
“Soon after my first ride, I attended the wedding of my cousin and asked my mother what was wrong with my aunt because she was limping - I hadn’t seen her in a few years. My mom replied, “Oh, you didn’t know she had MS?” As a child growing up, I had no idea. The next year I learned that my favorite cousin, who’s my age, was also diagnosed.
“This is when Active Physio Works - Team Rehab was created. Since then we’ve seen nearly 100 members of our team come and go and we’ve raised $136,000 in just 3 years.
“Although there are many memories of rain and fatigue, it is truly the experience that keeps me coming back. It’s also the community of riders, family I’ve come to know, and the relationships that last beyond the two days of the MS Bike tour.”
Wayne Lavold - Team Captain of Glen’s Titans Never Tire
“When my dad was diagnosed with MS in the mid ‘90s, I was struck with a real sense of helplessness. There was no cure and I felt like there was nothing I could do but watch the disease slowly take his life. The MS Bike tour was my way out. For more than 20 years, I’ve been riding for him and others like him, working hard to help make life better for those with MS and to ultimately find a cure.
“I teach at Harry Ainlay High School and for the past 11 years, I’ve organized a student team to ride in the tour. Since 2008, Glen’s Titans Never Tire, named after my dad who passed away in 2009, has seen almost 350 riders raise more than $350,000 for the cause while having loads of fun in the process. The kids love the excitement and passion of the tour as well as the opportunity to give back to the community. The challenge of the distance, the hills, and the often-inclement weather have been combined with the fun of meeting new friends at the finish line, camping, and the banquet to create an event that is talked about all year. Alumni still come back and talk about the, “Year of the (almost) tornado”!
“A cure is right around the corner - and the MS Bike tour is key to making that happen! Go Titans Go!”