With the tour completed, the majority of the riders have returned to college life. A few are pursuing graduate degrees and two will work on doctorates. Several had recently graduated and now will search for employment. A few had resigned from their jobs to do the ride and will either attempt to return to their former position or seek one elsewhere. In every case, the tour has had a major impact and our lives will never again be the same.
The ride was not easy. Hills, cold, heat, headwinds, long hours riding mile after mile. Camping, rain showers, rough roads, punctured tires and skinned knees. Only 7 rest days. Stretches of 14 and 15 consecutive days of riding without a day off. The tour most likely was the most physically demanding thing we have ever done but, also, one of the most rewarding.
Thank you to all of those who contributed to the MS organization in support of my riding. Some named and some anonymously but all of you had an impact in the quest for a cure for MS and a better life for those effected with it.
Thank you as well for your many prayers and words of encouragement along the way. I felt energized knowing you were supporting my effort. I am thankful to God who gave me the courage to tackle the ride and the strength to complete it. Many prayers were answered over the last 2 months and 4,300 miles.
Thank you to all who sent congratulatory messages at the conclusion of the tour and also to Sherry who allowed me to do it in the first place.
For all of the satisfaction that comes with the competion of such a feat, the ultimate reward came from those we met who suffered from MS. It seemed that nearly everyone had a family member, a friend or coworker who had it.
The most touching moment for me was at lunch in a very small sandwich shop somewhere in eastern Montana. Two women entered and when they saw my "Bike the US for MS" jersey, one said to the other, "He's riding for you, Janie." It brought tears to my eyes then and I still become emotional when relating the story. Through this ride and other efforts, we can and we will have a positive impact on MS and other diseases.
Many have applauded the completion of such a difficult and demanding ride. They ask how I could do that. The answer is, "I just kept pedaling!"