One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle, it is not going to be satisfying.     
                                                                Greg LeMond 

The Northern Tier riders are a diverse group.  19 of us are planning to do the entire 4,295 miles while 9 others have chosen to join us at some point for only a part of the ride.  We hale from various parts of the world from Germany and Ireland to New Mexico, California, North Dakota, New York City, Virginia, Florida and other areas.  

The vast majority of our riders are either in college or have recently graduated.  Most are working on undergraduate or graduate degrees in as many diverse fields as there are riders--from business to medicine.  They are a great group of intelligent kids and I am totally confident that they will succeed very well in their future lives.     

Most of us have a relative or close friend with MS and we instantly felt a connection with the Bike the US for MS organization.  All of us want to do something to offer comfort to those afflicted with MS and also to assist toward an eventual cure. 

Although the ride has been quite grueling and has presented more than its share of challenges, none of us has dropped out.  Actually, it appears that each of us has grown stronger as we have progressed toward the west coast.          

In addition to the hills, cold, heat, rain, camping, rides in excess of 100 miles per day and other things I have related on previous pages, there have been a few minor accidents.  At least 4 riders have nursed cuts and scrapes from a fall.  Two of those required stitches but the injuries were not as serious as they may sound.  At the halfway point, all of us are in very good shape.    

There have been many flat tires along the way.  Before departing Bar Harbor, all of us had to demonstrate our ability to repair a flat and change a tire.  It is amazing that all of the bicycles have held up quite well, considering the beating they have taken from the rough roads and other hazards along the way. 

So, as we prepare to tackle the second half of our journey, we are looking forward to the challenges and the adventure that it will bring.  I am enjoying it immensely!

Tip:  At the first sign of foot discomfort on a long ride, slightly loosen your shoelaces or straps.  They can cause pain or the sensation of heat if too tight.