Why I ride: Maria’s story

Interview with Maria H., Administrative Assistant at MHM and MHvsMS team member

Maria2014Editor's note: Recently, we asked Maria H. to share some insights into what inspired her to ride with the MHvsMS team in Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River. We've seen Maria's dedication to the ride and passion for raising funds to support the cause, but through Maria's own words, we learned more. She is determined, faithful and very funny as she explains her passion to see an end to Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Question: Why do you ride with MHvsMS?

Answer: I ride so I can spread the word about MS. I want to promote awareness of this disease and raise funds for a cure. My first MS experience was in 2009. I participated in the MS Walk and had the opportunity to meet the late Amy Dorsett. She was an inspiration! She taught me about perseverance and having a positive attitude no matter how sick you might be. Through the National MS Society, I volunteered at Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River in 2009 and 2010. The cyclists amazed me. Shortly after, I purchased a bike and began riding as recommended by my physical therapist.

Question: How long have you been cycling? When did you join the MHvsMS team?

Answer: I have been riding for nearly five years now and I have been a member of the MHvsMS team since 2012.

Question: What are some of your favorite memories from the Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River?

Answer: One of my favorite memories was from my first ride in 2012. I remember trying to climb the last hill, just before the finish line. It is not very steep, but after riding for 50+ miles, it looks gigantic. A New Braunfels police officer was cheering on the riders and he kept yelling to me, "You can do it, stand on your bike and pedal!" This scenario made me think of Adam Sandler's movie Waterboy, "You can do it" and I just burst out laughing. I told the officer, "No, I can't." I got off my bike and walked the rest of the hill until I reached flat road again.

Question: Do you have any tips for new riders?

Answers: I recommend riding as much as you can, even if it is only 10, 20 or 50 miles. Our team captain, Mr. Barry, is very experienced too. He provides a lot of information for first time riders. He keeps the team informed of training rides, cancellations and anything else we may need to know. Oh, and have fun! That is most important.

Question: Do you have any additional comments?

Answer: Please join us or donate online! Consider what you can do to help people living with MS right now and protect those who may be diagnosed in the future. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Learn more about the MHvsMS team or follow Maria's progress on her participant page.