Why I ride: Pete’s story

Interview with Pete O., Technical Services Manager at MHM and MHvsMS team member

Editor's note: We recently had the opportunity to learn more from Pete O., a veteran MHvsMS team member, about his participation in the Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River. The team rides in support of those who battle Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While we weren't surprised by Pete's giving spirit or positive attitude, it was inspiring to hear why Pete rides in his own words.

PeteOtholt MHvsMSQuestion: Why do you ride with MHvsMS?

Answer: I previously played basketball, but age had a chat with me and said that was a bad idea. I still loved to exercise so I began running Triathlons, but running became an issue, which is when I began to focus on cycling. When I began working at Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. (MHM) a flyer for the team caught my eye. Since I already rode, I figured I should do it for a good cause.

Being part of the MHvsMS team is just fun! The team consists of a great group of people. Leading up to event day, we meet for training rides and the team provides each member with a MHvsMS uniform. On event day, we enjoy a tent full of goodies after the ride. Each year, it seems to get more fun. I look forward to it more and train harder. Being part of the MHvsMS team is very motivating—I get so much more out of the event than I put in!

Question: How long have you been cycling?

Answer: I've been cycling for eight years. This will be my fourth ride with the MHvsMS team.

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

Answer: The people make up my favorite memories. There are people who cheer us on at the starting and finish lines. Many of these cheerleaders have MS. I'm happy to apply something I already enjoy doing into something that is hopefully beneficial for my fellow human beings. This dovetails right in with the mission at MHM. I am very fortunate and anytime I can give back, whether at work or in other venues, it is incredibly fulfilling.

Question: Do you have any tips for new riders?

Answer: Do not be intimidated by the distances. Cycling is something almost everyone can do and there is a distance for everyone. The team has numerous training rides throughout the year. Barry Blackman is our team captain, the driving force of the group. You will be sore when you start, but the sense of accomplishment you get from completing the ride is amazing. For more specific tips, just ask any of the team members who already participate. I would love to answer any questions. Feel free to contact me. I love talking (as everyone is aware who knows me) so I would love to help any way I can.

Question: Do you have any additional comments?

Answer: There are team members who have been impacted by MS, some of them in the most severe and challenging ways possible. The Bike MS event allows you to challenge yourself, both physically and mentally, and in the end come out a better person than when you started. At the same time, you get to contribute in a very meaningful way to a cause that will make a difference in other people's lives and help eliminate the hardships that some of our peers have had to endure. Hard to think of anything that is more powerful than this.

Learn more about the MHvsMS team or follow their progress on Facebook.