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Riding for MS
by Jim Hazel

After my heart attack in 2009 I realized that I needed to get in better shape and that means regular exercise. The only exercise I really enjoy is riding my bike so I bought a new bike and started riding seriously. My first ride was a total of 5 miles and I was tired. But I worked up to the point of riding 105 miles in the San Diego Century last May. This fall I went on a bike ride in Houston with Will Cole, our nephew, and he convinced me that I could handle the Houston to Austin MS 150 in April -- and that it would be fun.

For the BPMS150 web site, click here

Katya's youngest brother, Travis Cole, died from MS several years ago so the family got a first hand look at the disease. It is horrible and takes a tremendous amount of courage to live through. Will and I will be riding together in memory of Travis and to help raise money for research into the causes and cure for MS. I will also be giving myself the most challenging test of my cardiac fitness ever.

For some reason I'm really looking forward to the ride. I like the perspective Katya used when she was explaining it to her mother: "Jim and Will are going to ride from Houston to Austin and do you know what they get if they finish? A t-shirt!" And some personal satisfaction.

We will leave Houston on Saturday morning, April 21, with about 15,000 other riders and ride to La Grange, where we spend the night. The next morning we get on the bikes again and ride in to Austin where everyone who is still upright will have a great party.