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My first MS 150: last summer, General Dugan put his commitment to our mission on the road as a cyclist in the Colorado Chapter's MS 150. His story is dedicated to everyone who will ride this year.... (The Last Word).

Saturday and Sunday were both brilliant days. Bright sun, with a cool, light breeze on Saturday, and a hot headwind for much of Sunday--with a brief sprinkle or a cooling gully washer depending on where one was on the route Saturday afternoon. All in all, an expected mix of Colorado summer weather.

The route was the expected mix of Colorado terrain, too. Uphill all the way, as I recall. I walked more than one hill, though I walked less on Sunday as the pain in my legs was supplanted by numbness. Sunday was a memorable day: I did not fall and I did not hit one of my fellow riders. (It's enough of that tale to say that Angie McNulty was a more gracious rider than I was a competent one. Thankfully, the only injury was to my pride.)

The Colorado Chapter had a wonderful mix of volunteers providing critical safety warnings, rest stops, lunch stops, en route communications, safety patrols, and finish-line festivities. The arrangements included constant protection by the Colorado Highway Patrol--another reassuring detail.

But if truth is to be told, there was another lasting impression I carried--a left-side saddle sore. I obviously did not train hard enough, because I did not toughen up one important "interface" between bike and rider.

Despite my discomfort, I knew that my challenge would end. There was a finish line for my MS 150. I would be able to lay down my bike, walk away, and be done with my ordeal. I was "teamed" with Beth Anne, my personal power source, and I thought of her and so many others who could not walk away from their MS. They gave me the energy and will to continue. For those who cannot develop a saddle sore, I carried mine proudly to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.
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Title Annotation:Mike Dugan; multiple sclerosis
Author:Dugan, Mike
Publication:Inside MS
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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