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About David Smith
I am really excited to have this opportunity to participate in a coast to coast bicycle ride that raises money to fight MS. It is a great challenge and will benefit those who suffer from a very difficult disease.
About 25 years ago, I was going through a rough time in my life. Although I was an active bicyclist, most of my riding had been urban - commuting to work and just getting around Baltimore. Without a real plan, I started riding out of Baltimore and, each week, I was riding further and further until I was riding very long rides - something I have really never thought about doing. It just happened. I was pretty clueless, often going on 80 miles rides without a spare tube or a water bottle. I've learned a lot since then!
What I learned by accident about bicycling was how therapeutic it is for me. Some people meditate. Some people do yoga. I ride my bike. So when I became more or less addicted to riding my bike, I learned that I could match my love of bicycling with raising money for various charities.
Over the past 25 years, I participated in single day and multi-day rides to benefit diabetes, MS, HIV/AIDS, environmental organizations, and cancer. This June, I will ride in the AIDS/LifeCycle which is a 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angles in addition to the Ride the US for MS.
I live in Phoenix, AZ which is a great place to be a cyclist. Most of the Valley cities have a lot of bike lanes and our weather is great for riding a bike. OK, riding a bike when it is 115 degrees isn't for everyone, but you get used to it.
I'm looking forward to seeing the USA on my bike. This trip will also be a milestone in my life. Currently, I have been to 47 states. My last 3 remaining states are Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama. What a great way to finish my quest to visit every state.
I am dedicating this ride to my friend, Lynn, who lived with MS for many years. She was a true friend to me who was there, 25 years ago when I was facing a lot of personal challenges and when I learned that I loved long distance bicycling.
OK, so I was at the airport wearing my Ride the US for MS teeshirt when a woman walked up to me and said, "I like your shirt." As we talked she shared that she'd been diagnosed with MS for about a year, was doing well, and very grateful for those who are doing the ride. I told Kimberly that I would be thinking of her on the ride. Talk about a big boost!!!