Featured 2013 Cyclist
Jennifer Cherry : 2012 TransAmerica CYCLIST
Hometown: Normal, IL
Bike: Trek Madone 3.1
As a kid, I had a beautiful purple bike with a banana seat and apehangar handlebars. I rode that bike until I reached the point of finding other interests. Through my teens and young adulthood, I only cycled intermittently. Then all the busyness of life crept in, and thoughts of riding a bike were nonexistent, at least until it dawned on me one day that cycling with a stroller attached, carrying my two small children, would be a great way to get some exercise as well as spend time with my kids. I bought myself a light blue cruiser type bike and began going out on short jaunts. We all loved our times out about the countryside.
For my 43rd birthday, my husband bought me a more sophisticated cruiser, one with three gears rather than just the single. Because the kids were now old enough to ride their own bikes, we began going out on short rides to the park or around the neighborhood. Just before my 46th birthday, I signed up for a sprint triathlon. I knew I couldn't ride my cruiser for this event, so I invested in an inexpensive hybrid. After completing my first sprint tri, I was completely hooked on cycling. I was determined to ride longer and longer distances, but I knew I needed a touring bike to really enjoy these rides. While I'm not a shopper by any stretch of the imagination, I did venture out the Friday after Thankgiving last year and purchased my Trek Madone 3.1. It's the best purchase I've ever made.
This past summer, I cycled upwards of 2000 miles. The freedom a bike offers is exhilirating. When I came across the Bike the US for MS website, I knew my Madone and I were paired to complete this ride. For fourteen years, I have watched a dear loved one struggle with MS, and though I have tried to be there for her in any way I can, I always felt like there was more I could do. The Bike the US for MS is that something more I can do.
I am so completely excited about raising funds for further MS research. MS has no cure, and its effects are devastating. I have watched my mom go from being a vibrant, active individual to being confined to a wheelchair. I have watched her face uncertainty with tremendous courage. I have watched my dad, her primary caregiver, lovingly tend to her needs and encourage her to fight every step of the way. She and hundreds of thousands of others living with MS need us to join in their fight.
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