From Houston to Austin, Bay City Mayor rides in BP MS 150 for charity
April 25, 2012 at 4:25 a.m.
As Mayor Mark Bricker bicycled down central Texas roads, he couldn't help but feel nature's elements.
This was only day one and the wind was rough, but that didn't stop Bricker from riding in a two-day fundraising event for Multiple Sclerosis.
"This wasn't a race, it's was a ride for the cure," Bricker said.
The bicycling journey is a 180 mile stretch from Houston to Austin called BP MS 150 and is organized by the National MS Society Lone star.
"I didn't think I could do this," he said. "This is the first time I have ever done something like this."
Bricker's girlfriend, Amy, was first involved and then he gained an interest as well. Bricker and his girlfriend, along with 224 other Texas Children team members helped raise $170,000.
Bricker is proud to say he raised $850 on his own.
"I beat Amy with our goals," said Bricker jokelying."
But riding for a cure takes a lot of work.
Bricker has been training every Saturday since January before the sun ever rose.
Some of the training he did in Bay City, but a lot of times he trained out of town with team members.
But come race day, all of his practiced would be put to the test.
Though he made it through, the race was definitely a challenge, he said.
To ensure health safety, breaking points were placed every 8 to 15 miles for the 13,000 riders.
"I took advantage of those," he said laughing. "I tried to rehydrate, and regain my strength during break stops."
Come night fall, bikers stayed in tents overnight in La Grange after a grueling 100 mile bike ride in only the first day. On day two, riders woke up early to finish off the last 80 miles of the race.
Riders were given two route options and each led them to the finish line at the state capitol.
"When I finished it was a reminder, it wasn't to get in shape and it wasn't to feel good about myself, it was about finding a cure," he said.
Bricker is already excited to take on the race next year, but this time around he would like to get a team started in Bay City.
In total, 15,000 people made up the event, two thousand were volunteers.
However, that number hails in comparison to the 56,000 living with MS in Texas everyday.
"I love riding for those who don't have the luxury," he said.