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August 2001

Team UCAR climbs The Wall for fun and charity

The UCAR MS 150 team replenishing their fluids. Left to right: Russ Rew, Juli Rew, Jack Fellows, Rick Anthes, Andy Heymsfield, and Chris Conklin.

For the third year in a row, UCAR entered an informal team in the MS 150 bike ride, which raises fund to support multiple sclerosis research. The team consisted of captain Becky Ruttenberg (who had to withdraw just before the event after breaking her arm in the Ride-the-Rockies tour), Jack Fellows, Rick Anthes, Russ and Juli Rew, Joe and Margaret VanAndel, Melissa Petty, Chris Conklin, and Andy Heymsfield. The ride, which took place from 14–15 July, drew a total of 2,500 bicyclists who ranged in age from 6 to 81. Participants had a choice of ride distances that ranged from 150 to 200 miles.

"This is an incredibly well-organized event," reports Jack Fellows. "I suppose with nearly 2,500 riders a lot could go wrong, but it didn't. . . . While you need to train—which is a lot of fun in its own right—there is always help if you need it along the route."

The ride began at dawn in Highlands Ranch, south of Denver. Team UCAR peddled south to Colorado Springs, enjoyed a catered lunch, and then rode around the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods before winding up the day at Colorado College. Dinner was wonderful, Jack reports, and the team spent a restful night in the college's dorm rooms. On the second day, the team continued past Cheyenne Mountain to Cañon City and ultimately to Royal Gorge, site of the world's highest suspension bridge. "As you get close to the gorge, there's a portion called 'The Wall' because it's so steep," Jack says. "There was a lot of climbing, but we all made it no worse for wear and got some great shots at the bridge."

The event raised close to $1.5 million to help fight MS, an often debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system. Each of the Team UCAR members rode for a person with the disease.

"You get a real sense of the connection between what you are doing in the ride and what it means to those with MS," Jack explains. "As I rode into Cañon City on the way back from the gorge there was a young man with MS in a wheelchair in his front yard, waving and thanking the riders as they went past his house. He wasn't part of the event, but he was dealing with the disease and was very appreciative of everyone's effort."

Team UCAR plans to participate again next year. If you think you may be interested in riding, see Colorado's MS 150 Web site. "Don't be afraid," says Jack. "We'll help you, and you'll have fun."

On the Web:
Colorado MS 150
Full details on this year's Team UCAR ride

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > August 2001 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Wed Aug 8 15:59:34 MDT 2001