HOUSTON - The annual Texas MS 150 bicycle ride, to raise money for the fight against multiple sclerosis, returns this weekend after its Covid-cancellation. While there will be changes to keep riders safe, the cause remains the same.
There are more than a million people, in the U.S., living with MS. This disease of the central nervous system, that causes a variety of unpredictable symptoms, can rob any of those people of their quality of life. For many of them, riding the Texas MS 150 is personal.
It is for Micah Love.
"I would say it's pretty challenging; the distance is not easy," he says.
The 42-year-old Houston man is a nine year veteran of the fundraising ride. Like so many riders, it's become a familiar challenge.
"Every year, around this time, people are calling, asking 'Are you riding?' Of course I am, but they want to know that they're in tune to it," he says.
Love is in tune with the cause, more than most. When he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 22 years ago, he was just a junior in college and had little idea the disease even existed. Since then, he's become intimately aware of what it does.
"I've had complete paralysis on my whole right side; numbness in my legs," he describes. "Now I have numbness in my feet, quite often; my hands; it's just severe numbness."
While therapies and medication have helped keep the disease in check, pedaling the Texas MS 150 is part of Micah Love's fight.
His first experience was inspired by a friend who was riding in his honor. Now, he's inspired by everyone pedaling for the same cause, and raising money that will make someone's life a little easier.
"I'm not the only person with MS, but it's just inspiring to know that someone is going through the process of riding this ride, which is not easy," he says.
This year's ride is a one-day event, on May 1, featuring about 4,000 cyclists. For the first time ever, the finish line will be at Kyle Field on the Texas A&M campus.