A conversation between me and my brain:
"Must I do this again?"
Yes, you must.
"But it hurts."
"Why must I?"
Because the kids are doing it.
"But it hurts."
I know: Whine whine whine.
This year's Multiple Sclerosis 150 bicycle ride is a mere 2 1/2 months away. The ride requires me to ride a bicycle 150 miles in two days -- and, yes, that hurts.
It hurts less if I train. Training involves riding a bicycle. Riding a bicycle, for me anyway, requires warm weather.
It has rained how much this month? Too much, when it wasn't snowing.
On one of the few sunny days, I got out my bicycle, pumped up the tires, dusted off the seat and pedaled around the neighborhood. The bike was fine, but the rider started whining very soon.
The kinks are getting harder to work out, the pains more persistent. It's that stupid aging thing again.
"Really, must I?"
Last year was a cold and wet spring, too. I did the 75 miles on the first day of the MS 150, but the second day hurt. Ibuprofen can do only so much.
But the kids?
I've already had one meeting with the Youth Impact kids, and they're raring. It was raining when we met, and they said, "Let's go!"
They went. I didn't. "Stay warm!" I called.
The MS-150 is a fundraising bicycle ride I do to myself every year. I got into this 17 years ago so I'd have a reason to get my middle-aged butt on the saddle.
Then I kept running into friends, family and co-workers who have multiple sclerosis, so it seemed a friendly and family thing to raise money to help them.
Three years ago, I hooked up with Youth Impact's bicycle program.
Youth Impact is an inner-city program that teaches kids the good that comes from being responsible members of their community.
Ever asked yourself, "Why doesn't someone keep kids from joining gangs?" Well, that is precisely what Youth Impact does. When the kids are studying or playing games or fixing their own bicycles at Youth Impact, they're not out hanging around looking for trouble.
The MS-150 adds to this. I tell the kids that they almost certainly have family or friends who have MS. I tell them that helping people with MS helps the whole community.
The fundraising part comes in because I ask you, my faithful readers, to help sponsor those kids to ride. By sponsoring them, you are helping them help your community.
The MS-150 requires every rider to pay a registration fee plus raise $250 in donations. We usually have about eight kids, plus a couple of staff from Youth Impact, so you can see I have some serious begging to do.
What can I say? "Please?"
Neither I nor Youth Impact gets a dime out of this. Every penny goes to the Utah chapter of the National MS Society, which is very good about spending it on services and research.
Look, I know the economy sucks. Everyone's bills are going up. Everyone's pay is frozen, is going down or worse. Even $5 or $10 is asking a lot. What the heck; I'm asking.
Make checks out to "National MS Society." Send donations to: Charles Trentelman, c/o Standard-Examiner, P.O. Box 12790, Ogden, UT 84412.
You think donating money hurts? Try riding that stupid bicycle.
I will, if the weather ever warms up.
Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can call him at 801-625-4232 or email him at email@example.com. He also blogs at www.standard.net.