Why We Ride

Team IRON EAGLES is a group of friends and family dedicated to fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We join forces to raise money for the NATIONAL MS SOCIETY to support the great PROGRAMS they have available to help members of the community and to support the exciting RESEARCH being done in the field. We blog about why we ride, our experiences at fundraising events, our fundraisers and training tips. We also have links to information on MS and MS research. JOIN US!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MS150 2016 (Michelle's viewpoint)

Another year has come and gone.  This was my 12th MS150.  Yep.  The big 1-2.  This year's theme was Throwback 30.  Apparently this is the 30th anniversary of the ride.  All those memories got me thinking about the first time I rode in the MS150.  Back then we only had to raise $200.  And they had a masseuse at lunch. Yep. Free. Wishing they still had that :-) They also had really awesome rest stops with valet parking for the bikes and spritzers to cool you off. We still have great rest stops.  They are just different somehow. I only had my two girls back then.  Annalisa was less than a year old.  I didn't have a bike.  I borrowed one from Mike's Bike Barn in Lehi.  I didn't have a decent bike until my third year riding (see the Cadillac essay under Why We Ride).  I still ride that bike.  Although I think next year Annalisa is going to take that one from me.  Yep.  My little infant will be 12 next year and able to ride in the MS150!  Crazy, eh?

Each year has been just a little bit different.  Let me tell you about this year.

So we missed the send off at the Village in the morning.  I love to be there at the beginning and see all the riders ready to ride.  It just gets harder and harder to make it there on time each year.  This year we had one rookie rider.  Kathryn.  We had a 12 year old, a 13 year old, a 14 year old, a 15 year old and a 17 year old.  So half our team was 12 - 18 years old.  Wow!

This year we discovered that we need to work on speed.  We (the younger part of the team) are a fairly slow bunch.  We decided that if we want to do 40+ miles we need to get started earlier and ride faster.  As it was we went 31 miles (yahoo!).  A big thank you to Uncle Reid and Cousin Em for picking us up at rest stop 3.  So glad we got to bike the hills between rest stops 2 and 3.  I honestly think that is the best stretch of the whole thing.  Of course it has been several years since we have done much on the last half of the ride :-) That will change next year!  Next year we will be early and we will be fast! God willing.

And, as always, once again a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who supported the team, either in cash or other ways.  Thank you for your love and support.


And now for the best part of the article -- the pictures! :-)

The 2016 riders!

The siblings that rode this year.  Michelle, Reid and Marianne.

Photo bomb!

Our rookie.  12-year-old Kathryn.

Throwback 30!  Has it really been 30 years since Star Wars first came out?

Sarah said she only recognized two of the cutouts -- Han Solo and JFK :-)  So they took their picture by "JFK." Easy mistake.  Two good-looking charismatic presidents who lived a long, long time ago!

Sexy ladies :-) Making that extra 50 look good!

Made it to Idaho!  Yahoo!

And back to Utah :-)

Isaac letting me touch his lucky toe.  He forgot his current shoes and had to wear an old pair, complete with holes with which to touch lucky toes :-) I love riding with this boy! He never fails to entertain :-)

Need to work on my selfie skills with this one.

We actually had the whole team at the same time at Gossners this year.  Woohoo!  At least all of the riders.  Next year we need to get the support crew there too.  Kathryn's father is a professor at USU.  When we told her we were getting ice cream at Gossner's she said, "Gossner's has ice cream?"  Way to go Lisa and Scott! You are raising a true Aggie.

The riders and the support crew.

Marianne wrote the names of all her sponsors on her leg.  I just wrote them on my bib :-)  THANK YOU again to all who supported us!

Monday, July 13, 2015

MS150 2015!

Hello World! :-) I really should have written this post right after we got back from the MS150 -- while the memories were still fresh! I will do my best to recap. Pictures help :-)

So this year Bethany decided instead of riding she would decorate and man our team tent. She came up with the idea of decorating it with origami cranes. Apparently if you make 1000 origami cranes you can have a wish or you get good luck. 1000 cranes is A LOT of cranes! LOL We were camping the week before the MS150 so I missed the text about making cranes. I got the word the day before the ride. We purchased 1000 origami papers and some twine to hang the cranes and we learned how to make origami cranes! We spent hours making cranes. I was impressed that the kids really got into it. We even had friends and extended family make cranes and send them with us. It was a lot of fun. In the end I think we made around 100 or so cranes. Maybe 150. I calculated if it took five minutes to make a crane it would take a little over 83 hours for one person to make 1000 cranes! Yep. That's a lot of cranes.

 Here we are making cranes at dinner the night before.

Carbo-loading crane :-)

Getting ready for the ride the night before (so glad we did it the night before! that made the morning so much smoother) 


Rest Stop one. 

The infamous playground. Remember last year when Marianne got hurt on this thing? The kids are still young enough to play :-)  Notice the crane is playing too :-)

Second rest stop. 

My favorite picture :-) 

The crane taking a break at the rest stop. 

The crane on the road. 

Checking the map. Check out that nail polish! :-) 

Ice cream at Gossners on the way back. This is Emily Lara and Sarah. This year our rookie was Emily Lara. She is Marianne's daughter. She did a great job! I think the kids had a good time. 

And then Aggie Ice Cream after dinner :-) After all, we were celebrating two birthdays that day! 

Bill and Jacob did the 100 mile route again and this year they were joined by our good friend Liz. She was worried that she wasn't ready. Turns out she was hard to keep up with! :-) Way to go Liz! 

The tent. 

We had a sign that said people could donate and write a wish on a crane. We had a couple people write wishes and one family donated $10. It wasn't the most successful fundraiser we've had :-) It was fun though.  And the kids discovered a love for origami.   Guess what we are going to decorate our Christmas tree with this year! Origami :-)  We have origami stars, origami stockings, origami hats.... Maybe instead of a bake sale or lemonade stand for our next fundraiser we'll have an origami stand! :-)

All in all a very successful ride!  THANK YOU to everyone who supported us on this ride.  THANK YOU to those who donated money and those who donated cranes.  THANK YOU to those who sent us well wishes and prayers in your heart.  THANKS again to Lisa and family for putting us up and putting up with us :-)  And THANK YOU for reading this :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pepto and Bismol

We have two new team members!  Their names are Pepto and Bismol and they are bright pink gumball machines that live in the Springville Walmart entrances.  The reason for their names is because "oh what a relief it is" to have a steady revenue stream for our team!  (well, also, because they are Pepto Bismol pink)  We already have two gumball machines placed in American Fork and Logan and we are finding that gumballs are a wonderful way to raise funds (so long as you can get them placed well!).  Gumball machines are all about volume.  If a certain percentage of the people who see a gumball machine want to buy one then the more people you have passing your machine, the more gumballs you will sell.  A lot of people walk through the doors at Walmart so we are hoping this will translate to lots of $$.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, July 11, 2014

MS150 2014

Hello!  First of all we'd like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors who made the MS150 ride possible including everyone who donated and especially our jawbreaker machine hosts -- Center Street Grille in Logan and Water Gardens Cinema in Pleasant Grove.

Here are a few pictures from our ride this year.  We had 9 riders on the team including 2 rookies.

Left to right:  Bethany, Marianne, Me, Sarah (rookie #1), Bill, Reid, Isaac (rookie #2 in front of Reid), Jacob, Lisa.

Most of us did the 45 mile route.  Reid and Isaac did 50 miles so Isaac could get a boy scout merit badge.  Jacob and Bill did the century route.  Can you believe how grown up Jacob is?!  Look back a few years ago on this blog and you'll see a little boy in a t-shirt that says "I stink at fundraising."  Same boy.  Now he's in a professional jersey and looks like he could ride with Lance Armstrong!

The Before pictures

Rookie #1.  Excited and a bit nervous :-)

Rookie #2.  Ready to rock and roll! 

The Hales boys.  Dr. Reid, Lance Jr. and Mr. Energy

Very important to put on sunscreen.  If you don't you may end up with .......

a really cool looking sunburn mask! :-)

Tires pumped?  Check!  Sunscreen?  Check!  Water bottles?  Check!
Ready to ride!

On the road.  I was riding in the back and I looked up to see this.  Our team sure has grown!  Sarah says, "Where?"  Ok.  So the riders seem a bit small in this picture.  It was a neat sight though.  You just had to be there -- join us next year! :-)

Isaac and Sarah had a grand time riding together.  Isaac kept Sarah entertained with World War I and II history lessons and funny jokes.  Sarah said she was going steady -- meaning she felt steady on her bike.  Isaac inquired who she was going steady with.  Was it Thomas?  Was the relationship steamy? (Thomas the train :-) or was it George?  Did he go bananas for her? (Curious George :-).  Love that 12 year old boy humor!

At this rest stop the rookies found this really fun merry-go-round.  Aunt Marianne discovered that it is not wise to try and jump on a moving merry-go-round after riding 36 miles on a bike!  Ouch!

Almost-Post Ride Pictures

Ok.  So this isn't exactly post ride.  Here we are three blocks from the finish.  The route was changed this year so that we rode past Gossner Foods on the way back to the finish.  That's how it was 10 years ago when I first rode.  For my first few rides it was a tradition to stop at Gossners and get an ice cream cone on the way back.  We did that this year too.  When we were at Gossners we realized that we were about an hour ahead of the 100 milers.  So we called the kids back at home and told them to wait and come in an hour to cheer on the 100 milers when they came through the finish.  That would give us an hour of kid-free relaxation at the finish :-)  About three blocks from the finish Sarah, who hadn't been in on the conversation about when the kids would come cheer at the finish, said to me that she was so excited to see everyone at the finish line!  Oops.  This was her first year riding.  She had gone 46 miles.  Here we were at the end and the moment she was most looking forward to almost didn't happen!  We pulled over and called the kids.  Change in plans.  Come now.  As we waited for them we did yoga and applied some of Aunt Marianne's miracle cream.  She has this great cream that really helps sore muscles.  I wish I remembered the name!  "And we also swatted spiders," says Sarah.  I have to admit I'm glad the kids were there to cheer us in at the finish.  It was a really neat feeling to ride in to cheers from the family.  It was also really neat to see Sarah finishing and being mobbed by her younger siblings and cousins.  I am so proud of her!! :-)

Post Ride Pictures

Is this the same girl that started the bike ride 6 hours ago?  Rookie #1 has found a little bit of confidence and a little bit of attitude LOL

Our cheerleaders making silly faces :-)

The 100 milers at the finish line

Post ride massages while waiting in line for dinner.

Bingo!!  Aunt Lisa championed the Bingo cause again this year
and again it paid off!  We won some Apple Beer and a 
$50 gift certificate to Harmon's :-)

The real reason for cold drinks at dinner :-)

On our way home!

Of course we had to stop by Center Street Grille!

And, of course, the real reason we ride!  To help find a Cure for MS!

THANK YOU for your love and support!