Italy blog test!

This is what a blog post will like when I post from Italy!  In a week, I’ll be catching a flight (or three!) over to Rome with Kip!  I’ve arranged to have WiFi at all overnight locations so I should be blogging every night from my phone and this is what it will look like.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of Toby in a life jacket.  ????

But first, four more concerts with the band!

Here we go #biketheusforms 2017

Well, in 5 short days, the NoTier (Northern Tier) will be taking off from Bar Harbor, ME heading west to Seattle, WA.  I’m so excited for them .. some of my team mates from last year will be doing the ride and I can wait to follow their journey and send care packages!  From now until the end of October  I will have friends that are RIDING THEIR BIKES everyday!  How awesome is that!  Kaylyn is going to be leading the NoTier team, the PacCoast team AND the SoTier team!  How amazing is that!

In about 40 days, I will be taking off for an adventure of my own and as I am typing this I am realizing that I am very behind on my planning.  So, today is the day I am going to make some decisions on which route I will take for this ride.  I want to experience as much as I can while still getting to my Aunt’s house as quickly as possible — at the same time saving money by finding cheap lodging throughout my trip.  So, today I will be using these resources:

  • Warmshowers – a hosting site for cyclists that are doing long distance cycling and need a place to crash.  Kinda like couchsurfing for cyclists
  • Google maps – the imaging they have, even for italian roads, is amazing!  with a few clicks, I can see the roads I plan to ride on – to see how big shoulders are and even get a feel for how busy the road might be.
  • AirBnB – another site for lodging – can be pricey but can also find some great locations
  • Strava – By inputting my routes into Strava, I can click on segments and find riders that have been riding those roads and see how often they are ridden.  I can find popular (and safe) roads to bike this way.

Technology is amazing!

So, today I want to say good luck to all my friends and the strangers that are about to begin their journeys across the US for MS.  I will be following and thinking of you all!

 

#MSAWARENESSMONTH

March is MS Awareness month — and even though it is something that is on my mind throughout the year, this is a good time to devote my social media to sharing my experiences.  I’m convinced that most people I know have someone in their life that is currently living with multiple sclerosis.  It’s such a common thing now and a lot of people that I’ve met are not very vocal about the disease.  I’m shocked that we still do not understand very much about this disease and that the breakthroughs have been few and far between.  However, thanks to the good work from the National MS Society, there are a lot of events and fundraisers taking place throughout the country to fight this disease and get us closer to a cure.

It was 2014 when my friend Christy approached me about joining her in San Francisco’s Waves to Wine Ride, a local Bike MS Ride.  I answered yes before I even had a road bike to ride.  I knew my hybrid wasn’t going to cut it.  So… off to craigslist I went and found a great deal on my new best friend.  As a new rider, I found the route to be a little frightening…  175 miles in two days with some of the steepest and longest climbs in the Bay Area..  So we started training.  

After raising over $3K and riding what has become the best route I’ve ever ridden, I was hooked.   After the ride, my friend Liz put me in touch with the good people from Bike the US for MS.  These crazy folk ride bikes on various routes around the country every summer.  I immediately signed up as a “segment rider” – someone that is unable to ride the entire route, but can join the group for any part of the entire route.  In 2015, I rode for 5 days:  from Carson City, NV to San Francisco, CA.  In 2016, I upped my miles in two legs:  Yorktown, VA to Berea, KY and Telluride, CO to San Francisco, CA.  

I’m addicted.   I love riding my bike and it means so much more with a purpose.  That purpose is to ride for a cause – to raise money, to raise awareness and to help others.  

So, I’m committing to riding my bike every day in March.  No set number of miles — no crazy goals, just making the decision that no matter how busy life gets, no matter how bad the weather or how bad I feel on any given day, that somewhere, someone feels a little bit worse.  And that someone might be struggling to do the tasks that used to come so easy to them.  That’s why I’m riding every day in March.  Because I can.  

A time for giving

I know the holidays are a difficult time to talk about fundraising, but my one request is that if you are planning to purchase a christmas gift for me, please consider instead making a donation of any amount to Bike the US for MS towards my ride in July 2017. Perhaps a donation in someone else’s name would be a meaningful gift for them? I will be the first one to ride across Italy (Bike Italy for MS?) and will be doing things to directly impact Aunt Alba. You can find donation links and more information on my website: www.trumpetmatt.com

In August of 2007 four roommates decided to sell their belongings and set off from Seattle, pedaling east to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. Since then, Bike the US for MS has continued to grow and do amazing things for people with MS.

Together we’ve pedaled more than two million miles, raised over $2.1 million dollars, and have helped to improve the lives of thousands of people living with MS across the United States and UK.

Over 800 cyclists have ridden through the hurricane force winds of Eastern Montana, across the hundreds of miles of hand numbing west Texas chip sealed roads, through torrential midwest rains, past the ferocious dogs of Eastern Kentucky – and continued to pedal even when their legs were trying to tell them otherwise.

I appreciate your support and hope that if you are able, you can make a donation at www.trumpetmatt.com

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