Bike race is manageable … togetherPace-lines are a wonderful thing. Colorful snakes of cyclists riding wheel to wheel, everyone plays a role (no pun intended) to accomplish a common goal.
By: Luke Heine, Guest Columnist, Pine Journal
Pace-lines are a wonderful thing. Colorful snakes of cyclists riding wheel to wheel, everyone plays a role (no pun intended) to accomplish a common goal. Working together, pushing through wind and heat becomes manageable. Insurmountable goals grow easy. This shouldn’t seem too unfamiliar. Subtract the stretchy clothing, the very European sounding name brands and the protein bars, and this is simply a team. Since my Little League baseball days, I’ve been on many teams – I’m sure you have, too – but, I can honestly say, working together with the other MS 150 Ride cyclists last weekend was something entirely unique.
According to the University of Utah, 300,000 people suffer from muscular sclerosis in the U.S. alone, and it’s estimated that 1.2 to 1.5 million people suffer from this debilitating disease around the world. The C.H. Robinson MS 150 is a cycling charity tour that tries to do something about that. Starting in Proctor and ending in White Bear Lake, Minn., participants must donate at $350 to MS research to participate. Approximately 2,500 cyclists did that this year.
Invigorating. That’s how I would describe cycling with all those people on a four-foot-wide bike trail – although, it does require quick reflexes. You could see everyone’s dedication to beating the disease and finishing the tour. It manifested on their sweating brows and straining faces. With the temps in the high 80s, a heavy headwind and limited time to finish, the tour really epitomized the race to finding an MS cure. It’s an extremely complex disease, it dwells in an organ not fully understood, and every year it claims more lives. However, before this gets too morbid, let’s go back to where we started. Pace-lines.
While finishing this journey seemed rough at first, once I started teaming up with the riders around me, it – quite frankly – became easy. Working together, we offered conversation to each other, the opportunity to get out of the wind and encouragement. While I’m not saying finding the cure for MS will be easy, riding with so many who want to do just that gave me hope. I know, despite the obstacles, completing the race against MS is doable. But, as this tour taught me, completing any challenge is much easier if we work as a team.
Columnist and soon-to-be high school senior Luke Heine rode in the MS 150 last Saturday and Sunday, raising money to fight multiple sclerosis, a disease that affected his paternal grandfather, who passed away before Heine was born. The Cloquet High School student raised $400 through Brett Loeb investments, Johnson Supply, Constellation Energy, Wendy’s of Cloquet, Dr. Ken Ripp and Jeneé Marie’s Antiques.