Every year, Team Left Hand sets out on a series of rides to raise money for Bike MS – and they do a pretty impressive job. They raise more money than any other cycling event for any other cause. Their commitment to Bike MS isn’t just raising money for research to find a cure for MS. While that’s a big part of it, Team Left Hand is changing the lives of those around them, with or without a cure.
We had the opportunity to chat with a Bike MS rider, Gina, who is living with MS. She has an incredible story and hearing how much her quality of life has improved since she joined Team Left Hand was by far the best part of our week. This is Gina’s story.
Diagnosed with MS about 20 years ago, Gina kept her diagnosis a secret to most people. Aside from friends and family, she didn’t talk about it. But that all changed three years ago when she got her first recumbent trike bike from the Secret Santa program, an organization sponsored by Team Wingman that gifts trike bikes to people with MS. At this point in her life, Gina was just about homebound. Her symptoms were starting to affect her daily life and the medications even more so.
Her first year riding for Team Left Hand, she biked 14.6 miles. That was a pretty big accomplishment at the time, having spent very little time on a bike before. It was this first year that Gina met others just like her. Tons of people with MS were riding, and friends, family, supporters were riding, too. While talking to Gina she admitted, “I didn’t know people with MS actually rode in these events.” Very quickly, this organization began to change her world.
Not only did Gina gain a sense of freedom from the mobility of her bike, she was able to bike with her family, with her nephew. Gina even started to talk about her MS. Reflecting on this time, she said to us, emotionally, “It really opened me up and got me out of my shell. Riding for Team Left Hand changed my life. It freed me.”
The second year Gina rode 52 miles. This year, she’s shooting for an entire century ride (100 miles!). She rides with her two sisters and brother-in-law but this year, her 11-year-old nephew is even joining. After hearing Gina’s story and how much a single bike could change someone’s life, we are incredibly proud to be donating $10k to the National MS Society through Team Left Hand’s Bike MS Rides with the release of our collaboration coffee, Hard Wired. To learn more about Team Left Hand or to join their Bike MS rides, visit their website here.