My uncle and I are cycling 850 miles from Chicago to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness and funds for multiple system atrophy (MSA), the rare disease that killed my father two years ago.
Others are welcome to ride on the first day out of Chicago to a friend's July 4 party in Hobart, Indiana (46 miles), or on to our overnight stop in Valparaiso (64 miles). We're also inviting others for what essentially is the "real" last day on Sunday, July 13, from Hagerstown (58 miles, mostly downhill) or Frederick (30 miles) to somewhere near my mom's house in Rockville, Maryland. (We'll help arrange transportation in the opposite direction if you don't want to ride both ways.) You could also join for the ceremonial last day (just like the Tour de France!) from Rockville to Capitol Hill in D.C.
All I ask of other riders is that you make a minimum donation of $25 to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition. That, and please wear a helmet.
It's turning into a logistical challenge, so volunteers are welcome. We're also seeking sponsorship for the tour. Our needs include: lodging, ride support (SAG), nutrition/hydration, jerseys and other cycling gear.
Send off the riders with a July 2 fundraiser at Chuck's: A Kerry Simon Kitchen in the Hard Rock Hotel. (Kerry Simon, called the Rock 'N Roll Chef by Rolling Stone, is battling MSA himself and has become an outspoken advocate for the cause.) Chuck's will donate 20% of the proceeds from sales of the Iron Chef Burger, the Portabella Cap Sandwich and a specialty cocktail to the The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition. We will be there after 6 p.m., but this offer is good all day on July 2.
Come on out, dine and have a drink to boost MSA awareness, research and patient support in a fun, laid-back environment. (See http://chuckschicago.com/ for the menu.)