When Cherise Mlott donated to the Bike MS: Atlanta Peach Ride one summer, she had no idea that just one year later she would be completing the ride herself—and facing her own multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
After receiving her MS diagnosis, Cherise made a personal commitment to go from struggling to walk to embracing a sport she had never tried before—cycling. Between grappling with finding her balance at stops and then heading straight for a bridge with slats perfectly sized to allow bike tires to get caught, Cherise’s first ride was rocky to say the least. While most would have been ready to call it quits, she was determined not to let MS beat her and she definitely wasn’t going to let this race beat her either. A little bloody and bruised, she crossed her first Atlanta Peach Ride finish line in 2001 and felt an immense sense of accomplishment. Fifteen rides later, she’s still going, now faster and stronger than ever. Her years of riding have taught her a few lessons that have helped make each year’s ride better than the one before.
Start strong: Get the right equipment (i.e., a road bike instead of a mountain bike).
The right fit: Have your bike adjusted to fit your stance. It can make all the difference in your ride.
Build endurance: Stick to a training program that allows you to work up to the mileage you’ll be completing on race day.
Get comfortable: Not only on your bike, but also on the route you’ll be riding, so you can be prepared.
Stay sharp: Add a small mirror onto your helmet to keep an eye on what’s coming up behind you.
Learn the rules: For safety and communication purposes, make sure you know the rules of the road for biking.
Stay hydrated: Remember to drink that H2O!
Countdown: Look forward to race day and what you are about to accomplish.
Pass it on: Take a novice under your wing and help them cycle more.
Registration is open now for the Georgia Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society 30th annual Bike MS: Atlanta Peach Ride