I ride because my father has MS. Before he retired, he had worked with his hands all of his life, be it master carpenter or millwright, so it is frustrating for him to have those skills taken away from him. Two things my father did influenced why I chose to enter the bike tour and how I chose to raise funds. Firstly, in 1995 my father rode his bike across Canada, roughly 10 years before he was diagnosed with MS. He did this when he turned fifty two. I began doing bike tours in 2008, two years after my father was diagnosed. Secondly, I make chests as incentive prizes because I still have a pirate chest my father made for me when I was eight years old. For me that represents the care my father put into making that chest and I hope some of my chests will still be around in forty years too. In both these ways I feel I am carrying on for my father, doing what he cannot because of MS.
2015 was my eighth year in the bike tour. In order to help drive donations, I make chests and draw three winners from those who contribute to me. First place gets to choose one from all three chests, second place gets to choose one from the two remaining, and third place gets what is left over. Both the chests and pledge goals for me have grown over the years. I started with one chest and a goal of $1000. In 2015, I made three chests and raised over $5000. I have made over twenty chests and raised approximately $20,000 through those eight years.