Monthly Archives: June 2020

Bike MS 2020 – COVID-19-Style

Summitt is ready to go!

This has been such a strange year that my usual summer highlight—riding to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—was completely up in the air for months. Because of COVID-19, it wasn’t clear that the Illinois ride—Tour de Farms—was even going to happen.

Eventually, we learned that the ride was still on. It’s just not happening in St. Charles, Illinois with herds of people riding together. This year the ride is virtual. Everyone is participating however they’re able to do it safely.

Our team (once known as the Power Pedallers) recently rechristened ourselves in honor of our inspiration (and my husband) Bart. With a terrific name like “Bart’s Posse” how could we not ride?

Bart’s Posse: Tiger, me, and Captain Cookie

Captain Cookie, Tiger, and I will ride about 24 miles and we’ll document the feat with photos and maybe even video—or at least, the best we can while maintaining social distance.

June 27-28 is a big weekend for Bike MS rides all over the country. I don’t know how well the MS Society is labeling posts about local rides but if they do, the one we’re participating in is called Tour de Farms. Here’s the Bike MS Facebook Event Page (where they’ll be going live on June 27, 2020):

The virtual event starts at 9 am CDT. I believe it goes until Monday, June 29 at 1 pm, but I’m particularly excited about the 3-4 pm CDT on Saturday, June 27. There’s a big fundraising push during that hour, so if you were planning to donate to the MS Society via my fundraising page, I’d love if you did it then.*

The money we raise goes toward researching treatments and cures. It also supports and educates those who are dealing with the disease. MS hasn’t gone away or taken a vacation, even with everything else that’s going on. That’s why I’m still raising funds and why I hope you can contribute if you’re in a position to do so.

We’re in challenging times. Most of us have been under emotional and/or financial strain. There are many good causes that deserve support, and you might already have donated to some of them. But if you’re able, we’d really appreciate your support of our cause this year. We ride for Bart, for Madolyn, for Janet, for other friends and family who are fighting MS, and in memory of others.

Here’s the link to my fundraising page.

Thank you** in advance and take care of yourselves!

* But if you’d like to donate, and that time’s not convenient, please don’t let that stop you!

** Many, many thanks to those who have donated already! You’ve been so generous, George A, Elizabeth J,  Irwin G, Thomas M & Family, John M, Dr. Mickey S, Emmi M, Katherine L, Madolyn L, Steve and Lorie R, Ann L, Mary S, Robyn T, Sara G, Beth N, Tim Y, Randy B, Cecelia M, and Lori K.

Naperville, June 2020

A hotel in Phoenix, Arizona welcomes guests
with their commitment to human rights.
(Wikimedia – Creative Commons License)

Monday, June 1

After peaceful protests in downtown Naperville, some opportunistic thugs started vandalizing and looting businesses. Many windows were smashed and a lot of merchandise and supplies were taken.

Tuesday, June 2

Community volunteers came out to help with the cleanup. A few young teenage girls taped paper hearts on some of the plywood that had been put up in place of broken windows. Some of the hearts had the letters “BLM” (standing for Black Lives Matter) written on them. As they worked, an old white man got out of his car to shake his finger and yell, “This is a good city and you want to ruin it.” 

(With small paper hearts? Seriously?)

While he was busy frothing at the mouth, several white women went up to the plywood, tore the paper hearts down, and contributed their own verbal abuse.

Those young girls were speaking out against injustice in a peaceful way that harmed no one.

Their harassers were nothing more than hate-filled bullies. But something good emerged from their bile. Numerous people from Naperville posted their support for the girls and their condemnation of the privileged middle-aged and old white people who felt threatened by young people speaking up for justice and love. Not too threatened, though. At least they felt comfortable tormenting children.

Wednesday, June 3

In reaction to this event, many more people gathered in Naperville on June 3rd to post more paper hearts. Several Naperville businesses have joined in by inviting people to post hearts at their locations. My heart is full—both for the young people’s resilience and courage and for the adults who support them and their cause. 

If you want to show your support and your circumstances will allow it in the time of COVID-19, consider visiting some of these businesses:

  • Apple Store
  • Anderson’s Books
  • Starbucks Reserve
  • Mongolian Grill
  • Potbelly’s
  • Empire
  • Jimmy Johns
  • Ikkai Sushi
  • Coldstone Creamery
  • Kilwins Creamery
  • Jackson Ave Pub
  • Smoothie King
  • Red Mango
  • (or any others where you see these message hearts posted)

Of course, spending money at retail establishments and restaurants is pretty easy to do when you’re in a comfortable position. There’s some real work ahead of all of us. Not everyone can do everything, but we all must do what we can. As Desmond Tutu advised:

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

And realize, as Tutu also said:

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

This information comes from the Facebook page, 365 Things to Do in Naperville, Illinois. A video link to Wednesday’s activities is here: