If you are one of the two people that read my blog (myself being the other one) then you know that I like to raise money for charity. By charity I don’t mean for a new wheelset, (but I wouldn’t be opposed to a set of Rabbit Holes). Nope, I mean charity for the good of other people. First would be my wife Serbrina, who suffers from a type of Liver Disease called PSC, as well as Crohn’s/Colitis. Second to that is for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which my mom suffers from as well as my friend Aaron.
For the last two years I’ve raised quite a bit of money for MS. About $10k in fact. Not too shabby right? Clearly I’ve been focused on MS. Maybe since it’s a new issue to me, relatively. Maybe because it’s my Mom? Who knows.
One thing I do know is that this weekend we attended a conference for Serbrina’s liver disease and I was reminded just how little I had done for my wife in that time. In the past two years in fact I haven’t done anything. That needs to change. While MS is close to me now, PSC is in my house and affecting the person I love the most in this world. I need to find a balance. A way to share my time between both charities.
So I’ve been thinking about a simple idea. A way to do good at all times. For example, I do rides for MS. One a year. In 2011 I rode the Great Divide MTB route for PSC. That one time, years ago. That’s not much.
But I ride everyday. Well almost, but you get the idea. Why should I only do one or two rides a year for some do-goodery? Does that make the rest of my rides just fun rides? Because they are not all fun. Sure, some are, but some hurt. Some hurt my legs, some hurt my butt! Some I’m hurting inside from the stresses of being a caregiver and I need to burn off some frustration or anger. So aren’t they just as useful?
I had a friend tell me one time that things shouldn’t always be done “just for fun” or “just because you can”. The things you do should have a purpose. Maybe it’s recon for a future ride, maybe it’s to test a new piece of gear out, or in my case riding to raise money for your favorite charity.
So I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate that way of thinking to my weekly rides and make them count. And by count I mean more than for training or conditioning of my sweet legs and my sweet tan lines. I mean, I count them on Strava and use them to push me along, but what good are they after that? Could they have more value? Could they add up to something tangible?
The answer is yes! Why not use them as a pledge? Why not say at the end of the year, based on the miles I’ve pedaled, I’ll do donate an amount to charity? Say $.10/mile for example. If I pedal 1000 miles I’ve raised $100! Or $.05/mile, $1/mile or $5/mile. Whatever you can afford. Maybe skip that new wheelset this year and donate. Maybe skip that new frame and donate. Or do both! Get out and ride your bike, but more importantly make every ride count for something!
Right now I’m just over 2000 miles logged for the year, but my goal is to pedal 8000 miles for the year. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but that’s why it’s a goal. I need something to strive for and goals should not be easy. I’m using Strava to log and track my mileage and you can follow my activity here.
So here is what I’m doing. I’m pledging to donate $.15 for every mile I have pedaled at the end of 2014 to PSC Partners, a charity dear to my wife. Will I make 8000 miles? Who knows, but I’m already one-quarter of the way there and that means I’m in for $300. So that’s not to shabby.
Can you join me? Will you join me? Whether you pedal, run, swim, hike, jog or walk they all add up to something. Donate to PSC Partners, BikeMS or whatever it is that affects your loved ones. I can only do so much alone, but together we can do a ton, as shown in this very scientific graph that explains “Do-goodery per mile”. The solid line represents me alone, and the dotted line is us as a group. Together we run out of paper and the do-goodery doesn’t end!
Post up your pledge, and who/what you are counting miles for. Let’s grow this into something big. Tag your rides on Strava, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with #makemilescount. Let’s make those miles count for something more and affect someone’s life in a positive way.