What all started with wanting to help raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis has now turned into a multi-year goal for two women who are in the midst of completing Bike MS rides in all 50 states. Rachael Bubbs and Dayle James of 2 girls, 2 bikes, 50 states are just beginning their national tour, with four states down and five more coming up in August.
Rachael first became involved with MS due to her sister in laws diagnosis. “We all did Walk MS New York City together”, Rachael said. “Two years later I wanted to do something badass and signed up for my first Bike MS 150. That was in 2011 and the start of the Bike MS events for me.”
Dayle became involved when a fellow Team Velox Rota member recruited her from spin class to ride in the Bike MS Cape Cod Getaway. “At that point I had been riding for a while but wanted to take it a step or two further and thought it would be a good way to start and to be part of a great cause,” Dayle said.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Rachael and Dayle became close, and then the following September hatched their plan to ride a Bike MS event in each and every state, #50rides50states5years. Such a plan wasn’t exactly something that either of them thought would come easily considering most of the MS rides are 150 miles over two days. For a professional athlete that might not be too overwhelming, but considering neither rider makes their living by pedaling a bike, each event would pose a monumental challenge.
“I grew up on the soccer field and had a bike when I was young but didn’t see one again until many years later. I didn’t even own a road a bike when I registered for my first Bike MS event.” Rachael told us. Now, because of the massive challenge she and Dayle have undertaken, riding has become part of her life. “I ride in the afternoon after work or hop on the trainer. Cycling used to just be a way to help clear my head but it’s now my passion and a lifestyle.”
“Similar to Rachael, I always had a bike when I was a kid,” said Dayle. “I played lacrosse and field hockey through college and after a series of knee injuries, gave up running and shifted to the bike.” From there it was no turning back.
The ultimate goal for Rachael and Dayle isn’t just to travel the country and ride bikes, it’s about building awareness as an activist for the National MS Society and show how important fundraising is. This year, a goal is set to raise $10,000, which would go toward research and a number of programs.
As challenging as the rides are, it’s actually the travel that makes things difficult, especially during a busy month like August. Add in the fact that some states only have one ride a year to choose from and all of a sudden the schedule can get a little tight. The first week of August will see them riding events in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, with about 1300 miles behind the wheel. They’ll hop right back in the car the following weekend and head to Maine with their team. The month will wrap up with New Hampshire followed by Virginia in September, Florida and New York in October before finishing the year North Carolina and South Carolina in December.
One of the things they attribute to helping get through the miles is their use of PR Lotion. “The Texas event was the prime example. I really didn’t train from November to April so I was really unsure how it would go”, said Rachael. “On the first day, we did 100 miles and were fine. Neither one of us were in pain whatsoever. PR lotion is our saving grace! On the way out to Texas, the TSA agent tried to take my tube from my carry on and I almost cried. I went back to check it in my other bag just so I wouldn’t lose it.”
Follow along with Rachael and Dayle as they continue their Bike MS journey across the country. You can find them on Instagram at 2girls2bikes50states.