Vernon residnet biking for MS awareness

| 29 Jan 2018 | 03:47

VERNON — Jeff Brath is seizing life to the fullest as he spreads the message of awareness and knowledge about Multiple Sclerosis.
As part of the “Bike the US for MS” bike ride, beginning April 22, he is trying to raise $11,327 — one dollar per mile — for an 11,327 mile bike trip, to be donated to: an MS charity, research facility, or service projects which help someone specifically with MS in the community.
Brath will complete all four available rides connected: East Coast, Northern country, West Coast, and Southern country. The East Coast route is from St. Augustine, Fla., to Maine; the Northern country, from Maine to Washington state; the West Coast: from Washington to California; and the Southern country: from California back to Augustine, Fla., Oct. 28 or 29. He said, “I am riding from Florida To Florida — the long way,” and Brath will be on his bicycle for six months.
No stranger to taking steps into the unknown, in 2015, Brath hiked the Appalachian Trail; 2016, rode his bicycle across country for Bike the US for MS Trans-Am from Yorktown, Va. to California.; 2017, bought, renovated, and drove an old 1973 Volkswagen micro-bus around the country, from New Jersey to Washingston state, down through California to Georgia, and back to N.J.; and now, 2018, riding his bicycle completely around the four corners of the country.
Uniquely, when he first signed up in 2016 for the Trans-Am, he did not own a bicycle capable of traveling across country, so he had to buy one.
His Uncle Charlie has been affected by MS for over 20 years. Brath said, he thought it would be a cool way to show his uncle and the rest of the MS community support, and people know about their struggles, want to help, and are here for them — riding a bicycle to raise money.
Brath said, Bike the U.S. tries to spend less than half each dollar raised on fixing the van that follows the riders, support group, and staying at camp grounds.
He added, the ride is still open, and they are accepting applicants for riders. In addition, riders do not need to ride all four corners. See: BiketheUSforMS.Org, he continued, “The more the merrier. The more people you can get involved, the better chances of finding a big supporter, donor, or changing someone's life.”
To follow along on the journey, he will be posting as much as he can on his Instagram handle: @jephsworld, where people can subscribe to the news feed, keep up to date, or send questions.
Brath is hoping to have a couple more fundraisers. If anyone is interested in helping raise money, he would welcome volunteers. Contact him at: — the organization emphasizes community involvement.
A typical day on his trip involves sitting on a bicycle six hours, and sometimes up to 10 to 12, depending on the miles and head winds created by cars and semi-trucks passing a couple feet on the left – all day long. Head winds never get old, he said, as he is sucked into a semi's tail wind — “They can be scary.”
He added, 95 percent of the time, it is incredibly beautiful, riding through parts of the country, off the beaten path, with cool little quirky restaurants, gift shops, town centers, small communities and developments – not too many big cities, no interstates, highways, or two lane roads – just the back roads around America.
At night, he sleeps at campsites, churches, firehouses, local municipalities' public parks, and occasionally people open their homes, where they meet the community, hear, and trade stories, or a hotel in case of hurricanes.