Janesville team participating in MS bike ride

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Samantha Jacquest
Thursday, August 1, 2013

JANESVILLE–About 1,500 bikes will ride through through Wisconsin this weekend as part of the 30th annual Best Dam Bike Ride, an event to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.

The ride starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Waukesha County Technical College and ends at UW-Whitewater anytime between noon and 6 p.m. Participants will stay in campus residence halls or camp on campus grounds overnight. The ride ends in Madison on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Curt Sauser of Janesville heads Team CCC, which stands for Curt's Conquest for a Cure. Sauser was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and started his team a year later after seeing a friend participate.

“Having MS, I wanted to stay active, and the fundraising is just an added bonus,” Sauser said.

Starting with 10 people in 2009, Team CCC has since grown to 108 members around the country. The team is the largest group participating in the event.

Sauser said he has not had to encourage people to donate or participate. Once they learn more about the ride, the cause and the inspiring riders who participate despite their disease, people are eager to help, he said.

Team CCC set a goal of raising $50,000 to benefit MS research and help the 10,000 state residents diagnosed with the disease. The team quickly surpassed its goal, having raised almost $70,000 as of Thursday, and fundraising efforts continue.

Lori Schneider, formerly of Janesville, was diagnosed with MS in 1999. This will be her first time participating in the Best Dam Bike Ride, acting as a support team member at rest stops for Team CCC members.

Schneider will not be riding in the event because she is preparing for her latest adventure — a trek to Machu Picchu that begins Monday.

In the years after her diagnosis, Schneider said she quickly realized her life had changed, but that it was not over. She vowed to make the best of her condition.

Since then, Schneider has ascended the Seven Summits, the world's seven most difficult mountains to climb. She now spends her time traveling to tell the world her story.

“It's been an uphill learning experience,” Schneider said. “When I was first diagnosed, like most people, I was very afraid. I made a lot of changes in my life very quickly, one of which was trying to get more physical activity in my life while I still had good use of my legs.”

Schneider said she actually has gotten physically stronger since first being diagnosed, and she now leads trips and conferences to encourage others with diseases to remain active.

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