LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2017) — Caleb Taylor, a second-year law student at the University of Kentucky College of Law, will hit the road this summer, cycling from Maine to Seattle, to raise awareness (and funds) for multiple sclerosis (MS) research and treatment.
As part of "Bike the US for MS," Taylor and other volunteer bicyclists will ride through 15 states in 69 days, pedaling a total of 4,295 miles. They will begin the northern tier route on May 27 in Bar Harbor, Maine, and are expected to finish on Aug. 4. The first half of the Northern Tier route stretches from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. The second half will begin in Minnesota and lead bicyclists deep into Glacier National Park – the location Taylor is most excited to see – for a two week stretch of mountains, rivers, and extreme natural beauty before arriving in Seattle.
“Spending nearly 70 days living out of a tent will inevitably teach me something. I look forward to the simplicity of living with less,” Taylor said.
What exactly inspired the Kentucky native to take his mission on the road? He shares a personal connection to MS.
“I was inspired to partner with Bike the US for MS as soon as I realized such an organization existed," Taylor said. "My mother was diagnosed with MS in 2001. Watching her struggle with different treatment options was part of my childhood."
According to the National MS Society, “MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” Over 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide and women are two to three times more likely to develop the disease than men.
This will be Taylor’s first year participating in a bike ride of this magnitude and preparation has been key. Taylor has been riding his bike everywhere and even scored a job as a delivery cyclist at Jimmy John's so he can make money and train at the same time.
But this adventure isn’t just about cycling. The North Tier team will make various pit stops in towns across the country to take part in community service projects such as building wheelchair ramps, assisting with yard work and helping with home renovations for patients with MS.
Each participant’s goal is to raise $1 per mile, for a grand total of $4,295. Bike the US for MS uses 90 percent of funds raised for research, treatment and community service projects for patients. Big Ass Fans is sponsoring Taylor’s ride, and although his fundraising goal has been met, donations are still being accepted. To help Taylor continue raising money for MS, visit http://biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=1171.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue