Originally posted by Rick Ankrum at www.texbiker.net.
Carolyn Gomez is riding the 180 miles from Houston to Austin – for the first time – this year. Though never a cyclist, she was inspired to do this challenging ride by her mother Irene Valdez, who courageously has faced her life with MS for the past 14 years. Her mother now uses a wheelchair for her personal mobility.
Carolyn, a member of Team Sun & Ski, wrote an essay, “To my mother from her daughter,” that was selected by the MS Society, Lone Star Chapter, for its 25th anniversary MS-150 “Art Bike” project. She was one of 25 essayists selected to have a bicycle decorated in this program.
I had the opportunity to interview Carolyn by email.
Texbiker: What motivated you to choose this year’s ride?
Carolyn: My mother, who suffers from MS
Texbiker: Please describe your bicycle. (Brand, model, components, etc.)
Carolyn: Diamondback Divine
Texbiker: Do you have any favorite bike stuff?
Carolyn: My favorite bike stuff is my biking shorts. lol
Texbiker: What do you think the ride will be like?
Carolyn: Challenging. But with me keeping my family and my mom on my mind, that should be enough motivation I would need.
Texbiker: Have you visited any of the route?
Carolyn: Personally, No I have not visited the route yet, but I have been doing online research on the location of the ride
Texbiker: Other than the bike trails what training rides have you done?
Carolyn: I have been riding with my co-workers, who will also be riding in the BP MS-150 at the San Jacinto battle grounds. I also rode the Tour De Houston (sponsored by Sun & Ski Sports) which was really fun.
Texbiker: How many miles have you ridden in preparation?
Carolyn: When I ride with my co-workers we have been riding at least 20 miles on Sundays, or when I ride the hike and bike trail I ride at least 10 miles a day. I wish I could ride longer, but with a 4-year-old daughter waiting for me at the sitter’s, I have to cut my ride short (I need to pick up my daughter at least by 6:30 p.m.)
Texbiker: How will you spend Saturday night?
Carolyn: Call my family to let them know I made it okay to La Grange, thank God for blessing with a safe ride and pray for day 2 to be another safe ride for me and others who are riding. Then after that maybe getting a massage provided by Team Sun & Ski and relax and sleep in the Team Sun & Ski tent.
Texbiker: Do you think day 2 will be different from day 1?
Carolyn: Most definitely day two will be totally different from day one. I am pretty sure it would be a little bit more challenging physically and mentally, but again with my mom on my mind and me knowing that my family is waiting for me at the finish line, it would be all worth it.
Texbiker: When you finish what will you do first?
Carolyn: Whether I am walking, crawling, or riding across the finish line, I will find my family and have a moment to cry. I will cry because not only have I achieved another major milestone in my lifetime (the other two are getting married and giving birth to my daughter), but I will cry knowing that I helped my mother and others get to the next step on having a cure for MS. Then I will call my mother at home to let her know that we did it.
Thank you, Carolyn. Best wishes for a safe and successful ride.