Riding Because I Can
Eric Olson is riding GFNY to remind himself of the simple challenges his beloved wife faces
Tracy Olson will never let her husband Eric, 52 take his health for granted. A Clemson Alumni, Olson has been riding for six or seven years and has tackled some of the world’s toughest rides. For cycling enthusiasts the names the Etape du Tour and Alpe d’Huez, B2B, speak for themselves. He has also ridden closer to home and heart on cycling endurance challenges in the name of fund raising.
“Ride 4 MEE was a 3 day 500mile idea my biking buddy had to help raise over $6000 for Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF). The MEE stands for Motivate Educate Empower.”
2016 was Olson’s first GFNY NYC after his best friend Kyle Schneider introduced him to the event.
“I definitely owe my finish last year to Kyle,” recalls Olson. “We had suffered many a mile together and due to the cold weather and inadequate clothing I was ready to throw in the towel at Big Bear!”
Olson is rolling out again this year, hopefully better prepared for what the weather may deliver. This year, wife Tracy will be his inspiration along the 100miles.
“Tracy has had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for 29 years and the last five have taken so much away from her. On a beautiful day she’ll look out the window and cry when she sees people walking, biking, running and golfing. She hates the cold and feels isolated and confined in the winter. She can barely get around on her motorized scooter any more,” shares Olson.
The Olson’s have been together for thirteen years and married for ten. While Tracy thanks her husband for being on this “MS” journey with her, Olson thanks his wife, ‘his sweetie’ for letting him take the journey with her.
“Nothing has been harder or more rewarding than to just take this journey with her,” says Olson.
Tracy needs help with every simple act of daily life, getting dressed, washing, even putting her hair in a ponytail. But despite the daily struggle of life’s simplest tasks she still manages to go to the gym and do what she can. Her courage is infectious.
“Some people complain about pain when they stand or walk …my wife just wants to walk.” Olson impresses. “She does not quit and is an inspiration to all that know her,” Eric continues.
Olson is riding GFNY to remind himself of the simple challenges his beloved wife faces. Some challenges appear to be Herculean tasks and Olson knows Sunday will be a tough ride but for him it is just about finishing.
“I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself. GFNY will remind myself what it feels like for Tracy to get from the bed to the bathroom. I’m riding for Tracy because if she could JUST DO IT, It would be done.” Ends Olson.
Olson says, “We are getting closer to Cracking MS but there is a long way to go. To find out more or make a donation please click here: msfocus.org. Alternately Olson asks that you simply donate some time to a neighbor in need or a friend that may be feeling down. It is the simplest most rewarding act of humanity you can give.