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Friday open thread: Can I ask you a favor?

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106th Tour de France 2019 - Stage 18
Not pictured: me. Hills are the worst.
Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

WARNING: This is not going to be your usual Friday open thread. There’s a question involved as usual, but it’s a selfish question. I don’t do this often, but I have a request.

Will you give me money?

Let me explain. It’s not strictly giving me money. Every year, for the last (checks notes) 15 years now, I have done a charity bike ride for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. My mother lived with multiple sclerosis for over a decade before it took her life in 1983, and ever since then, I’ve done what I can to help make sure that no family has to deal with what mine did, and that no person has to face a life with MS unsupported and alone.

This may surprise you, but I’m not a doctor. I can’t actually do the research that is going to lead to a cure, but I happen to live in an area that is home to some of the most advanced MS research in the world, and what I can do is help pay for that research.

And the way I do that is by doing something I love to do - riding my bike absurd distances. I probably won’t be able to do 100 miles this year, as I usually aim to do, because I am still recovering from a pinched nerve in my shoulder that cost me two months of training. I’m shooting for a 65 mile day, all in support of ending MS in my lifetime.

But it’s not just about research! All the money I raise goes to the MS Society of Oregon and SW Washington, who not only help fund that research, but, as importantly, provides services and support to people living with MS and their families. From connecting those newly diagnosed with MS to support groups and medical care, to providing aid, both monetary and help with navigating the bewildering tangle of available support services and resources, for families of those living with MS, every dollar raised on this ride is a dollar closer to, ideally, making all those services irrelevant because we’ve found a cure for MS.

Longtime readers may remember that, a few years back, we did a challenge with Cartilage Free Captain to see who could raise more money for their charity. I chose the bike ride then, and we gave CFC a good race before they ended up winning. Even though we “lost”, TSF still helped me raise over $5,000 for the MS Society, which was amazing.

We’re not doing a challenge this year - CFC has grown exponentially, to the point where they’d crush us without even trying because their reader base is massive - but I am, once again, turning to you, the fantastic Short Fuse community, to ask if you’ll support me in raising as much money as I can to beat MS. The ride is next Saturday and Sunday, August 3 & 4, and you can get more information and details about the MS Society right here. More info about the ride itself can be found at this link:

Please donate to my ride!

My goal this year is $2,000, and I’m almost half way there with just over a week to go. Can you help get me to my goal?

I promise this won’t be a regular thing - we won’t start asking for money every single week. But, if you like what we do here, and appreciate that it never costs a thing, maybe consider throwing me a few bucks? I mean, I could go through all the normal fundraising-email beats of how many cups of coffee one donation could be a substitute for and whatnot, but that’s not important - what’s important is that, if you feel like giving to a good cause, I’ve got one that you can give to.

I can answer any questions you have about the ride or the Society in the comments, as well, so feel free to ask whatever.

Thank you so much for indulging me this week, and thank you in advance for your generosity.

(Also, this is an open thread, so feel free to talk about other stuff too!)