Meet the Bike MS cyclist who broke the world record
Look who’s joined the movement: Phil Fox: ultra-cyclist, world record holder and Bike MS participant.
On June 17, ultra-cyclist Phil Fox set out on a 940-mile trek around Lake Michigan with two goals in mind: complete the journey in under 72-hours to break the world record and bring awareness to those living with multiple sclerosis.
Fox’s route took him from Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, north along the lake through Wisconsin, over the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, south along the Michigan coast, into northwest Indiana and then back into Chicago.
We asked Fox why the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is important to him and why he chose this challenge to support those affected by MS.
What’s your MS connection?
Two of my best friends were diagnosed 10 years ago. That next month I took part in my first Bike MS event, the Tour de Farms in DeKalb, Illinois. It was my first 200K ride. In the years since, I’ve seen the challenges this disease entails through their experiences and continued participating with the Society through a variety of fundraising activities.
Why did you decide to cycle around Lake Michigan as a way of raising awareness and funds for the Society?
I wanted to find something that represented the ambition of the Society — a challenge as large as the effort to end MS. With so much disruption to many Bike MS events during the pandemic, we wanted to make up for some lost ground.
What was the hardest part of the 920-mile trek?
Do anything long enough without sleep and you’ll go through a whirlwind of emotional states. But as hard as this was, it will not compare to the hardships that others have to live with. And that’s why my team and I were so determined to get this done. No mistakes. No excuses.
What does the National MS Society mean to you and why would you encourage others to get involved?
Whether it’s MS or another debilitating disease, I think it’s tough to feel like one person can make a difference. It’s easy to feel helpless. But by associating with Bike MS and the National MS Society, we can be part of a movement to make real tangible change in the lives of so many. It might be the best way I can help my friends and let them know I’ll fight with them. They are not alone.
How do you hope to inspire others?
We’ve never been closer to the end. But we aren’t there yet. Participate (or volunteer) in one of the many Bike MS, Walk MS or Challenge MS events. Be part of the fight.
Learn how to get involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.