For the 10th straight year, the Powered by Buildium team has completed the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway, and raised money to fight multiple sclerosis.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a 2019 study found that nearly one million people in the U.S. now live with MS, twice as many as previously estimated. That’s twice as many people that, according to team co-captain Alexis Extract, need not only a cure, but support services, as well.
“Buildium is very passionate about giving back to our community. That’s something that’s really important to us,” she says.
While the company organizes volunteer weeks and fundraisers throughout the year, their big project is always Bike MS.
This year on July 10, 26 people from across Buildium and RealPage, as well as friends and family, rode either with the team from Boston to Cape Cod, or they joined virtually, some from as far as Oregon and Texas.
Herky Gottfried joined from Oregon.
“This was my 7th year riding!” he says. “I live in Oregon and usually travel to Boston for company meetings and the ride, but last year I rode with my dad in Idaho, and this year I rode solo in Oregon. I’m looking forward to doing it in person again next year!”
Buildium began riding for Bike MS in 2011. The team was spearheaded by one of Buildium’s co-founders, who has a family member with MS. Up until the pandemic, the Powered by Buildium team grew steadily, as did the money they raised.
For several years, Powered by Buildium was one of the largest teams and one of the top three to five fundraisers in the challenge. In 2019 alone, they raised over $125,000.
And although the last two years have clearly been in the throes of a pandemic, with a shorter course—75 miles in one day, instead of 150 miles in two days—the team still raised an impressive $32,000 (and growing) for the cause this year.
Powered by Buildium kicked off their fundraising in January. They held raffles and reached out to corporate sponsors to fund the ride.
Extract, who completed her fourth ride this year, says the experience has opened her eyes to the prevalence and devastation of multiple sclerosis.
“I’ve learned that friends that I’ve had for a very long time have family members [with MS] and friends who have MS that I didn’t know did until I started fundraising for it. And how common MS is and how it presents its symptoms,” she says.
The ride itself, while exhilarating, can also be grueling. We asked Extract, Gottfried and Jordan Krey, who also completed his seventh ride, what the most challenging parts of the ride were for them:
Krey: “Riding along the highway on the final stretch to Provincetown. The town is like a mirage and every hill seems to only go up! A close second is the Bourne Bridge to start day two.”
Gottfried: “Getting comfortable on the bike, especially near the end of the day, is tough. I’m a runner, but don’t do much cycling other than preparing for the MS ride. My legs are generally fine, but sitting in the saddle for that many hours is a new experience. It does seem to get easier every year, though!”
Extract: “We’ve had years where it’s been super rainy. And we’ve had years that have been hot, like 100 degrees with 100% humidity, and you were just trying to make it through these hills.”
But, as Extract points out, the real motivating factor for the ride is the ability to be part of something bigger, and to raise money for a great cause.
“It’s a great sense of accomplishment that you did the 75 to 150 miles, that you powered through it, that you did it for a cause, that you raised money,” she says.
So what are the most rewarding parts of the ride for Gottfried and Krey?
Gottfried: “The celebration and shared sense of accomplishment after the riding is done. After the first day, we generally gather at our big team tent in Bourne for a massage, food and drink, and stories of the day, while anticipating the challenge of getting on the bike again for day two. After the second day, we meet in Provincetown for a celebratory meal before most of us take the ferry back to Boston, exhausted but happy.”
Krey: “Day two, the Cape Cod Canal bike path. With the sun rising and folks fishing along the banks, you almost forget how much your butt hurts.”
If you would like to donate to Powered by Buildium, there’s still time. Just visit their fundraising page before September 8.Read more on Buildium News