#LongForTheRide July Winner

#LongForTheRide July Winner

Seven years ago Ken Ballard of Aubrey, Texas, wouldn't have called himself much of a cyclist. Today he rides with and manages Team Ever After, a group of people who ride exclusively at Bike MS events and raise funds for the society.

#LongForTheRide July winner, Ken Ballard of Aubrey, Texas

It all started in 2008 when his wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The dedication to his "Ride for my Bride" has inspired others to join him in his mission and even garnered his family a spot on the local news, which gave a big shout out to the many Texas Bike MS events and cycling as a whole.

Read on for Ken's #LongForTheRide story:

"June of 2008, MS would be changing the lives of my bride and I. 16 Bike MS ride and 60 less pounds later we still do not have a cure. My best moments have been 2013 and 2014 when I did all 5 of the Texas Bike MS events on back to back years. When me and my bike got me from 230 lbs to 175 lbs in 2010 and have stayed on the 170's ever since.

My greatest moments are every time I cross the line and my bride is there. She has never missed a ride and we have 3 more this year to total 19 of these since her diagnosis. Can't say much more than what is in the video. My cycling team, Team Ever After formed this year to ride exclusively at MS events and raise funds for the society."

Ken stands next to a sign with Melissa's story
Ken stands next to a sign with Melissa's story.

Ken's local bike advocacy group is BikeTexas. "Cycling got me my health back and in turn my cycling supports my bride. Thanks to groups like Bike Texas, we have safer roads and cycling spaces, which means more riders and more riders means more potential Bike MS participants," said Ken. "Bike Texas only helps cycling and in turn helps Bike MS by proxy. It's all in the big picture."

The Ballard family crosses the finish line with Chester Cheetah at the 2014 Dallas Bike MS ride
The Ballard family crosses the finish line with Chester Cheetah at the 2014 Dallas Bike MS ride.

We reached out to the Executive Director of BikeTexas, Robin Stallings about the $1,000 donation.

"BikeTexas is honored to receive this generous donation from Saris Cycling Group, thanks to Ken and Melissa Ballard. North Texas' road to becoming more bike-friendly has been progressing rapidly in recent years, and BikeTexas is proud to have partnered with so many organizations and cities to see it happen. This $1000 donation will support our work with North Texas cities to enact more Safe Passing Ordinances and great bike plans throughout the region."

We've still got $2,000 to give away. Let's keep the momentum going. Send us your #LongForTheRide story today.