* * * I have permission from the local "Belleville Times" newspaper to copy word for word on my web page. The article you are about to read is from September 28, 1995> by Richard Dickon the editor. It is called "Positively Belleville". The article has been modified a bit.
"Big Mike" rides high again on the bike trail to try and find a cure for multiple sclerosis"
* 'Big Mike' Dowd rode another successful Multiple Sclerosis bike tour on Sept. 9th and 10th. Mike described this tour as "very different" from the Coast the Coast MS-170 mile tour, which he completed successfully in the spring. The 170-mile tour is "hilly." Along the way he noticed, sadly, that the Wanaque Reservoir was "more dirt than water."
* * * In typical "Big Mike" fashion, Mike sees the good side of going up a bunch of hills, when "the awesome cool fresh air is in your face, plus I like the speed" going downhill. At Camp Sussex, the first day's destination, Mike had a chance to boat, swim, get a message, go down the "jello"slide, shower, play basketball, frisbee, football, or his choice, canoeing, a magic show and a hypnotist also provided entertainment.
* During the second day in Mudtown, "Big Mike" said his highlight was petting the horses, especially when one horse nibbled on Mike's shirt. After enduring severe pain in his knee on the way to the Port Jervis, finish line, Mike missed winning a contest for guessing the number of water bottles in a car by five points, "Rats!" The prize was an $1,800 mountain bike. Mike said he had to fight back thoughts of quitting because of the pain in his knee. " I tell you folks, there is a big difference between the 170-mile flat course and the 100-mile hilly course," Mike said, "It is one heck of a challenge either way. You just have to be ready and willing to take the challenge."He said the flat tour is for those who can stand pedaling a long time while the hilly tour is for those who like to pedal up and down hills.
* "But the real challenge is for the people who have Multiple Sclerosis. My pain in my left knee goes away in a few days, but for those who have MS, it may not go away for the rest of their lives. These people and I that ride for the MS Society ride for a good cause. We raise money to find a cure for MS." Well said, Big Mike. For anyone interested in riding the MS bike tours, the numbers are (908) 681-2322, (908) 828-1455 or (609) 586-5406. For the hilly Bergen-Passaic tour call (201) 976-8687.
* As always, Mike has people to thank, starting with his mom, who drove him to the tour. The Dairy Inn in Belleville gets a "hello" for putting Mike's first article in the window for three weeks. His Scout Troop #364 gets a thanks for paying his registration fee, and the following sponsors get a "thumbs up:" The Mayor and Council, $50.00; his mother's friend from ADP in Parsippany, $25.00; Mike's friends at the Recreation House, $15.00; Phil from Michael's Roscommon House, $20.00; Russo Family Chiropractors, $25.00; Who's On First, $10.00; Belleville Elks, $15.00; Joey from Joey's Pizzeria, $5.00; and "my awesome friends and family" with $50.00. A very grand total of $215.00 for Mike this time around. Next up, Mike told me, "Me and my lucky troll on my handlebar will be riding in the Coast the Coast MS-170 in May 1996. His goal is $500.00. "Big Mike" even challenged me to ride along side him, an honor I will definitely consider, but as he said, it's a lot harder then printing 170 newspapers. Ride on "Big Mike," until next time . . .