Riding across the United States is a mighty task for anyone, but Thomas Beasley has made the trip 65 times with the goal of helping those with multiple sclerosis.
Recently, Beasley made a stop in Chickasha, with a courtesy one night stay at the Holiday Inn Express on Highway 81.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website MS is “an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.”
Beasley has dedicated his time to riding across the United States looking for donations to help raise awareness and bring some relief to people in need.
“I talk to local businesses, hair salons, auto repair shops, tattoo parlors, bars, dog grooming places, Mexican restaurants, jewelry shops, pawn shops,” Beasley said. “I talk to the owners and if they feel like what I am doing is worth while they’ll write a check to the National MS Society. Once I collect a certain amount I turn it in and it gets air conditioners and cooling vests for people (MS sufferers) here in the southern states.”
So far, he had raised $148,740 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through his 65 trips and 287,00 miles.
Beasley has been riding for over 26 years, and along the way Beasley has met a lot of people and that is one of the driving factors for his long ride every year.
“Motivation is money for MS, but it’s also going out there and meeting people and them telling me what I am doing is making a difference,” Beasley said.
Beasley has also had several people help him during his trips, mostly by giving him water.
“People help me out all the time with water,” he said. “Whenever you go across Texas that’s the thing people give you the most of is water. I have a huge sign on the back of my trailer and I pull over 220 pounds of gear, so when I’m riding people notice me a lot … A lot of my jerseys are kind of cool and it gets a little awareness out there and gets people interested in what I am doing.”
The travel has a lot of personal meaning for Beasley.
Beasley had a friend who was a fellow cyclist who passed years ago from the disease. His friend helped inspire Beasley to travel for MS.
“I had a friend who passed away from MS back in the early 90s and he was training me for the Tour de France and I mix (sic) both together until I wasn’t able to do the race anymore,” he said. “I just decided to continue doing this.”
Beasley keeps going because of the confidence his friend had in him, and his love of cycling.
“He just told me I had the talent – he realized earlier that I had the talent to get on my bike no matter how tired I was and just have fun,” Beasley said. “Most people when they get on a bike don’t have fun. I can go out there throw my gear off and just go out and ride and just have fun on my bike even after all the years I’ve been on it.”
Beasley encourages individuals who want to help to send a donation with a memo for Thomas Beasley’s Bike Ride to the Oklahoma City office at 730 W Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 103.