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Streich Family Bikes MS 150 For Daughter Quinn

by Laurel Latham

The National MS Society's vision is a world free of MS. Bike MS: MS 150 originated in Minnesota in 1980 as a way to come together, raise awareness and money for MS research, supporting the goal of an MS free world.

Bike MS: MS 150, a two-day 150 mile ride on the Willard Munger State Trail from Proctor to White Bear Lake, is held the second weekend in June. On the first day, riders bike 75 miles to Hinckley and stay overnight. On the second day the ride continues another 75 miles to White Bear Lake. Vicki Streich took part in her first MS 150 in 2015 at the invitation of a friend.

"I had no idea what to expect," recalls Vicki. "Bruce came along as my support crew. He would meet me at each stop and fill my water bottle. There are ten miles of hills right out of Proctor that are challenging to ride.

The Willard Munger Trail is a nice trail to ride. It's especially beautiful riding into White Bear Lake. There's a big hill that's necessary to ride down as fast as possible, in order to make it up the next hill. When I made it to the top of that hill, I was so moved, I sat on my bike and cried. When I told my family about how that felt, they didn't understand until they joined me riding the MS 150!"

Vicki and Bruce Streich had no idea during that first MS ride that soon they would be given the ultimate motivation to take part in the MS 150 every June.

"Bruce and I were taking part in a two-week bike tour called Bike Vermont in September 2015 when we got a phone call from our daughter, Quinn. Quinn had been having difficulty with her speech and motor skills for a while. Her primary doctor sent her to Mayo where she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. We were halfway across the country in Vermont, and I remember just wanting to throw up. Quinn had 90 lesions which was considered very severe."

In 2016 and every year since, Bruce and Vicki have taken part in the Bike MS: MS 150. Daughter, McCall, and son-in-law, Chris Plourde of Baudette, joined the ride in 2018 and have continued to ride every year. In 2020 MS 150 was virtual due to Covid, but many still took part to raise needed research funds. The 2021 ride took place in the Cities from Blaine to Stillwater and back. During this year's MS 150, there were 1,807 participants, with $1,719,356 raised so far.

"MS 150 is incredibly well run," reports Vicki. "There are Marshals riding on the trail checking to make sure everyone is doing alright. Law enforcement directs traffic whenever the ride has to cross a highway. There are vans called sag wagons that pull trailers that pick up anyone who is struggling and wants a ride to the next stop. Riders travel in air-conditioned vans and their bikes placed on the trailer. There's a huge pancake breakfast for all riders the first morning in Proctor before the ride begins. Water and snacks, like bananas and peanut butter sandwiches, are handed out at stops along the trail. All riders bike at their own speed."

The Streich family has biked the MS 150 in all kinds of weather.

"This year there was a nice light rain on the first day with no wind. The second day it rained much harder with more wind. Strong south winds are the worst and of course they are always from the south since winds don't come from the north in the summer. Some years were so hot they'd spray us with cold water as we rode by. One year I must have passed out from the heat because the Marshals found me in the ditch and called the sag wagon to pick me up."

"On another ride there were tornado warnings, and we were instructed to take shelter. We ended up sheltering in a Catholic Church. Bruce made the comment that it was the first time he'd been in a Catholic Church on a Sunday morning," continued Vicki.

Bruce and Vicki's daughter Quinn has made progress in her MS fight since she was first diagnosed in 2015.

"Quinn received five infusions in five days when she was first diagnosed, and then injections every other day that worked for a time, but then she relapsed," said Vicki. "Her meds were changed, but that didn't work. We got in touch with the MS Society, and they put Quinn in touch with a neurologist in Golden Valley named Dr. Jessica Stulc who is wonderful. Quinn has been getting infusions once a month for three years with good results. You would never know she has MS. Quinn is starting on a new twice a year miracle drug called Ocrevus."

The Streich family will have two new members joining their Bike MS: MS 150 in June 2023.

"Granddaughters Ali and Anika will be riding the MS 150 next year'" explained Vicki. "They will both finally be old enough to ride the event which requires riders to be 12 years old. They have birthdays in May. Anika will be 12 and Ali will be 14. Ali decided to wait until Anika was old enough so the sisters could ride together!"

Another requirement of the Bike MS: MS 150 is each participant must fundraise $300 in order to take part in the event. This year Vicki and Bruce Streich have so far raised $4,075 for the National MS Society.

"It's the best feeling when another check arrives in the mail," said Vicki. "All I have to do is take a photo of the check and send it in. I encourage others to take part in Bike MS: MS 150 or sponsor someone who is doing the ride. Research is making all the difference for those with MS."

For those wanting to contribute to the Streich family's MS fundraiser, please mail contributions to Bruce Streich ℅ Security State Bank, P.O. Box 70, Warroad, MN 56763


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