Haller still bicycling for MS

by marlys good

Same ride, in large part many of the same riders, same route, same month — every year. Might not sound exciting, but for Dave Haller, who has been participating in the 160-plus mile bike ride to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, there is always something new about it all.

This was Haller’s fifth ride, and he could probably have traveled the course with his eyes closed. Cyclists begin the course in Sundance, go to Devil’s Tower, Hulett, Aladdin Junction and back to Sundance, a distance of about 80 miles. Sunday the ride goes from Sundance to Aladdin, Belle Fourche and then Spearfish before ending up back in Sundance, which completes the 160 miles.

Haller said there are always a few different people participating each year. “We had a good group out of Cheyenne who always ride, but a lot of them had other commitments this year. But, there were people from Denver who came. They have a chapter in Denver, so for them to come clear across the state to participate in this ride — I thought it was neat.”

One thing that is definitely not always the same old, same old, is the weather. “One year we had a head wind the last 20 miles of the ride,“ which made that last 20 miles seem like 100, Dave said. “This year we had a tail wind the first day – so it was a beautiful ride, then the second day we had that headwind again.”

Haller said the ride also gives you an opportunity of “seeing the good in people you hadn’t noticed before.” This year a fellow rider stopped and removed a dead animal from the middle of the road so riders behind them didn’t have to see it. A small thing maybe, but Haller said, “To take the time to stop the ride and do that, I think says something about his character.”

Haller said the one constant of his five years of participation is “the sense of satisfaction I get from helping a good cause.”

He and wife Darla hold a yard sale prior to the annual rides with all proceeds benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

They are gratified each year at the number of people who donate items or money “just to help out with the cause.”

The next ride is a year away, but Haller, an admitted “exercise nut,” thinks he’ll be in Sundance again next year, just because “I still believe it is for a good cause.”