On June 24-25, 2023, cyclists from around the country will gather in Durham, NH for the Tri-State Trek, riding distances between 30 and 200 miles through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Along the way, they’ll be raising critical funds to support research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). However, even those who can’t join us in New England can participate as Virtual Riders, logging their miles from wherever they ride and fundraising to support the Trek’s mission to end ALS.

One of this year’s most ambitious and inspiring virtual riders is Lorri Carey. Lorri, who is the host of the podcast I’m Dying to Tell You, has been living with ALS for almost two decades. This year she has set an ambitious goal to participate in the virtual Trek – riding 400 miles over three months on her recumbent tricycle. Lorri joined us to talk about how she’s working to accomplish this feat – and why she thinks it’s important to ride on behalf of ALS TDI.

ALS TDI: Can you briefly summarize the ride you're doing to support the Tri-State Trek this year? 

Lorri Carey: I’m riding virtually in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio 400 miles between May 1st and July 31st. I’m hoping to inspire others to participate with me by setting their own goals. Since I was diagnosed with ALS 19 years ago, I found it incredibly rewarding to set new physical goals that are safe and appropriate for me.  Even if I don’t always reach the goal, it keeps me active in my own way.  

How did you decide on 400 miles?  

I wanted to pick a goal with the #4 in it in honor of Lou Gehrig. Since I thought a 4-mile goal was easily attainable for me, I skipped right over 40 and landed on 400 miles as my goal. I wanted to challenge myself and on day one of riding I realized that 400 miles in that period will be aggressive. I’m out of the country for a few weeks during this time so I took that into consideration.  

What kind of equipment are you using? 

My friend Andrea Peet inspired me to get a recumbent trike after seeing her ride 50 marathons in 50 states all with ALS. I finally got a Catrike Villager recumbent trike last summer. I adapted the bike because my hand is too weak to push the standard gear shift lever & added an electric assist to use as needed.   

What kind of support do you have?  

My husband, sister & friends have offered to ride with me.   

What kinds of challenges are you facing, and how are you overcoming them? 

Well, right out of the gate, I realized I need to bike earlier in the day, before I get tired.  So far, I’m feeling more fatigue from my weak diaphragm than my legs. Although after riding 20 miles, my legs feel pretty darn wobbly. At the end of the ride, it can be hard to get out of the bike because of fatigue.  I’ve only had to ask for help once so far. I am not physically able to get the bike in and out of the back of my car at the trail, so I’m currently adding team members that can help with that.  My goal is to figure out a way that I can load and unload the bike on my own.  It’s not heavy, just awkward as it’s three-wheeled, and since I can’t lift my arms up, that makes it difficult.  

What is your fundraising goal? How are you going about sharing and raising awareness of what you're doing?  

My goal is to raise $1,000 but with just a few rides in I’m halfway there, so I might be encouraged to raise it!  I’m sharing each ride experience through a video “Ride Reel” on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter, all @I’mDyingtoTellYouPodcast. I am sharing my experience, updating my ride progress and hoping to inspire others to join in. 

Why did you choose to undertake this challenge, and why do you think it's important to support the Trek and ALS TDI?   

I’m all in when it comes to supporting ALS TDI, and I knew the Trek would be super fun and get me committed to moving more!

Anything else you'd like to add?

I hope that others will set a goal that fits them and join me in the Trek. Whether it’s 4 miles or 400 miles, riding a stationary bike or a 2-wheeled bike, the Trek is a great way to support all the work ALS TDI is doing for ALS research.  Another way to support my ride is to make a donation of any size that goes directly to ALS TDI.

I am wrapping up my 400 miles at a local brewery, DogBerry Brewing, that is participating in the Ales for ALS™ program and I am inviting supporters & participants to come celebrate with me!

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