Hamilton man finishes 450-mile bike ride to raise funds for disease fight

Michael McCracken, 67, of Hamilton, rode his 21-speed bike 450 miles from Butler County to Michigan and back to raise money and awareness about the MDA. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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Michael McCracken, 67, of Hamilton, rode his 21-speed bike 450 miles from Butler County to Michigan and back to raise money and awareness about the MDA. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Even for an experienced bicyclist, 450 miles is a long way to pedal. Just ask Michael McCracken.

McCracken, 67, of Hamilton, completed that distance from his home to Adrian, Mich., and back, as a way to raise close to $500 for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association. He left June 28 and hoped to be back home the morning of July 2 after spending time in Michigan at his 50-year Madison High School class reunion.

MORE: 450 miles, several days, one goal: Hamilton man riding for inspiring fundraising effort

Instead, McCracken arrived home at 5 p.m. July 3, more than a day later than scheduled.

While riding through Celina his “energy level really dropped” so he stopped and spent the night at a fire station in Greenville.

“I was worn down,” he said.

He got up in the morning and finished the ride.

Overall, McCracken said, the ride went “very well,” though he complained about the road conditions on U.S. 127 in northern Preble County. There were times, he said, when he had to ride into the traffic lane because of the conditions.

Along the way north on U.S. 127, MDA officials arranged for McCracken to rest at the fire departments in Greenville, Celina and Van Wert, before ending the first leg of his journey in Adrian. Each leg of the journey was more than 200 miles.

McCracken said on his first day he rode 84 miles in nine hours. The next day, he pedaled 142 additional miles in 19 hours. He arrived in Adrian at about 1 a.m. June 29.

When passing through Celina, McCracken met Carolyn Glock, 75, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy after 30 years ago. She showed McCracken how the disease has robbed her of some of her shoulder muscles, making even the simplest of house chores impossible.

The goal of the ride, he said, was to raise money and awareness and “give my strength so they can have strength.”

McCracken rode a 21-speed Jamis bike, and his average cruising speed was between 12 to 15 mph, he said. He pulled a cargo trailer that held up to 100 pounds and was covered by a waterproof bag.

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