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Hello Kitty Rides to Austin

Posted Jan 11 2009 5:42pm
What's 3 foot 2, weighs 39 pounds, and won't stop talking on the bike? Just your typical Texas girl, Ashton Turner, age 6, youngest participant (with her dad) in the BP MS150 this weekend. Her pink helmet and "Hello Kitty" bell were too cute to pass up. Her training advice: "Don't eat too many cookies at breaks or you might get sick." You know that actually must have happened.

The article also featured the oldest participant, who is 92. Get the full story here. I have reprinted an excerpt about Ashton--- and if you turn your eyes to the right side of the page you'll see a secure fundraising link, just in case you can't resist joining the cause. How can you resist those pigtails? (Cheap trick using somone else's kid, I know. But at least the cause is just).

The cycle of life
By KRISTIN FINAN

THERE may be 86 years between them, but when it comes to surviving this weekend's BP MS 150, Ashton Turner and Bud Schiffman have the same strategy: Lots of breaks.

"That way you don't have to go the whole way without any food or water," said Turner, who, at 6, is the youngest rider in the event's 22-year history.

For Turner, it's a passion that started two years ago. Tired of cheering from the sidelines as her dad zoomed by, she asked if she too could ride.
"I told her when she was 6 she could," said her father, Mason Turner, who has participated in the ride since he was a teenager. "She hasn't forgotten about it."
Because she is so little that most bikes that fit her are inappropriate for long rides, Turner, like Schiffman, needed a special bike. She rides a Trek half-wheeler that snaps on the back of her dad's bike and allows her to help pedal. If she gets too tired, though, she can relax and make her dad pick up the slack.
"You can feel me pedaling," she said after going for a spin on the bike, which is decorated with streamers and a pink Hello Kitty bell that matches her pink helmet.

"I can feel when you don't pedal," her dad said.

Why is she riding? "So I can get stronger, and for those people who actually do have the MS," said Turner, who is so comfortable in her helmet that she sometimes wears it around the house.

Aside from the cookies she gets at break points, her favorite thing is talking to people when she rides. "I used to be shy, but now I like to talk," she said.


Too cute!
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