NRG’s Cycling Team Celebrates 20 Years of Pedaling With Purpose

Jun 18, 2024 9:30 AM ET

Originally published on NRG Energy Insights

By NRG Editorial Voices

In cycling, there’s a section of the pedal stroke from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock known as the power phase. It’s the period when a cyclist produces the highest amount of muscular power in order to propel the bike forward. On the weekend of April 27-28, NRG’s cycling team put their pedal strokes to the test and completed a monumental ride commemorating two decades of participation in the Texas MS 150.

The Bike MS fundraising program has been in operation for 40 years. It has raised an incredible $1.4 billion to fuel the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s mission to cure MS, and it has enabled the research that has resulted in every MS treatment option available today. This ride is big.

For the past 20 years, NRG’s cycling team has come together for the late-spring journey, and they’ve collectively raised over $2.3 million to help fund research, treatment, and support for those affected by multiple sclerosis. This year our team exceeded their fundraising goal, collecting more than $70k in donations — a testament to their unwavering commitment to the cause.

In addition to the 45 NRG cyclists in the race, more than a dozen volunteers worked exhaustively through the weekend. Many of the participants made the journey for the very first time this year. “Seeing [the 21 first-time riders’] emotion and sense of pride and fulfillment as they completed that long trek of 150+ miles,” was team Captain, Juan Contreras’, biggest takeaway.

All of the riders were blown away by the tireless volunteers, who — in the rain — set everything up, kept everyone on time, managed the hydration and refuel stations, and broke everything down after the last cyclist finished. Volunteer captain Jordan Shane shared that, even after participating for ten years, “It continues to be something special to me to see coworkers accomplish something so incredible outside of work.”

Each rider had a unique reason for participating, whether it was to honor a friend or family member, support the broader MS community, or contribute to a meaningful cause.

Manager of Culture & Change, Gabe Rasure, embarked on her first ride this year after some encouragement from a friend in the office; and Senior Finance Manager, Nathan Lines, rode for his father-in-law who’s battling the disease.

All the planning, all the training, all the sweat, it all came down to one weekend. This April’s journey proved to be unpredictable weather-wise, something Juan noted as one of the most difficult elements to navigate year over year.

“A storm was expected to land on the second day of the ride,” he said, “which created challenging riding conditions for the team and the entire fleet of over 5,000 cyclists out of LaGrange.” The solution? They stuck together as much as possible through the wind and the rain, which is what ultimately empowered Gabe to finish strong despite swollen feet and second-day fatigue.

It's not easy to put an experience like this into words, but it’s clear from the cycling team and volunteers that this event is truly special. “Enjoy every moment,” Nathan responded when asked what advice he might give someone considering participating. “I spend a lot of time on a bike, but the ride is so beautiful, the people are so awesome, so just take it all in the best you can.”

At NRG, as we reflect back on two decades of pedaling with purpose, we are humbled by how far we’ve come. As we look ahead, we remain committed to our mission of creating a world free from the challenges of multiple sclerosis.

Twenty years of riding in the Texas MS 150 is not just a milestone for NRG’s cycling team — it’s a celebration of the resilience, perseverance, and community that defines our work culture. And our journey continues, as together we work to make a positive difference in the lives of others, one pedal stroke at a time.