WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands hit the pavement for the annual Bike MS event on Saturday.
CBS4 is a proud sponsor of the race. The 2-day event kicked off in Westminster. Riders biked to Fort Collins Saturday and will bike back Sunday.
“It’s a very exciting time; we plan for this all year,” participant Travis White said.
For the thousands pedaling in Bike MS all the planning, training and fundraising paid. The race kicked off amid beautiful skies and already millions raised.
“In 2008 there weren’t many medicines available for people with MS,” White said. “Today we have more than a dozen and many more in the pipeline and things are getting better, we’re making progress.”
The progress is due in part to groups like the National MS Society. The organization works to research and fund programs for those living with multiple sclerosis — a disease that affects the body’s central nervous system.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bike MS
Dave Ballowe has been riding with the event since it began nearly 30 years ago.
“What we do really makes a difference. It’s what gets me up and gets me going,” Ballowe said.
Ballowe says he’s seen the race grow from 150 riders that first year to today about 3,000 riders. Colorado’s Bike MS is the third largest in the country and it’s a very personal cause.
“Colorado has one of the highest incidences of MS and people in this community have become so committed to helping us raise these dollars,” Carrie Nolan with the National MS Society said.
With the race growing larger and more money raised for research programs, the disease once thought to be an uphill battle now is looking increasingly more surmountable.
The goal for this year’s race is $3.7 million.
The National MS Society estimates nearly 2.3 million people worldwide are living with MS.