DENVER (CBS4) – Bike MS is a 2-day, 150-mile bike ride that raises money for the National MS Society.
“This year’s goal is $3.2 million. We’re going to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 or maybe even up to 3000 cyclists on the ride,” said Eric Hilty, Chief Legal Officer for the National MS Society.
The ride starts at Front Range Community College in Westminster on Saturday, June 29th and goes up to Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
“Everybody is usually pretty happy that they finished Day One. We even have a beer tent, so you can have a couple of beers and relax. There’s a place where you can store your bike, and a lot of people will stay at the CSU campus overnight,” Hilty explained.
On Day Two, the riders come back down the Front Range and end up at the community college in Westminster.
“We’re sticking along the Front Range, so you’re not going up any sort of brutal passes. There are some climbs, but they are all very manageable,” Hilty said.
There are a couple of different route choices you can make, ranging from 30-miles to 100-miles that first day. On Sunday, the routes are 69-miles or 76-miles. There are rest stops every 10-miles or so, where volunteers offer food, water, bike maintenance and other helpful services.
“This event requires lots of people to make it successful. We have lots of opportunities for volunteers who have a great chance to interact with lots of the riders and cheer them on, and provide all kinds of meaningful support,” Hilty said.
Most riders are a part of a team, either on a friends and family team or a corporate team.
“Once you register, and there’s different registration fees depending on how soon you get on it, then you have a minimum fundraising goal of $400 that everybody needs to raise. Hopefully you raise a lot more than that, because the more money we raise the bigger the impact we can have,” Hilty told CBS4.
The National MS Society uses the money raised through Bike MS to fund research into treatments and potentially a cure for the disease. The money also pays for education and advocacy efforts on the behalf of people living with MS.
“We want to have the biggest impact we can with every single dollar we raise, so people who are fundraising out there, and people who are donating to this organization should have real strong confidence that every dollar that is raise as part of Bike MS or otherwise, are going to really impact those living with MS,” Hilty said.
Hilty, himself, rides for the National MS Society team, called Team in Motion.
LINK: Register for Bike MS
“It’s just a matter of people challenging themselves. We have a number of people who are living with MS who are participating in the ride. We have a whole ‘I bike with MS’ program, so some of those folks proudly identify themselves.”
Bike MS is Saturday, June 29th and Sunday, June 30th.