AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Bike MS Colorado is planned for June, 27th & June, 28th, 2020. Traditionally, the two-day, 150-mile ride attracts thousands of bicyclists, and raises millions of dollar for the National MS Society. In the wake of the coronavirus, this year’s event will be #VirtualBikeMS, but that doesn’t diminish the enthusiasm among riders.
“Virtual is an interesting term,” said Craig Mason, a longtime Bike MS rider. “I like to use the term customize, sort of ‘My Bike MS’, because virtual implies that you’re going to be on a Peloton or you’re going to be on a zoom meeting, that sort of thing. The way I prefer to think about it is if you’re comfortable riding in a group, based on your situation with COVID, then we can do smaller groups, and still do the ride itself, as far as mileage goes.”
Mason is “Admiral” of the Conehead team. He started the friends and family team in 1989. They became the Coneheads in 2002 when they started wearing cones on their helmets.
“The Coneheads are a merry band of irreverent bicyclists.” Mason explained. “We’re just a fun group. We definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re in it for the fundraising itself to help people.”
Mason’s commitment to the cause is etched in his skin, he has a Bike MS tattoo on his arm. When Bike MS went virtual, Mason was quick to come up with a new plan. His team of 32 members will be doing ride, each in their own way.
“We’re splitting up into teams, but we’re definitely still fundraising. We’re still committed to the cause,” Mason told CBS4.
Some will ride solo, others will be in groups of 10 or less, and those will health concerns can do the ride from the comfort of their stationary bikes. The National MS Society has suspended the registration fee, and the fundraising minimum, allowing anyone to ride for Bike MS this year.
“So what we’ll do is create a ride that’s maybe 80 miles one day, but we’ll have a lunch stop at 40-miles, so you could do all 80 or do 40 and just join us for lunch. It’s absolutely customizable,” Mason said.
With the cancellation of hundreds of fundraising events nationwide, the National MS Society stands to lose one-third of its annual revenue, that’s more than $60 million. The mission of the National MS Society is to provide funding for research, education and support services for people living with multiple sclerosis.
“All the programs that they provide are directly impacted by how we raise money.”
Mason will be out, with his cone helmet, earning every dollar he can.
Bike MS is Saturday, June 27th & Sunday, June, 28th. The National MS Society will be hosting a Facebook live starting at 8am Saturday morning. Cyclists are encouraged to take pictures and videos of their rides, however they do them, and share them on social media with the #VirtualBikeMS.
Text GIVE to 68686 to support the National MS Society’s COVID-19 Response Fund.