GODFREY – Nearly 3,000 cyclists rode the Riverbend for a cure for multiple sclerosis this month during the Bike MS: Express Scripts Gateway Getaway Ride 2016, hosted by Lewis and Clark Community College, Sept. 9-11.
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Bike MS is the premier fundraising cycling series in the U.S. for anyone seeking a personal challenge and a world free of multiple sclerosis. All participants have access to bike mechanics, support vehicles, rest stops, a finish line celebration and much more.
This was the event’s second year at Lewis and Clark’s Godfrey campus.
“This was another fantastic year for this event in our community,” said L&C President Dale Chapman, who cut the ribbon at the start/finish line with Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick on Saturday morning.
The rain on Friday failed to dampen cyclists’ spirits, and by Saturday and Sunday the weather cleared up, creating favorable conditions for riders––including those on Team Trailblazer.
Last year, the Trailblazers raised $5,400 through individual sponsorships. So far this year, they’ve surpassed that, at more than $8,100. Fundraising continues through October 14.
“I was excited to see Team Trailblazer grow this year in terms of riders and total dollars raised,” Artis said. “This was my first year riding, and it was great to experience the total event this year. I have a newfound appreciation for all the cyclists who take part in this charitable ride.”
Participating cyclists covered their choice of 25, 50, 75 and 100-mile routes on Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11. Saturday’s routes took riders through Fosterburg, Prairietown, Livingston, Hamel, Edwardsville, Wanda, Bethalto, Worden, New Douglas and Old Ripley. Sunday’s routes turned north through Brighton, Shipman, Wilsonville, Staunton, Bunker Hill, Fosterburg, Carlinville and Gillespie.
Even local riders got the chance to discover new territory.
“Although I am a resident of this area, the ride gave me a new appreciation for how remarkable this region truly is,” Artis said. “I discovered some back roads I have never been on before and experienced a comradery with my fellow teammates and other Bike MS cyclists who enjoyed the experience as much as I did. Funding research toward a cure for MS is such an incredible cause. I was proud to be a part of it this year, and I am really looking forward to next year’s event.”
Attracting more than 100,000 participants nationwide, Bike MS is the largest fundraising cycling series in the United States. Bike MS participants include people living with MS, their friends, families and neighbors, as well as corporate teams and individuals who are driven to help end MS forever. Learn more about the National MS Society and its efforts at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
Next year’s event is already scheduled for September 9-10, 2017 at Lewis and Clark’s Godfrey Campus. Learn more or sign up to ride next year at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/MOSBikeEvents?pg=entry&fr_id=28272.
To see more photos from this year’s event, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/lewisandclarkcc/albums/72157672475671040.