MONMOUTH — Come for the fun; persevere for the cause.
Bike MS returns to Monmouth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to bring cyclists together to ride for a cure.
“It’s gorgeous here,” Bike MS manager Amy Harris said. “The roads are beautiful. Western Oregon is an amazing host to us. The campus is beautiful. There’s plenty of room for everything we need. When you pair the beauty of the Willamette Valley with the friendliness of the community, it’s a no-brainer.”
Money raised from the event goes to the National MS organization to fund research.
Multiple Sclerosis is an often disabling disease that affects the central nervous system by disrupting the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body, according to the National MS Society.
Any last-second cyclists can sign up through Friday. There is $250 minimum fundraising amount, but that can be paid out of pocket, Harris said.
On Saturday, there are a number of different routes ranging from a mile to more than 100 miles. All rides begin and end at Western Oregon University.
“We like to say it’s a ride anyone can do,” Harris said.
Each route has support vans and rest stops along the way stocked with ice, drinks, neck wraps and water misters.
There will also be events for participants, including karaoke, a family movie night, food and drinks.
All the fun creates a sense of community, Harris said. And although everyone has a blast, the reason they are there is never far from their minds.
“The majority of the our folks do it because we know and care about someone who lives with MS,” Harris said. “We use the weekend to highlight and celebrate those people. We’ve seen some real successes. When this event started 30 years ago, there weren’t any treatments for MS. Not one. Just this year alone, the FDA approved an MS medication, which is the 15th one, and it attacks the most severe form. Fundraising is work, but when you meet these folks and hear their stories, it brings it all home that what you’re doing is changing lives.”
For more information about MS or to get involved: www.nationalmssociety.org/.