Interested bikers can now register for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s annual Bike MS two-day City to Shore Ride beginning on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Participants will begin the ride at the PATCO Woodcrest station in Cherry Hill and can ride varying distances to end in Ocean City, on Saturday, Sept. 30, and have the option of returning to Cherry Hill on Sunday, Oct. 1. This year’s event has rides of 20, 40, 75, 100, 150 and 75 miles.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society defines MS as “an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.”
Its four types have symptoms that can vary in severity, according to the Mayo Clinic, but the common factor is that the immune system attacks nerve fibers and upsets communication between the brain and other body parts.
“Symptoms, it can be as simple as numbness or tingling, and it can be as severe as blindness or paralysis,” explained Jeff Meyers, a volunteer with Bike MS. “I’ve heard stories of people that wake up one morning and you can’t move your legs or you’ve got to wear an eye patch, because all of a sudden, your left and right eye doesn’t work.”
While there is no cure for MS, there are treatments that speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms, according to Meyers.
Funds raised from the City to Shore Ride will benefit research and awareness of MS. The minimum funding goal for each rider is $300. As of last Friday, there has been $1.4 million raised.
Along with helping the MS cause, Meyers noted that one reason he returns to the ride year after year is the atmosphere.
“It’s fantastic, it’s a bit of a circus atmosphere, because you’ve got the big tents littering the parking lot,” he described. “There’s a lot of activity, people are excited, they’re nervous …
“You get to watch the sunrise and get on your bike and pedal.”
Its website explains that Bike MS is “the largest fundraising cycling series in the world,” frequently drawing about 50,000 cyclists and more than 5,000 fundraising teams.
Meyers has served in a number of positions with Bike MS over the years, including chairperson and sweep-team cyclist. He was recognized with the Distinguished Volunteer Award six years ago for leading the planning team from 2013 to 2017.
“Everything works like clockwork and that’s wonderful for them (the riders),” he enthused. “Our goal is for people to come out, have a good experience and let them come back.”
To learn more about the MS ride, visit https://events.nationalmssociety.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1549 or https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS.
This article was updated on Wednesday, August 30 to clarify this is a ride rather than a race and that it will go to Ocean City, not Atlantic.