Bicyclists ride the Vineyard to beat MS

Bicyclists ride the Vineyard to beat MS

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As many as 700 bicyclists are expected to assemble at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Saturday morning, May 4, for the 24th annual Bike MS: Ride the Vineyard fundraiser to fight multiple sclerosis.

In 2012, riders from 16 states participated, according to Liz Strawn, ride manager of the New England Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “Many of the riders come from the Boston area,” she said, “but the Island is such a great destination that it attracts people from all over the country.”

Ride the Vineyard is the chapter’s largest one-day Bike MS ride. “In 2012, the ride raised an amazing $500,000,” Ms. Strawn said in a press release.

Drivers can expect to encounter bicyclists along one of three separate routes, set up to allow riders of all levels to take part. All rides begin and end at the regional high school.

The 15-mile bike path route follows the bike path south on Barnes Road, then on to Edgartown via the West Tisbury Road, around Katama and back to the high school on the Vineyard Haven Road. The 30-mile countryside and ocean view route adds a tour around Oak Bluffs to the 15-mile route. A 60-mile countryside and ocean view challenge runs to Aquinnah, then to Katama through Edgartown, and around Oak Bluffs.

Cyclists can participate either individually or as part of a team. A cookout follows the ride. Registration is open to anyone with a bike until the day of the ride. The entry fee is $35. Riders are expected to meet a minimum fundraising goal of $250.

The ride is one of more than 100 Bike MS events across the country and the first of the year in New England.

Participants must be 14 years or older on the day of the event. Cyclists under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, contact The Greater New England Chapter National MS Society at 781-890-4990, BikeMSGNE@nmss.org, or www.bikemscne.org.