Bicyclists will descend on Island for ‘Bike MS’ fundraiser Saturday

In this file photo, bicyclists head up State Road on the first leg of the "Bike MS: Ride the Vineyard" fundraiser. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

More than 600 bicyclists are expected to take to Vineyard roadways Saturday for the annual Bike MS: Ride the Vineyard, a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which funds research into a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS). Drivers should expect lines of bike riders at various intersections.

The annual ride begins and ends at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and is sponsored by the New England chapter of the National MS Society in collaboration with the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club. Riders have a choice of three routes of differing lengths. There is an 18-mile bike path route that follows the bike path south on Barnes Road, to Edgartown on 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 18-mile route, and a 60-mile countryside and ocean-view challenge goes to Aquinnah by way of Middle Road in Chilmark, then returns down-Island by way of West Tisbury Road to Katama through Edgartown, and around Oak Bluffs.

Participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $250 — $150 for youth cyclists, minimum age 14 years old — in addition to the $35 registration fee. Many riders join teams that allow riders to work together to raise the minimums.

For more information, contact the Greater New England Chapter National MS Society at 800-344-4867, or go to