By MELANIE LYNCH AND CAITLIN WHERLEY
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or NMSS, is sponsoring the 26th Bike MS: Express Scripts Gateway Getaway Ride Sept. 11 and 12 in Columbia. Participants can ride in a team or as individuals and choose a 40-mile, 75-mile or 100-mile route. Riders can print course maps here.
The ride is open to cyclists of all experience levels, said Kristen Kuhn, Interactive Media Administrator for NMSS. However, children under 12 are too young to participate for safety reasons and parents must sign a waiver for minors to ride.
Themed rest stops decorated by volunteers are located every 10 to 15 miles along the route. Support and gear vans will patrol the route for riders’ safety. Refreshments and meals will also be provided. After the day’s ride, cyclists can enjoy live entertainment and rent a tent for an overnight stay at the fairgrounds.
Riders are encouraged to fundraise and Kuhn suggested barbeques and carwashes as a starting point. Participants can also raise money through the event’s Facebook application.
The ten teams that raised the most money in 2009 will start off the ride at 7 a.m. The official start is 7:30 a.m. for all other riders.
You can donate money to NMSS at the ride or by going to the organization’s website.
NMSS still needs volunteers of all ages for the weekend. Sign up on the website to volunteer.
What: Bike MS: Express Scripts Gateway Getaway Ride
When: Saturday, Sept. 11, at 7 a.m. to Sunday, Sept. 12, TBA
Where: Boone County Fairgrounds, 5212 N. Oakland Gravel Road
Registration: Register as a team or an individual online (use discount code ‘hush’) or at the event for $50