By: Christopher Davis | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2014
It’s almost time to hit the road again for Bike MS. It’s almost time to hit the road again for Bike MS.
The National MS Society educates, inspires and empowers those affected by multiple sclerosis. With an emphasis on mobilizing people and resources to drive research for a cure, the society is one of the largest organizations that advocates on behalf of those affected by the disease. In short, the National MS Society works toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. On September 20 and 21, the society invites everyone to join the cause and participate in Bike MS: The Mother Road Ride 2014, which takes place in Chandler.
With local chapters in every state, the society is the largest and most impactful MS-advocate in America. According to the National Health Council, an independent organization that rates charitable entities, the National MS Society “funds more multiple sclerosis (MS) research and provides more programs for people with MS and their families than any other voluntary health organization in the world.” It is estimated that the society advocates on behalf of more than a third of the million families living with MS. Such an impact, however, cannot be accomplished by sitting on the couch and talking. The best way to get the word out and raise money for research is to go out in the streets and raise awareness.
And what better way to take it to the streets than on a bicycle? Such thinking is what inspired the first event more than 30 years ago. Will Munger, executive director of the Minnesota Chapter of the MS Society, took his 10-year-old son to ride their bikes home to Minneapolis from Will’s father’s house in Duluth. The two did not make it home in one day and ended up spending the night in a small town about halfway to their destination. When they arrived in Minneapolis the next day, Will figured that if two novice bicyclists like himself and his son could ride 150 miles in two days, it could be a good challenge for others, as well as a fun way to raise funds for the National MS Society. In 1980, 200 cyclists participated in the first Bike MS (formerly known as the MS Bike Tour or MS 150) from Minneapolis to Duluth, raising $33,000 for the Minnesota Chapter.
In 1981, other National MS Society chapters around the country began holding their own Bike MS rides when they heard of the success in Minnesota. By 1985, the society had adopted the ride as an “official” event to be held in every chapter. Today, Bike MS is their most successful fundraising campaign and is held in every state.
On September 20 and 21, the Oklahoma holds its local event in Chandler. Bike MS: The Mother Road Ride 2014 is presented by Sam’s Club and challenges participants to 150 miles of Oklahoma. Registration is $50 per rider, and the start and finish location is at the Lincoln County Agri-Civic Center, located at 1179 W. 15th St. in Chandler.
Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.