The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 7, 2013

Bike ride to help with MS initiatives

The premier fundraising cycling series in the nation and a signature event of the National MS Society, Bike MS raises awareness of multiple sclerosis while also raising funds for research, advocacy and local programs and services.

Nearly 300 people are expected to choose one of three routes next weekend, Sept. 14-15, and participate in Bike MS: Country Roads Ride, a two-day bicycling adventure through Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties. While enjoying the scenic views, the cyclists will raise some $200,000 to help free the world of multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

“All cyclists have to pay a $50 fee and raise at least $300 in support to participate in the ride,” noted Victoria Paul of the National MS Society’s Charleston office.

Although most participants have signed up for the ride in advance, registration will continue until the tires hit the pavement Saturday morning, Paul said.

Registration and check-in will be conducted at the Greenbrier Youth Camp on Anthony Road near Frankford from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and official start is set for 8 a.m. Saturday at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, which is also the site for finish line celebrations — including lunch on the lawn — between noon and 4 p.m. Sunday.

The ride offers three options: road routes of 120 or 150 miles or a 120-mile trek along the Greenbrier River Trail. A celebration dinner on Snowshoe Mountain marks the ride’s midpoint.

Funds raised through the ride will help pay for National MS Society work, including advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives.

“A big chunk of our money goes to home modifications,” Paul pointed out, adding that the society’s educational programs help loved ones understand and cope with the adjustments that come with a diagnosis of MS.

“In addition to helping people live with MS, we also invest a lot in research to find a cure,” Paul emphasized.

The National MS Society Blue Ridge Chapter serves the entire state of West Virginia, 51 counties in Virginia and seven counties in Kentucky. Approximately 6,000 people are living with MS in the chapter’s region.

For more information about the National MS Society, visit nationalMSsociety.org online or call 1-800-344-4867.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

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