More MS news articles for September 2000

20th Anniversary MS 150 City to Shore Bike Tour Welcomes 5000 Cyclists And 1000 Volunteers Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 2000

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The National MS Society, which began the MS 150 City to Shore Bike Tour 20 years ago with only 75 riders, will welcome nearly 5,000 cyclists to the event, Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 2000.

The largest overnight tour on the East Coast, the MS 150, presented by Subaru of America and Commerce Bank, will depart the PATCO Woodcrest Hi-Speedline Station (Exit 31 off Route 295) in Cherry Hill between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Participants range from a 76-year-old grandmother with two hip replacements riding an electric bicycle to children on tandem cycles and toddlers in sidecars.  The 150-mile round-trip event will be held rain or shine.

For information call 800-548-4611 or check the website at http://www.ms150biketour.org.

More than 1000 volunteers will cheer cyclists on their way and assist at rest stops while cyclists pedal 75 miles to the Ocean City Civic Center, 6th and the Boardwalk, and an overnight stay at the shore.

After a Saturday evening awards ceremony and dinner, cyclists leave Ocean City on Sunday morning to return to the PATCO Woodcrest Hi-Speedline Station, where they arrive between Noon and 4 p.m. for a finish line celebration.

Along the way, cyclists in the MS 150 City to Shore Bike Tour will enjoy a fully catered tour with well-stocked rest and lunch stops, sag wagon assistance, transportation for luggage, medical and bike support and more.

This year, for the first time, cyclists can also choose from three route options:  the traditional 150-mile, two-day route; the 175-mile two-day challenge route; and the 42-mile one-day option.

All cyclists must raise a minimum of $150 in pledges to participate, with most raising much more to help the 8,400 local residents with MS and their families.

"This is a vitally important event that supports our research programs and services," says Judith G. Cohen, chapter president.

"Thanks to funds raised through the Bike Tour, there are now three FDA-approved medications available that have been proven to affect the underlying course of MS:  Avonex, Betaseron and Copaxone."

Last year the Tour raised nearly $1.5 million in support of services for those with MS and their families, as well as research projects exploring the cause, prevention and cure of the disease.

MS is a life-long disease of the central nervous system that strikes more than 200 Americans every week.  It causes unpredictable symptoms ranging from weakness to total paralysis that come and go without any warning or pattern.

MS strikes women more often than men, is usually diagnosed in young adulthood and is neither inherited, contagious or fatal; the cause is not yet known, but research funded through events such as the MS 150 Bike Tour offer hope to millions and their families.

SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society Web Site: http://www.ms150biketour.org