We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.
The National MS Society educates, inspires and empowers those affected by multiple sclerosis. We break down barriers—both physical and emotional—in the home, in the workplace and in the community. We build confidence that people with MS can live the best possible lives as individuals, as family members, as employees and as members of the larger community. No other local MS organization provides the breadth and depth of services or involves more people in the movement toward a world free of MS.
Just over thirty years ago, Will Munger, then the Executive Director of the Minnesota Chapter, and his 10-year-old son decided to ride their bikes home to Minneapolis from Will’s father’s house in Duluth, Minnesota. The two novice riders did not make the ride in one day and woefully had to spend the night in Hinckley. But when they arrived in Minneapolis the next day, Will decided that if the two of them could ride 150 miles in two days, it might be a good challenge for others and a unique way to raise funds for the National MS Society. In 1980, 200 cyclists rode the first Bike MS (formerly known as the MS Bike Tour or MS 150) ride from Minneapolis to Duluth with an overnight stop in Hinckley and raised $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. And in 1985, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society adopted the ride as an “official” event to be held in every chapter.
Today, there is at least one ride offered in every state. In 2011, more than 110,000 cyclists participated in 100 rides throughout the country, raising more than $86 million. Since its inception in 1980, Bike MS cyclists have raised more than $1 billion.
The purpose of the rides is to raise money for multiple sclerosis research and other services supported by the National MS Society. The rides typically take place over the course of two days and are generally around 150 miles long, though they can be as short as 3 miles (for a family fun ride) or as long as 250 over five days. Bike MS events aim to pull the whole community together by gathering support from local businesses, elected officials, residents and people living with MS. The events are all organized by individual Society chapters and thus each has a distinct local flavor.
Learn more at www.nationalmssociety.org