On Saturday, August 26th, 439 enthused cyclists and many generous volunteers met at the Gimli Recreation Center for the 28th annual MS Bike Event.
The event began on Saturday where participants are treated to a healthy breakfast in the morning, and then at 10am, Mr. James Bezan, the Interlake Member of Parliament kicked the ride off with an inspiring speech. Participants then cycled for 68 kilometers along the highway and were facilitated by various rest stops and lunch throughout the ride. Once returned and cheered back to the recreation center, they were treated to free massages, an evening dinner, or a chance to relax with a drink in the beer gardens. After the events of the day were concluded, the cyclists camp in tents, either outside or inside and the same process happens again the Sunday.
Although it is enjoyable for all participating, the event does not come easy to the cyclists – first comes a year of fundraising, and then a 135-kilometre bike ride through the Interlake in Manitoba, regardless of the weather! This year the fundraising target was set at $403,000, and as of August 28th, the participants had raised over $320,000.
Manitoba’s people are particularly passionate about fundraising for MS as Canada has the highest rate of MS cases in the world – an estimated 1 in 340 live with the disease, according to the MS Society’s website. This is a high rate for one country to have, so ‘gearing up to end MS’ is well received in Manitoba. The MS society holds a number of other fund-raisers throughout the year to raise further funds in the research for a cure of the disease.
RRT was pleased to assist at the event again this year for the third time. Providing over 75 volunteers, the team assisted with a large variety of tasks, including setup, serving meals, photography, route marshaling, first aid, running rest stops and much more! In conclusion, it was another successful year completed!