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Mid-Missouri's largest charity bike event attracts 3,200 cyclists

Friday, September 9, 2011 | 1:45 p.m. CDT; updated 5:58 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 10, 2011

COLUMBIA — More than 3,200 cyclists will ride in the Bike MS: Express Scripts Gateway Getaway Ride from Saturday to Sunday.

Hosted at the Boone County Fairgrounds, this event is mid-Missouri’s largest charity bike event, said Dan Friedman, director of marketing and communications for the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“Cyclists come from far and wide for the annual event, now in its 27th year,” a news release stated. People from 28 states have registered for the ride.

This two-day ride supports multiple sclerosis research and services for 6,600 people living with MS in 90 counties of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

The Gateway Area Chapter of the national society provides care management, medical equipment, financial assistance, education and wellness programs for that area, Friedman said. In 2010, the event raised more than $2.5 million for those services, the release said.

Riders can pick routes that are 40, 75 and 100 miles long each day.More than 500 people will volunteer for the ride this weekend.

A ceremony commemorating 9/11 will take place before the start of the event Saturday morning. Mayor Bob McDavid will speak at the memorial, Friedman said. Charles Glenn, who has performed at St. Louis sports events, will sing the national anthem, and there will be an honor guard.

Although online registration is closed, participants can still register in person Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds and Saturday morning before the ride. It costs $50 to register the day of the event, and each cyclist must raise at least $250.


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