CORNWALL, Ontario – Over 100 kilometers, around 700 cyclists and only two days. All in support of 100, 000 Canadians living with an incurable disease.
Welcome to the 27th Annual MS Bike Tour.
Ingleside’s Farran Park was buzzing with cyclists of all ages on Saturday, August 6, for the MS Bike Tour from Ottawa to Cornwall. Approximately 700 participants made the trip from the community of Metcalf in Ottawa’s south end, to Cornwall’s NAV centre, with many planning to ride back on Sunday.
“This is a really good cause, and it’s very well organized,” said Jean Sebastien, who is on his second year riding for MS.
“It’s been a good day, nice weather, and nice people,” said Ian Bazinet, “My sister has MS…and this is my 5th year.”
The Farran Park campground was the site for a barbeque and pit stop for riders entering the last leg of the tour. Volunteers served up hot food, and cool refreshments to the hundreds of participants who had travelled approximately 70 of the 100 km in support of combatting the autoimmune disease.
“I feel so blessed that my three sons and two grandsons came down, ” said volunteer coordinator Sue Tarle, “It makes me very proud. They’re behind their mom 100 per cent.”
Tarle has lived with MS for 35 years now, and has been volunteering with the MS Society and participating with the bike tour ever since her diagnosis.
“Just look at all these people. I’m really blessed, blessed beyond to have such great people helping.”
For Andrea Lainchbury, this is her first time making the trip from the Ottawa area to Cornwall, in support of MS.
“The people are really nice. I’ve had two flat tires and a lot people stopped to help. It’s been really great,” said Lastname, who was cycling as part of the Wheely Awesome team.
Lainchbury’s husband could be in the early stages of MS, so the couple decided it was important they get involved in this year’s tour.
“We’re doing it to support him, and everyone who has it,” said Lainchbury.
The MS Bike Tour challenges cyclists and supporters of those suffering from MS to travel anywhere from 80 to 215 km from Ottawa to Cornwall, with a variety of routes for different skill levels. Last year the event raised over $568, 000.
MS, or multiple sclerosis, effects over 100, 000 Canadians, the highest rate in the world according to the MS society of Canada. Funds raised for today’s bike tour will go directly towards funding research into prevention and treatment of the common disease.