Our vision: For cyclists and all those seeking a personal challenge and a world free of MS, Bike MS is the premier fundraising cycling series in the nation. With a choice of more than 100 extraordinary rides, the Bike MS experience is the ride of your life.
Bike MS is a series of 100 extraordinary cycling events across the county — rides that will take you further than you’ve ever gone before. It’s not the miles that matter — it’s the unforgettable journey. Join us for an event that’s more than a ride — it’s anticipation, camaraderie, personal accomplishment, and the knowledge that you’re changing lives… making every mile that much sweeter. As a great personal challenge and achievement that any rider can experience, Bike MS is both a weekend-long and lifelong opportunity to make a difference in your own life, and in the world.
It’s more than a ride — it’s Bike 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.
As efficient, effective stewards of our donors’ contributions, we make sure that more than 79 cents out of every dollar we raise goes directly to improve the lives of people living with MS through programs, services and research. Approximately 21 cents of each dollar is spent on administration and fundraising — a ratio that is far better than the average of other successful nonprofit organizations.
Our supporters’ generous contributions in our local communities help serve their local friends and neighbors affected by MS by:
- Supporting research and training projects aimed at finding the cause of MS, better treatments and a cure.
- Informing and educating people with MS about a variety of issues through newsletters, publications, education seminars and conferences, and at-home teleconferences.
- Providing direct support and financial assistance for the FDA-approved medications, medical equipment, counseling services, respite, care management, college scholarships, and other emergency assistance.
- Supporting emotional health and physical well-being through a network of self-help groups, a peer support telephone program, wellness programs, wellness grants, exercise classes, retreats, and more!
- Reconnecting families affected by MS by coordinating family and social programs, couples’ retreats, kids’ camp, and other family support programs.
- Stimulating changes in public policy by coordinating a statewide and nationwide Government Relations Committee and providing training and support to our constituents about issues impacting people with MS.
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.