By: Kate Cowperthwait, Delaware MS Society President
In just a few days, nearly 2,000 Delaware area cyclists, volunteers, and rest stop coordinators will once again take part in Bike to the Bay on September 22and 23. The route takes cyclists again through scenic Milford on their journey to the beach, stopping at the famous Milford Middle School Lunch Rest Stop along the way!
This lunch stop is run each year by Pat Zabel and her generous group of volunteers. She and every single participant serve a different role in making the event the success. Ultimately, every single person plays an important role in the effort to end multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable and disabling disease.
While camaraderie, fun, and food are the factors that draw participants in each year, the event’s main purpose is to raise critical funds to support the 1,550 Delawareans living with MS throughout the year.
In my 20 years as President of the Delaware MS Society, I’ve seen MS treatment options come a long way. Gone are the days when MS was called “diagnose and adios” (because doctors were unable to treat patients with MS). Now, there are a variety of treatments and therapy options available – even several oral medications are now on the market. Yet, so many mysteries remain and daily, I hear of new cases of MS and the uncertainty that those diagnosed face. People who can no longer work due to cognitive issues, no longer run due to numbness in the legs or worse, paralysis, or no longer drive due to blindness – all possible realities of MS.
I long for the day when I get word that a cure is discovered. Until that day, we will continue to work tirelessly, providing support, financial aid, home modifications, and guidance to people diagnosed with MS. Until that day, we will continue to count on the generous support of those who ride, donate, and volunteer at Bike to the Bay on behalf of those who can’t because of MS.
If you haven’t joined us before, we hope that you will consider joining us this year for a weekend of fun that makes such a huge difference in the lives of Delawareans all year long.
Thinking about riding? Bike to the Bay facts:
- September 22nd and 23rd
- Cyclists have a choice of six routes – 17, 45, 75, 100, 150, & 175 miles – depending on how much of a challenge they wish to tackle.
- This year’s finish line has been relocated to Delaware Seashore State Park, just south of Dewey Beach, where there will be plenty of parking, bath houses, support, and finish line festivities for cyclists.
- This is the largest and longest running cycling event of its kind in Delaware, raising nearly $1 million annually for Delawareans living with MS.
- There are rest stops every 8-12 miles. In fact, Bike to the Bay is often nicknamed “Buffet to the Bay” because each rest stop serves different goodies – everything from apple cider, to baked good, to scrapple sandwiches!
- Online registration closes Tuesday September 18th at midnight. You can register and pick up rider numbers in advance on September 20th from 5-8 pm at Winner Auto World in Newark to avoid waiting in line on the day-of Bike to the Bay.
- Can’t ride but want to participate? You can register as a phantom rider to fundraise, donate to another cyclist, or volunteer! Learn how to volunteer, register, or donate at www.BiketotheBay.org or by calling (302) 655-5610.