Best Dam Bike Tour

More than 1,500 cyclists are expected to raise more than $1.5 million to support cutting-edge research and life-changing programs and services for people living with multiple sclerosis at the 32nd Annual Bike MS: TOYOTA Best Dam Bike Tour, taking place on August 1-2 in southeastern and south-central Wisconsin. Registration is available online at bestdambiketour.org or by calling (855) 372-1331.

The ride is part of the premier fundraising cycling series hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and provides all participants with professional bike mechanics, medical and mechanical support vehicles, frequent rest stops, a finish line celebration and more.

Those who raise $1,000 or more earn the year’s commemorative cycling jersey. All riders receive a free T-shirt and completer bag.

Riders choose from 50-, 75- or 100-mile route options each day, traveling from Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee to UW-Whitewater on Saturday and from UW-Whitewater to WPS Health Insurance in Madison on Sunday. Riders can opt to ride Saturday only, with buses provided from Whitewater on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Returning for a second year is the I Ride with MS program, a way of honoring participating cyclists who identify that they have been diagnosed with MS. They receive a free I Ride with MS jersey and T-shirt, along with other special recognition throughout the ride weekend. More than 60 people diagnosed with MS took part in the program last year.

All riders are asked to raise a minimum of $300 and pay a non-refundable $55 registration fee, although first-time participants who have not yet signed up can waive the registration fee by using discount code BDBTrookie2015.

Bike MS is the largest fundraising cycling series in the U.S. The 100,000 participants nationwide include people living with MS, their friends, families and neighbors, along with corporate teams and individuals who enjoy the challenge and camaraderie of cycling events. A total of 100 Bike MS rides will take place across the country in 2015 including Wisconsin’s.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness, paralysis and cognitive issues. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.

MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide including more than 11,000 children, women and men in Wisconsin – believed to be one of the higher prevalence rates in the nation.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.

In 2014, the Society invested $50.6 million to advance more than 380 research projects around the world in order to stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.

Through its comprehensive nation-wide network of programs and services, it also helped more than 1 million people affected by MS connect to the people, information and resources needed to live their best lives.

National Bike MS sponsors include Primal Wear, Bicycling Magazine, TRUE Fitness, Genzyme | MS One to One, Kenda Tires, Topeak and Showers Pass. Locally, Bike MS: Toyota Best Dam Bike Tour is sponsored in part by Milwaukee and Madison area Toyota dealers including East Madison, Russ Darrow, Smart and Wilde; WPS Health Insurance; Columbia St. Mary’s and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

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