Bike MS returns to LaGrange this weekend

Published 10:00 am Friday, October 8, 2021

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Cyclists will once again flow through downtown as hundreds of riders join the Bike MS: Atlanta Peach Ride this Saturday and Sunday.

The event is not a competition, explained Anastasia Emery with the MS Society, but rather a relaxing riding event that raises both money and awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

“We have a really good mix of experienced cyclists and people who just want to be involved in the cause,” Emery said.

This year has already garnered 280 participants and $280,288 of a $300,000 goal.

Emery said that 13 “I ride with MS” cyclists, or cyclists who identify as having MS, will be participating in the event this year.

The funds raised by the bike ride go to Georgia’s Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which funds research and education on multiple sclerosis. The disease attacks the nervous system and can physically disable those affected.

This will be the sixth year the event has taken place in LaGrange. Last year’s event was virtual due to COVID concerns, Emery said, but it still managed to gain significant funds for the organization. 

The theme for this year’s ride is “Back in the Saddle.”

On Saturday, cyclists have four ride options: a 21-mile route, 35-mile route, 65-mile route or a century, or 100-mile route. The 21-mile is new this year, Emery said.

“We’ve been getting feedback over the years about folks who want to participate but were feeling a bit intimidated for the 35-mile route, which was our shortest mile option,” Emery said.

“We have a really good mix of experienced cyclists and people who just want to be involved in the cause.”

On Sunday, cyclists can choose from a 35-mile route or a 65-mile route.

All rides will start and finish at Wild Leap Brewery and riders will ride through and stop at many areas within and outside of Troup County.

Charles Ginn, an area local who is the team captain of the participating team Bonnie’s Team and Friends, described it as a way to combine his love for cycling with his love for helping others.

“It’s about fundraising for a great cause,” he said. “It’s fun, it’s well-supported … and when you come to that finish line, and there’s a lot of people cheering, it’s a really good feeling.”

Ginn has ridden in the event for 10 years before it came to LaGrange and has participated in it for 14 years total.

He started participating in the event to honor a friend named Bonnie Manning who has lived with MS for several decades

His team raised $32,305 for the event, surpassing its $30,000 goal.