Story and photos by JENNA BAILEY
On Monday, Oct. 23, cyclists participating in Bike the US for MS made their way to DeFuniak Springs as a part of their Southern Tier route that began in San Diego, Calif. and will end in St. Augustine, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 29. The group of 17 participants, the majority being retirees of age 60 years and older, rested overnight at the First United Methodist Church on Circle Drive in DeFuniak Springs.
Bike the US for MS is an organization that raises funds for multiple sclerosis research and treatment by the way of cross-country cycling trips. Additionally, cyclists volunteer for MS patients as they pass through communities. Portions of the funds are used to fund projects such as accessible ramps and bathrooms. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Though the Southern Tier cross country trip began in San Diego, the participants of this trip come from all over the country including Pittsburg, Missouri, Minnesota, California and Florida. On average cyclists travel 30 to 80 miles a day during these trips depending on weather conditions. The amount of money raised per mile depends on how many miles total cyclists travel during one trip. The fundraising minimum is $1/mile if riding more than 1,500 miles and $2/mile if riding less than 1,500 miles. By the end of their trip in St. Augustine, the group will have raised over $60,000. To learn more about Bike the US for MS you can visit their website: biketheusforms.org.