Source: The Sandpaper.com
Mary Ellen Gervasini at one time biked the roads along the Jersey Shore in support of the annual Bike MS: Coast The Coast event.
“I had been riding in it since 2000, but in 2007 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” said the Barnegat resident, “Before I was diagnosed, I sometimes wondered how the money was being used. But now, I see where it goes and how it’s used, because the money raised goes toward helping people like me.” Last year, the event raised more than $800,000.
The 25th annual Bike MS: Coast The Coast event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22. Pre-event registration continues until May 18, which can be done online.
Starting at Monmouth University, cyclists can pedal the 25-, 50-, 85- or 170-mile routes. The 85-mile course ends in Little Egg Harbor at Pinelands Regional High School, which also serves as the stopover location for those continuing on the 170-mile trek to the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May the following day. Those interested in the 85-mile rides can start at Monmouth and end up at Pinelands Regional on May 21, or start at Pinelands and end up in Cape May on May 22.
“It’s a great ride and really good exercise,” said Gervasini, who is doing the 50-mile ride. “It’s better to train for the longer rides, but anyone can register that day and do the 25-mile ride. The event is very well supported — there are a lot of water and food stops.
“When I was first diagnosed, there were only three medication options to help me — now, there are seven,” she continues. “Fundraisers like these really are giving people with MS more medical options, and every day we’re getting closer to a cure. Any support from the community helps.
“Most people don’t realize how important that support is, but I see it all the time. A lot of people with MS are more mobile than they used to be. And there are more kids diagnosed with MS at 10, 11 or 12 years old, but with better ways to treat it, they’re going to benefit from those early treatments 30 years down the road.”
Registration fees through May 18 are: $40 per cyclist for the 25-mile route with a minimum pledge requirement of $100 due at or before the event; $55 for the 50-mile route with a minimum pledge requirement of $200; $65 for the 85-mile route with a minimum pledge requirement of $300; and $75 for the 170-mile route with a minimum pledge requirement of $350. The age minimum for riders is 12 years old, and all minors must ride with an adult.
Click here for online registration and more information, or call 732-660-1005, option 2.