Fairfield county gearing up for the 2016 Bike MS ride

The 2016 Bike MS Praxair Off the Chain Ride, presented by Griffin Industrial Realty and Louis Dreyfus Company, will be held Sunday, June 12, in Norwalk. Although there are two separate rides, there is only one destination in mind for these cyclists — a world free of MS.

This year, Norwalk’s Bike MS is Off the Chain, with the most exciting rides and the most entertaining post ride celebration yet. Choose your route and wind your way through the Connecticut countryside as dedicated supporters cheer you on. Cross the finish line and be welcomed with a cold brew from Thimble Island Brewing Company, some hot BBQ from Danny’s Little Taste of Texas and a rejuvenating massage.

Bike MS is a physical challenge for cyclists of every level, but it's so much more than just a ride. The camaraderie, passion and memories that come from sharing the experience with family, friends and teammates last a lifetime.

In Norwalk, the ride will begin at The Gallaher Mansion at Cranbury Park and cyclists will ride the best of Fairfield County — from the beaches of Long Island Sound to the tree-lined roads of the countryside. Routes for this coast-to-country ride include 10-, 25-, 62- and 100-mile options.

All routes are well supported with fully stocked rest stops, safety provided by medical personnel, HAM radio operators law enforcement, and local bike shops.

Last year, Bike MS attracted more than 500 cyclists and raised $518,000 for the National Multiple Society, Connecticut Chapter.

The registration fee for this year's ride is $35 with a minimum fundraising amount required per registered rider of $125.

Community partners include Serendipity Magazine, WFSB Channel 3, WTNH News 8, Connoisseur Media’s The FOX 95.9 and WRCH Lite 100.5, which has supported and promoted the ride for almost 30 years.

More than 6,500 Connecticut residents are affected by multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms can include numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Funds raised by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, through events such as Bike MS, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure, as well as help to provide vital programs and services offered by the chapter to those in the state living with multiple sclerosis.

For more information on the 2016 Bike MS: Praxair Off the Chain Ride, presented by Griffin Industrial Realty and Louis Dreyfus Company, or to donate, visit ctfightsMS.org.