Biking for a good cause

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Bike the Bluegrass 2012 brings hundreds through Marion County

By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Bike the Bluegrass event made a return trip to the roadways of Marion and Washington counties this past weekend. Last year, during the first weekend of June, the same event crossed through the community and raised a large sum of money to fund research for multiple sclerosis. Like last year, the course started at St. Catharine College in Springfield, and made its way through the countryside of Marion and Washington counties.
Each rider raised money toward the cause of finding a cure for multiple sclerosis. Since the events creation in Minnesota in 1980, cyclists have raised nearly $800 million. More than 100,000 cyclists will ride each year in events like this one around the country.
The course is divided up into four different segments ranging from 25 to 100 miles. Riders are encouraged to tackle whichever course their abilities allow them to with rest stops along the course every 10 to 12 miles. Support and gear vehicles also followed the riders along the way, along with bike mechanics and countless volunteers. Each leg of the course began and ended at St. Catharine College.
Riders are required to collect at least $300 in initial pledges before participating in the ride. Many go above and beyond the minimum and raise much more money. In 2011, the average initial pledge was nearly $600. The leading team in terms of raising money in 2012 has currently raised over $19,000 with numerous individuals raising over $1,000 each on other teams.
For more information about the 2012 event or about the Kentucky-Southeast Indiana chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit http://bikekyw.nationalmssociety.org.