Watch above: The MS Bike Tour from Leduc to Camrose celebrates 25 years.
EDMONTON – A steady stream of cyclists could be seen for kilometres south of Edmonton Saturday, as riders took off on the first leg of the MS Bike Tour.
The 185-kilometre journey starts in Nisku and makes it way to Camrose. The nearly 2,000 cyclists taking part in this year’s ride are raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research and much-needed support services for those living with the disease.
“I really want this disease to end,” says Anne Belohorec.
“I know so many people with Multiple Sclerosis,” she says. “It’s a difficult disease for them and for their families, their friends, their co-workers to live with.”
MS is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It is unpredictable and can cause loss of balance, impaired speech and paralysis.
Belohorec has been living with MS for 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped her from participating in the MS Bike Tour for the past 20 years.
“She comes out every year, she actually gets out there on a tandem bike and rides a good 50 per cent of this route,” says Global’s Mike Sobel, who co-hosted the Saturday morning events with Daintre Christensen.
Now in its 25th year, Sobel and Belohorec agree the tour wouldn’t be what it is today with the support of the riders and organizers.
“The work that they do, raising the money on this tour, has gone so, so far to helping out these people who are suffering every day,” says Sobel.
“They’re there for us, they’re helping us. They raise more money every year. The kind of support is probably the biggest inspiration I’ve had through the years. And when I see that I have hope,” adds Belohorec.
While in Camrose, participants can enjoy a massage, beer gardens, and finish the evening off with dinner and dancing.
One-hundred thousand Canadians live with MS. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world ranging from one MS case per 500 people to one per 1000 across the country.