HARTFORD, Conn. – This year’s Bike MS: Cardio Express Ride, presented by Cashman+Katz, starts from the historic Boathouse at Riverside Park in Hartford on Sunday, Sept. 8. Depending on your choice of routes, this ride makes its way through nine towns and over three bridges.
The 2013 ride marks the 18th anniversary of the Bike MS: Cardio Express Ride. In its history, more than 2,000 cyclists have pedaled over 200,000 miles to raise more than $1 million to support local chapter programs and services as well as scientific research to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Organizers hope to raise $110,000 from the event this September.
Peter Rusconi, owner of Cardio Express Fitness Centers, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, serves as spokesperson for the ride.
“I know firsthand how MS can affect lives,” said Rusconi, who captains the MS fundraising team known as MS Express. “I encourage others to join us and help move us forward in the fight against this disease.”
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Rusconi, are affected by multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms can include, among other things, 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.
Cyclists will ride 75, 50 or 25 miles into the scenic Connecticut countryside before returning to Hartford. This city to country ride is unique because it is the only bike ride in Connecticut with a route that crosses three bridges: the Founders, Charter Oak and Arrigoni. At the starting line and along the route, bicycle mechanical support will be available.
Registration for this year’s ride is $45 with the minimum fundraising amount per registered rider $175. Participants must be at least 12 years old to ride.
Finish line festivities include music from The Local Suspects, a barbeque, beer tasting compliments of the Olde Burnside Brewing Company, tastings by Peel Liqueurs, and massages by Massage Envy. Vendors such as the Hartford Bicycle Studio and Rel Distributor L.L.C. will be offering frozen fruit popsicles and more.
Check-in for the 75- and 50-mile routes begins at 7 and both rides depart at 7:30 a.m. Check-in for the 25-mile route begins at 9 and the ride takes-off at 9:30 a.m. The Riverfront Boathouse is located in Riverside Park at 20 Leibert Road, in Hartford.
For more information or to register for the Bike MS: Cardio Express Ride, please visit ctfightsMS.org.