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The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Illinois and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.


Thousands Gear Up for Bike MS: Tour de Farms, June 27 and 28, in DeKalb

June 2, 2015

Largest Fundraising Cycling Series in the World raises funds for those affected by Multiple Sclerosis              

Chicago, Ill., June 2, 2015 — Bike MS: Tour de Farms, the annual charity bike ride of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter, is less than one month away. The 34th annual event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28, at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Ill. Tour de Farms, which is part of largest fundraising cycling series in the world, begins and ends at the NIU Convocation Center (1525 W. Lincoln Hwy.), bringing together riders of all skill levels for an unforgettable weekend of cycling, fun, camaraderie and achievement.

Riders can choose their challenge and bike anywhere from 15–200 miles over the two-day event on 10 fully supported routes, taking them over rolling hills and through the scenic farmlands of Northern Illinois. Twenty support-and-gear vehicles stocked with first aid and repair supplies continuously patrol the routes throughout the day, and riders will be further supported with rest stops every 10–15 miles.  

“Through Bike MS, I have gained strength, confidence and some of the most amazing friendships anyone could ever hope for,” said Crystal Noack, of Algonquin, who is living with MS and will participate in her fifth Bike MS event this year. “This community of riders and volunteers is like nothing else, and I cherish them all. Bike MS has taught me that I’m not alone in this. There is love and support all around me, and nothing compares to that.”

Again this year, children 11 years and under can participate in a special Bike MS course exclusively for junior riders on Saturday, June 27, at 3:30 p.m. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and a $15 registration fee is required.

In addition to the actual ride, participants and volunteers will refuel with delicious meals, revel in the sounds of live music, and enjoy a more relaxing form of drafting in the beer garden outside the Convocation Center. Saturday’s festivities include musical entertainment from local bands playing throughout the day and evening and an awards ceremony at 6 p.m.

“Bike MS offers the challenge of a great ride while raising critical funds for individuals and families who are affected by MS,” said Greater Illinois Chapter President Holly Messick. “With thousands of participants, this is one of our largest events of the year, and we’re encouraged by so many people coming together in support of our mission of a world free of MS.”

This year, Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, is sponsoring I Ride with MS, a mission-based program that celebrates participating cyclists who are living with MS through MS One to One. Through the program, cyclists who are living with MS are provided a special “I Ride with MS” jersey. By providing visibility to riders living with MS, the program personalizes the disease and more strongly connects all cyclists, serving as a reminder of why they participate in Bike MS.

Participants can pick up their rider packets and set up for the event during the Bike MS Kickoff from 6–8 p.m. on Friday, June 26.  Rider registration opens at 5 a.m. each day of the actual event, and the mass start takes place at 7 a.m. The registration fee is $60 until the end of the event. Every rider is required to raise a minimum of $300 to participate.

Last year more than 1,800 riders participated in Bike MS: Tour de Farms, raising over $1.5 million to fund MS research, programs and services. The Illinois Bike MS event is one of over 100 rides that happen across the U.S. to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Collectively, the rides raise close to $90 million annually with over 100,000 cyclists.

To find out more or to register or make a donation, contact Melissa Foley at 312.423.1140 or at, or visit

About the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS across a 73-county territory, starting at the Wisconsin-Illinois border and extending south through the northern and central areas of Illinois, and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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