The annual two-day ride starts and ends in Sundance each day and takes participants along a course that showcases Wyoming’s scenic vistas, historic towns and past the iconic Devils Tower National Monument. This year more than 300 participants target raising $300,000 for programs and research that benefit more than 100,000 people affected by MS in Wyoming and Colorado.
Cheyenne resident Jonna Patton, top Bike MS fundraiser and co-captain of Team Bioness Vitesse, will be among the cyclists riding again this year. Patton has been athletic all her life, but in 1992 while playing basketball at Western Wyoming College, she collapsed on the court with seizure-like activity.
Diagnosing MS was challenging in the mid-1990s, as symptoms vary person to person depending on where the central nervous system is affected. In Patton’s case, it took five years before she was diagnosed with MS.
Since her diagnosis, she has never given up her competitive spirit or backed down from a challenges of living with MS. Patton has completed 20 Bike MS rides held in Wyoming and other states over the past nine years and is looks forward to riding Bike MS Wyoming in August.
“I love the feeling of encouragement and everyone coming together at Bike MS events to make a difference,” she said. “It brings us closer to the day when no one else has to hear, ‘You have MS.’ The feeling of support, encouragement and camaraderie is amazing and inspire me to keep going.”
“Hosting a safe and fun experience is key to our successful ride each year,” said Wyoming Community Engagement Manager Stacy Richardson. “Bike MS Wyoming is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike mechanics, meals, medics and support vehicles. Participants also look forward to an evening of celebration and camaraderie on Saturday evening.
“This year we are also offering two route options on the first day. Cyclists can choose an 81-mile base route or a 100-mile century loop course. The second day course takes cyclists eastward and into South Dakota, where they will be treated to lunch in Spearfish hosted by volunteers at their homes” Richardson continued.
“This is such an inspirational event and the support of cyclists, generous community members and our sponsors makes a significant difference to everyone affected by MS in Wyoming,” Richardson said.
Today there are 10, FDA-approved therapies for MS where none existed just over 20 years ago, thanks in part to all the miles pedaled during Bike MS Wyoming. In addition to supporting to the society’s 380 research projects worldwide, funds raised also support chapter programs, education and advocacy efforts that benefit the more than 1,000 people living with MS in Wyoming.