By Dave Iltis
The Bike MS: Harmon’s Best Dam Bike Ride is a two day cycling tour that will held on the beautiful roads of Cache Valley, Utah on June 27-28, 2015. The ride raises funds for multiple sclerosis research and Multiple Sclerosis Society programs. The ride is in its 29th year in Utah. It was originally called the MS 150 and the ‘Dam’ in the title refers to the Hyrum Dam.
We asked Bike MS ride coordinator Amanda Savage about this year’s event.
Cycling Utah: Tell us about the purpose of Bike MS. How are the funds that are raised allocated?
Bike MS: The funds that are raised go towards National Research Projects that are supported by the National MS Society to find new treatments and develop a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. As well as funding national research the funds raised through Bike MS also provide programs and support for individuals and their families who are impacted by MS living in Utah and Southern Idaho.
Cycling Utah: Tell us about the rides on Saturday and Sunday. What are the highlights of the course?
Bike MS: The course goes through the beautiful scenic Cache Valley riding through rural towns and farm country. The Sunday course includes a wonderful climb up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to Hardware Ranch and beyond.
CU: What sorts of activities will be happening before and after the rides?
Bike MS: Bike MS is a full weekend event, we provide wonderful meals beginning with a hot breakfast on Saturday at the Cache Valley Fairgrounds, a catered lunch on the course, a festive Mexican dinner on Saturday night and again breakfast and lunch on Sunday. We have a sponsor village with vendors providing free items and information to our riders ranging from Verizon Wireless to clothing vendors. There is a program for all participants on Saturday including live music and a pool party.
CU: What does Bike MS do to connect with the people and businesses of Cache County? How do you involve the local community?
Bike MS: We work closely with the local community and seek to find vendors and business to help support the ride in Cache County. We attend meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and the Cache Valley Lodging Association to provide information about the Ride so that the community is well aware of our event. We also send out a postcard to all residences and businesses that are on our route to inform them that we will be using their roads and thanking them in advance for their hospitality. The entire ride from a logistical point of view is supported by area businesses. The meals served to riders are provided by local restaurants, the coffee each morning is provided by Café Ibis a local coffee shop. We work with the Cache County Visitors Bureau each year to find ways to utilize local resources for the Ride. We are fortunate to receive cash sponsorships from several Logan based businesses as well. This year we are excited to have support from the Cache County Arts Center, the Zoo, and the American Heritage Museum who will be provided activities at the fairgrounds for children.
CU: How many riders do you expect this year? How many fundraising teams? Who are some of the top teams?
Bike MS: We are expecting about 2,200 riders on 140 teams. Our top fundraising teams include Team Harmons, Blackbottoms Cycles for Kids, Goldman Sachs, Veritas Funding and Morgan Stanley.
CU: How do you sign up? How much do you need to raise to participate? Who can participate?
Bike MS: You can register at bikemsutah.org, every participant needs to raise $250 to participate and the ride is open to cyclist of all ability levels who are 12 years old or older! Use the discount code: CYCLINGUTAH for $20 off of registration!
CU: With over 2000 riders on the road, what does Bike MS do to encourage safe and respectful riding?
Bike MS: We provide safety training and guidelines to our riders. We are fortunate to have the support of the Bonneville Cycling Club who sponsors training rides for Bike MS participants where safety best practices are demonstrated and they also serve as Ride Marshalls to ensure that all safety guidelines are followed during the ride.
CU: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Bike MS: Bike MS is truly the premier cycling event in Utah- not only the ride incredibly well supported and a wonderful experience for cyclists of all ages it allows participants to be a Hero for someone living with MS by raising critical dollars to fund research.
June 27-28, 2015 — Bike MS: Harmon’s Best Dam Bike Ride, Bike MS, Logan, UT, For cyclists and all those seeking a personal challenge and a world free of MS, Bike MS is the premier fundraising cycling series in the nation. The Bike MS experience is the ride of your life with options to ride 45-175 miles. Friendly to all abilities with rest stops every 8-12 miles. One of the most scenic routes in Utah! Camping, meals and entertainment based out of Cache Valley Fairgrounds (400 South 500 West), Amanda Savage, 801-523-4267, 801-424-0112, [email protected], bikemsutah.org