On June 27th, Baseline project engineer, Steve Batchelder, PE, took part in the virtual Bike MS ride. Every summer, the National MS Society puts on Bike MS to support MS research. Participants commit to a designated route with stops along the way. Riders and teams choose their distance, and all must meet a fundraising goal to participate. 2020 marks 35 years of the ride and, as of this year, they have raised over a billion dollars for MS research. Steve participates in the ride every year has become a top fundraiser and raised $6,545 this year! This year’s ride, however, looked a little different.
To protect the safety of the participants, the organizers shifted everything online. Over the course of just a couple months, every event was shifted online through virtual meet-ups and an actual race day plan was developed. Leading up to the ride they hosted fundraising seminars, virtual packet pick-ups, and a rally. It went live on Facebook on June 27th at 7:00 am so all the riders could tune in before setting out on their own routes. Using a GPS app, like Strava, participants were encouraged to map their route and share it on their website. Riders could log in from anywhere –including Wyoming.
Steve chose to take the more scenic route and head up to Yellowstone. He rode a 100-mile loop through the national park, taking full advantage of planning his own route. Throughout the day on Saturday, they held all the normal events virtually. Riders were encouraged to create their own Team Village and post pictures and celebrations from there. The Team Village is usually where the end-of-the-ride celebration is and where awards are given out, and this year teams could win an award for their best decorated village –or living room, garage, or SAG car. Other awards given out included most creative route with riders encouraged to map routes in the shape of a bike, their favorite awareness ribbon, or any other shape they could think of. Along with awards, there were several day-of challenges to keep up the ride traditions.
Normally, the ride takes place in Northern Colorado and the biggest climb is up Horsetooth Reservoir. To keep the challenge alive, teams and riders could submit their elevation climbs for the day to win