Locals cheered on bicyclists at the finish line Saturday as bikers from around the area finished the first day of a two-day bike ride hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
During this year’s ride called “Bike MS: Sanford Health Ride the Wind,” participating cyclists started their route in Casselton, looped north through several small towns and Lake Ashtabula, and then turned south to head to Valley City, covering up to 140 miles.
They crossed day one’s finish line in City Park right after the walking bridge. Some came in full force, while others had a support vehicle bring them in.
Riders stayed in Valley City State University dorms and local hotels Saturday night and departed at 7 a.m. Sunday back to Casselton to finish the final day of the ride.
Two local riders have been participating in the event for years.
Sheila Ova, Jamestown, has done this ride for 14 years. She and her sisters ride together and have helped with volunteering for this event.
“I do this event as I know people with MS and have met lost of new friends on this ride. I like to help people when and if I can this is just one of the many things I volunteer for to help people. I will continue to help and do this event as long as I’m able, hopefully til I’m 80 like some other of the people that have rode in this event,” Ova said.
Robin Huesby of Valley City has ridden in three MS rides.
Many years ago she was diagnosed with a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and started bike riding to stay active.
“Bike riding seems to be easier on my joints than running,” Huesby explained.
Huesby said the rides are tough, and the last few years the rides have been basically hill-less, in and around Fargo and Wahpeton. This weekend’s ride included the Lake Ashtabula and Kathryn hills.
Having a chronic disease, she became involved with the MS Society, where she is on the Governmental Relations Committee.
“The MS Society is a caring, worthwhile organization and one that is truly committed to finding a cure and making life easier for those persons with MS. There are so many people who have friends or relatives affected by MS, which can be a life altering disease,” Huesby said.