BRIELLE — Four hundred and thirty-five cyclists pedaled through Monmouth County shore towns on Saturday in the annual Bike MS: Coast the Coast fundraising ride. Participants had their choice of 25-, 50- or 75-mile routes to raise awareness and money for multiple sclerosis [MS] research. The event raised over $386,000.
The race began and ended in Deal, and included two pit stops in Brielle and Lavallette. Many riders chose to refuel at the first pit stop located at Brielle Elementary School, where they were greeted by MS Society volunteers, bike support staff and tables full of high-energy snacks and beverages – including the highly-contentious pickle juice [the ultimate muscle-cramp deterrent, according to some; a most unappealing snack, for others.]
Riders rolled into the parking lot of Brielle Elementary beginning at 8:15 a.m. after participants began the first leg of the race in Deal at 7 a.m. A representative from Brielle Cyclery was on site, offering technical support to riders who may have gotten a flat tire on the road.
The bike ride, which has been hosted by the National MS Society for more than two decades, initially began as a 150-mile, two-day ride from “city to shore,” said one participant, where riders would travel from Cherry Hill to Ocean City.
Regardless of the changing of routes, more than 400 riders participate in the largest charity cycling series in the country, “[fueling the] National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s mission to cure MS while empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives,” as stated on the Bike MS webpage.
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