MS pledge riders take in Westside
Up to $1.8 million raised in Conifer-Colorado College route July 10-11

       About 1,630 bicyclists rolled through the Westside Saturday, July 10 and 11 as pledge riders for the 19th annual Great West MS 150 Bike Tour - a fund-raiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
       The total amount raised was not final at press time, but was expected to be not far below the $1.8 million goal set for the event, according to Russell Shaw, spokesperson for the Society's Denver-based Colorado chapter.
       Riders started at Conifer High School southwest of Denver and pedaled through Deckers and Woodland Park on their way to Colorado Springs.
       In the Springs, energetic cyclists had the option of taking two optional loops - one through Garden of the Gods and another up to Bear Creek Park and the Broadmoor area.
       Riders taking the loops went 100 miles; those not taking the loops “only” went 75.
       After spending the night at Colorado College, the riders returned home by the same route the next morning. The “MS 150” name stems from the total number of miles (150) in the two days.
       Other than two minor-injury accidents and a no-injury run-in with a mother bear and cubs at a rest stop near Woodland Park, the event was problem-free, Shaw said.
       He credited about 600 non-riding volunteers for helping make the event a success. Many of the volunteers, including medical technicians and people serving out food and drink, were at various rest stops along the route. The local rest area was at Beckers Lane and El Paso Boulevard in Manitou Springs' Fields Park.
       The Society funds MS research, offers services for people with MS and provides professional educational programs. The Colorado chapter was formed in 1959 and operates four offices across the state, providing services to 6,900 Coloradans with MS, according to a press release.
       MS is a disease that strikes the central nervous system.

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