GODFREY – The Bike MS: Express Scripts Gateway Getaway Ride is shifting gears for next year, moving its event — and thousands of cyclists — from Columbia, Mo., to Lewis and Clark Community College.
This month, on Sept. 6 and 7, more than 2,500 cyclists participated in Bike MS in Columbia for the last time.
“We are so grateful to the Mid Missouri area, and proud of the nearly 50,000 riders who have supported the fight against multiple sclerosis by riding in Bike MS over the last 30 years,” said Chris Houston, senior vice president of operations for Express Scripts and Bike MS Gateway Getaway event chair. “We’re excited to bring the Gateway Getaway to the St. Louis area, where we’ll build on our past success to create new traditions.”
The two-day ride, which will take place Sept. 12-13, 2015, will start and finish both days at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. The historic campus will also provide a home to the charity event’s festival area and camping accommodations.
“We are thrilled to partner with Lewis and Clark Community College and the Metro East community.” Houston said. “The route will take cyclists along the river bluffs, over the Mississippi River into Missouri, and wind back into Illinois. Whether you’ve biked this area once in your life, or once every weekend, you’re going to find something new along your ride while supporting a great cause.”
Lewis and Clark Community College President Dale Chapman said the college is looking forward to hosting what he calls a well-respected and established event.
“It is part of our mission as a community college to attract events to the region that will create a positive economic impact on the region,” Chapman said. “We are so grateful to Monica Bristow of the River Bend Growth Association for connecting this event to our campus. It will be one of the largest events we’ve ever hosted, and we are looking forward to sharing our campus with all of the new guests from the St. Louis area and from around the country who will experience the Lewis and Clark Godfrey Campus for the first time.”
River Bend Growth Association President Monica Bristow said she was pleased to connect the event with the college in the hopes of positively impacting the River Bend Area.
“I was approached by Randy Adler, a key coordinator for Bike MS who is originally from Godfrey. He was very familiar with the area and wanted to bring the event to his hometown. I immediately thought of the Lewis and Clark campus as a location that would be sized right for the event, and will offer Bike MS access to numerous routes to give these riders a true view of our amazing communities in the River Bend Area,” Bristow said.
The new location will not change the purpose of the impactful ride, but will bring the event closer to home for many participants who live in the St. Louis metro area. “People ride in Bike MS because they have a personal connection and commitment to fighting MS, and we’re giving them the opportunity to express their support as we always have. While the route will be different, the goal is the same: a world free of multiple sclerosis,” Houston said.
“This is an amazing cause and it so well supported, as noted by the $2.3 million it will raise with this year’s ride,” Chapman said. “I am just so pleased that the River Bend Area is getting the chance to showcase itself to these riders from all over the country. I know this region will feel the positive impacts of this event, but most importantly, it’s great to know that this region stands to impact the MS Society in its fight for a world free of MS.”
For more information about Bike MS, visit www.gatewayMSbikeride.org or call 1-800-344-4867.