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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Cyclists to cover three local counties on ride for MS

  • Seeing a bicycle on the road is not unusual in the Pratt area during the summer but drivers might see up to 200 bicycle riders this weekend during Bike MS 2012.
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  • Seeing a bicycle on the road is not unusual in the Pratt area during the summer but drivers might see up to 200 bicycle riders this weekend during Bike MS 2012.
    Bicycle riders from around Kansas will gather in Pratt Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9 to take part in the Wichita Autumn Trails Classic Ride for multiple sclerosis being held in the Pratt area this year.
    "We're excited. This is the first year Bike MS is staging out of Pratt," said Jason Dilts, Bike MS development manager.
    Each rider is a fundraiser for the event. The minimum is $200 but the average fundraiser brings in $700. The top fundraiser collected $15,000. This is 26 years for Bike MS and the first time Pratt has been the host community.
    The goal of Bike MS is to raise money for MS research, services, education, support and ultimately to make the world MS free. While MS robs its victims of movement, Bike MS was created to make a difference in their lives, Dilts said.
    "People live to be active and we want to raise money to make that happen," Dilts said.
    With riders and volunteers, over 300 will take part in the event this Saturday and Sunday.
    Most of the people who participate have a family member or friend that has MS.
    The event couldn't happen without lots of local assistance. Gaylen and Cheryl Medders helped put the route together. Riders Dan McAnarney and Brian McGowen were also a big help along with Roger Bailey and HAM radio operators.
    Everyone in the Pratt area has been extremely helpful with finding facilities, plotting routes and volunteering at all levels.
    "The in depth involvement has been above and beyond in Pratt," Dilts said.
    Pratt will serve as starting and ending point for the ride on both Saturday and Sunday.
    The Saturday ride is divided into four routes ranging from 27.4 miles to 100 miles round trip, Dilts said.
    The Saturday ride begins early with check-in from 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at Liberty Middle School that includes registration, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, team pictures, opening announcements, National Anthem and the ride start at 7:30 a.m.
    Riders then head south on U.S. 281 on one of four routes that take the riders through southern Pratt and Northern Barber Counties through several towns including Coats, Sun City, close to Medicine Lodge, Isabel, Sawyer and then back to Pratt.
    The course has a variety of loop options so riders can choose to ride 27.4 miles, 56.8 miles, 86.5 miles or 100 miles.
    Rest stops area provide about every 10 miles on the course with snacks and restroom facilities along with lunch and supper provided.
    Page 2 of 2 - Riders on the short route will have lunch at LMS while the longer routes will have supper at the Pratt Area 4-H Center at 6 p.m. followed by door prizes, awards, guest speakers Top Fundraiser Glen Patton and MS Activist Vernon Hurd.
    The Sunday ride starts with breakfast at the Municipal Building and check-in from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. followed at LMS with announcements and start at 8 a.m. on the north route.
    The route goes north out of Pratt on U.S. 281 the jogs east on NE 70th Street before going north again and into southern Stafford County.
    Again the route is divided in several routes including 37.0 miles, 59.6 miles and 82.2 miles.
    The ride concludes a finish at LMS featuring cheers at the finish line, medals, showers at the high school, food, therapeutic massages and a time to relax and visit with friends before leaving at 3:30 p.m.
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