Cycling shorts, water bottles, road maps, and over 1,500 bicycles. It all means that Team Cross Gates from Cross Gates Athletic Club, located in Slidell, La., once again participated in the annual MS Tour for Cure.

The Tour is a 150-mile bike ride presented every October by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is held in nearly 120 cities nationwide. It offers participants the opportunity to enjoy healthy exercise, team camaraderie, fun and entertainment, all the while raising money to support research and local programs for people with MS. The MS 150 Bike Tour for the Cure not only raises money for MS research and local programs, but also increases awareness of MS symptoms and the important new treatments now available. The ride held in Louisiana is one of the largest of the 120 rides held across the nation, and consists of a two-day, two-state trek in which over 1,500 cyclists travel from Hammond, La., to McComb, Miss., and back again. The goal of the event is that each participant raises money to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Three years ago, Cross Gates Athletic Club's owner, Larry Welch, and Club Manager, Dion Grossnickle, were out riding their bikes one Saturday morning and decided to put together a team of bike riders from the club and raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. That first year the team consisted of 12 members and employees, but by 2001, Cross Athletic Club had a goal of putting together a team of 25 riders and raising $8,000.

In April 2001, Grossnickle started his quest in rounding up as many members and employees to become part of the 150-mile bike ride. In early September the team began to take shape and the team members started their weekly training rides in order to be ready for event held on October 6th and 7th. By event day, the team featured 35 riders and had exceeded their $8,000 goal by $2,000.

Members and employees are already talking about making the 2002 MS Tour For Cure ride even bigger and better for Team Cross Gates. The club's goal of 50 participants and $15,000 will be a challenge, but Grossnickle says he is confident they can reach them.

But the biggest challenge is yet to be reached — the challenge of finding a cure for MS. To find out on how other health clubs can get involved with helping The National MS Society, please visit www.nationalmssociety.org.

For Information About Local MS 150 Bike Tours

Contact your local chapter.

  • (800) FIGHT-MS

  • www.nationalmssociety.org/mycommunity

  • To receive a copy of our 2001 MS 150 Bike Tour Catalog, including brief descriptions of over 100 two-day and one-day bike rides, contact Rachele Salter via e-mail: rachele.salter@nmss.org.

  • REACHING OUT

    Has your club done something in your community that you're proud of? Have you gone beyond the call of duty to help a member overcome numerous obstacles? If so, we want to know about it. Write to: Club Industry, Community Builders, One Plymouth Meeting, Suite 501, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. E-mail: lshelley@primediabusiness.com. Fax: (610) 238-0992.