The MS City to Shore ride attracts thousands of bikers and raises millions of dollars in the fight against multiple sclerosis. By Maddy VitaleIn just two months, more than 6,000 cyclists riding for Bike MS: City to Shore Ride will roll into Ocean City, amid an exuberant crowd of supporters.“It is the second largest MS cycling event. It is a very big ride for the organization itself, and a key event for our fundraising,” said National Multiple Sclerosis Society Media Relations Manager Michelle Welk. “The funding goes toward research and services.” The ride, which benefits the Greater Delaware Valley MS Society, goes from Cherry Hill to Ocean City Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. Cyclists will enter Ocean City via the Route 52 Causeway, the main gateway into town. There are multiple routes and cyclists can choose a 25 mile ride up to a 180 mile excursion. The cyclists will travel through flat terrain and the back roads of South Jersey, to the blueberry fields of Hammonton.Last year’s ride raised $5 million to fund critical services and groundbreaking research for some of the 2.3 million people diagnosed with MS nationwide, Welk said.“It is an incredible event,” Welk said. “It is always well attended. The more we spread awareness about it, the better.” Jeff and Pam Craighead address City Council about this year’s Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.Jeff and Pam Craighead are involved with the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.Pam Craighead, who was diagnosed with MS about 26 years ago, commented after the Council meeting that she is fortunate to be on a medication that slows the progression of the disease. Her great aunt was diagnosed with MS in the 1950s, long before there were medical advances and medications to help ease the symptoms of the disease.She said thanks to the medications, “I now have hope.” The Craigheads presented a plaque to show their appreciation to the Ocean City Council at a regular meeting July 12. The Council, the city and the police department have been very supportive of the event, they said.“The police force was phenomenal,” Jeff Craighead said of police handling traffic and ensuring riders were safe during last year’s City to Shore ride.Sgt. Brian Hopely, of the police department’s Traffic Safety Unit, assigns officers to the ride each year. Volunteers from the city’s Community Emergency Response Team also assists with crowd control. Pam Craighead with City Council holding a plaque she and her husband Jeff Craighead presented to Council to show their appreciation for the city’s support of the Bike MS ride.The goal of this year’s ride is the same as every year before it: to raise as much money as possible for programs to help people with MS and to one day find a cure, Welk said.She said the ride grows every year. Cyclists participate in the ride solo or with teams. What began in 1980 with just 200 cyclists riding for MS raising $33,000, has grown into more than 80 events nationwide, raising millions of dollars for MS research and medications, according to the National MS Society. In addition, the funds go toward community assistance programs, Welk said.“The money raised by the City to Shore ride helps with medical breakthroughs, but we also want to help the 2.3 million people worldwide who have MS,” Welk said. “We need to help them with their day-to-day needs.” For more information visit www.nationalmssociety.org.