CARLSBAD — More than 2,500 cyclists rode from Irvine to Mission Bay on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 to support finding a cure for multiple sclerosis.
There was also a shorter 30-mile course that looped from Carlsbad to Solana Beach and back for local bike riders to show their support on Oct. 16.
“Each rider is committed to raise at least $400 to ride,” Rick Griffin, spokesman for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said. “We expect to raise $2.3 million over the weekend.”
Riders stopped in at the bike village set up at the west end of the Westfield Shopping Center to enjoy food, music and camaraderie on Oct. 16.
Those on the two-day ride had shuttle service to overnight accommodations before they finished the ride to San Diego.
Lisa Jacobs of Irvine was at the Carlsbad finish line to cheer on her husband.
“He is into helping others with the debilitating disease,” Jacobs said. “He’s riding for those who can’t.”
Chad Holland of Rancho Cucamonga was one of the first riders to complete the 30-mile course.
“My wife has MS,” Holland said. “She’s riding right now. She lives with it, but gets exhausted. Her body aches. She has a lack of energy.”
Kristin Holland of Rancho Cucamonga crossed the Carlsbad finish line 20 minutes after her husband.
She was diagnosed with MS seven years ago.
“To see so many people here is encouraging,” Kristin Holland said. “I got donations from family, so that’s really encouraging.”
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a neurological disease that is usually diagnosed in adults between the ages of 20 and 50.
Currently there is no known cause, cure or prevention. Symptoms range from numbness in the limbs and extreme fatigue to loss of balance and muscle coordination or paralysis.
“I know a lot of people with MS,” Susan Johnson, event volunteer, said. “I work for a company that makes MS medication. After I took the job I started getting more involved.”
Johnson gave kudos to the thousands of cyclists who raised millions for research. “They’re doing a great job helping us raise money for research and development,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a great thing.”