Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photos from the Grand Bend to London Tour are Now Available

Congratulations once again to everyone who cycled, cheered, and volunteered at this past weekend’s RONA MS Bike Tour- Grand Bend to London. Photos from the event are now available online on Flickr. If you have photos from the event, we’d love to see them! Share your pictures our Facebook page.

Check back soon for information on the upcoming RONA MS Bike Tour- Acton to Waterloo.

Profile of a 2010 MS Champion

Carrie Dokis is the Education Director with the North Bay & District Unit of the MS Society. This past weekend, she rode in the RONA MS Bike Tour - Grand Bend to London - as an MS Champion, a cyclist who lives with MS. Carrie shares some of her thoughts on her unique experience, and why she rides in the RONA MS Bike Tours.

Tell us a bit about your experience with multiple sclerosis?

I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May 2008. After my second daughter was born, I experienced various symptoms off and on for two and a half years before my diagnosis. Thankfully, my symptoms were quite mild, and I have suffered no lasting effects from them. Being essentially symptom-free, I don’t seem to fit many people’s stereotype of someone with MS.

How did you first get involved with the RONA MS Bike Tours?

I first discovered the RONA MS Bike Tours shortly after I was diagnosed, on the MS Society of Canada’s website. I love cycling, and knew that both as a donor and a fundraiser, this would be a good fit for me. This year, I rode in my second Grand Bend to London Tour.

How did you manage your MS during training, and on Tour day?

During training, I try to schedule my rides for the cooler parts of the day, and stay well hydrated. I try as much as possible to listen to my body and give it the rest it needs. Last year, I gave myself two days completely off from training before Tour day, and I plan to do the same again this year.

What does being a participant with MS (an MS Champion) mean to you?

I ride for three reasons. I ride to give a face to this disease so that my fellow riders, as well as my family and friends, realize that a diagnosis of MS is not necessarily a sentence to a life of disability. I ride in honour of all those with MS who are struggling much more than I, and who are physically unable to join us out on the roads. Finally, I ride for my two young daughters, with the heartfelt confidence that, by the time they are adults, the money I help raise now will have funded the research that found the cure for MS.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Record Start to the 2010 Bike Tour Season

Ontario’s largest RONA MS Bike Tour celebrated its 20th Anniversary this weekend with record numbers!

The Grand Bend to London Tour kicked off the RONA MS Bike Tour season with an astonishing 1720 cyclists. Participants rode 150 km from Port Blake Conservation Area, Grand Bend, down to the University of Western Ontario for a night of festivities and well-deserved rest, before cycling back to Grand Bend the following day.

Thanks to their many months of committed fundraising efforts, creativity, and teamwork, participants raised an amazing $1.124 million!

Congratulations and thank you to all the planning committee members, volunteers, cyclists and supporters who helped make the RONA MS Bike Tour 2010- Grand Bend to London such a success.

Stay tuned for photos from the event, and see you all again next year!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Event Day Itinerary

Only 2 more days until the first RONA MS Bike Tour of the season! The Grand Bend to London Bike Tour –which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year— takes place this weekend, Saturday, July 24th to Sunday, July 25th.

Whether you’re riding, volunteering, or cheering on fellow supporters, ensure you familiarize yourself with the weekend’s itinerary so you can make all the preparations you need ahead of time. These resources include parking information, reminders, and frequently asked questions.

Grand Bend to London Itinerary

Grand Bend to London Route Map Note: This route map is tentative. Official route maps will be distributed on event day.

See you this weekend!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Read to End MS

The MS Society of Canada and Rogers publications have joined forces to bring you “Read to end MS.” Subscribe today to a Rogers publication of your choice, including Maclean’s, Flare, Chatelaine, Canadian Business, Today’s Parent and more, and 50% of the subscription price will go towards your fundraising for the RONA MS Bike Tours. You can also invite family and friends to subscribe, and 50% of their subscription price will also go towards your fundraising total.

Boost your fundraising today! This offer is available until October 1st, 2010. To learn more, visit

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cycling Tip: Proper Gear

Only 9 days left until the first RONA MS Bike Tour 2010!

Have you thought about what to wear on Tour day? To help you prepare, consider the following bike gear information from one of our MS Friendly Bike Shop sponsors, Reynold’s Cycle:

Good bike shorts can be an important part of your cycling gear. Most shorts are made of Lycra, a breathable, lightweight material that wicks sweat away from your skin and helps cool you while cutting down wind resistance. Between the close fit and the synthetic material, cycling shorts provide comfort while you ride and help prevent chafing and rashes. A chamois lining also protects you from chafing from the bike's seat. Finally, the tight fit of bike shorts allows them to effectively hug or compress the thigh muscles, cutting down on muscle fatigue.

Like bike shorts, a proper bike jersey can make a big difference on a long ride. Jerseys made from Lycra will also wick away sweat, helping your body manage moisture and keeping you comfortable. In addition, your jersey will hug your body, minimizing wind resistance and allowing you to move with less energy.

Interested in a jersey that shows your support for the MS Society? Participants who raise $1000 or more will receive a Louis Garneau “Club $1000” semi-relaxed cycling jersey as an award. You can also order a limited edition Louis Garneau MS Bike Jersey for $70 + $5 shipping (regular price $90). Contact to order.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thoughts from an MS Champion

Only 11 more days until we begin this year’s Ontario RONA MS Bike Tour season with the special 20th Anniversary Grand Bend to London Tour on July 25th !

As we lead up to the first Tour, we’d like to bring back the inspirational words of Kate Large, one of the 2009 MS Champions-- cyclists in the RONA MS Bike Tour who live with MS. We spoke to Kate last year about her participation in the RONA MS Bike Tours.

Why did you first get involved?

My husband and friends decided to do more for MS and started training for the Grand Bend to London ride. I was at a stage where I thought I couldn’t ride, so I volunteered. I was one of those people who got up at 6 am to help out at the registration tables. It was overwhelming to hear the stories of the cyclists. I met some cyclists who have MS and I started to wonder…if they can do it, why can’t I?

I started eating better, took off those pounds that had easily accumulated over the years and started training for the ride. The RONA MS Bike Tour turned me around. Now I have become an MS cyclist and I will ride as long as I am able to. I am expecting that old age will turn me into a volunteer again and not this disease.

What does it mean to you to know that so many people participate in events like the RONA MS Bike Tour to raise funds to help end MS?

It is so clear that this disease touches so many people. Friends, family and loved ones ride in the RONA MS Bike Tour to say enough is enough…this disease has to end. It is overwhelming to see the number of people who participate in the ride. This shows us that the number of people affected by MS is equally vast. The research dollars are so important to help end MS and every rider and volunteer shares this common goal. The RONA MS Bike Tour means that we will all be part of changing the future of MS.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Follow Friday

Are you one of our 1050 Twitter followers? Looking to spread the word about the RONA MS Bike Tours? This Friday, recommend us to your Twitter followers as part of Follow Friday.

Follow Friday, or #ff, as some Twitter users call it, is a Twitter tradition. Every Friday, users recommend a few other users to their followers. To recommend us, simply mention “@msbiketours” in your tweet, followed by the hashtags #followfriday or #ff.

Check out our Twitter account at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cycling tip: make sure you stay hydrated!

The RONA MS Bike Tours 2010 are fast approaching!

As you gear up, train, and prepare to cycle in the fight to end MS, keep in mind the following proper hydration tips from one of our MS Friendly Bike Shop sponsors, Reynold’s Cycle.

When riding, you shouldn’t neglect your personal hydration. Hydration is especially important if you will be riding more than a couple of hours, even at a moderate pace. Proper hydration will help offset muscle fatigue and cramps.

The most common result of hydration neglect is basic dehydration. Low-level dehydration may not have any obvious symptoms, but still makes riding less comfortable, less efficient and less enjoyable. If you tend to gulp down several glasses of water or soft drinks at the end of a ride, you’ve probably reached this point.

To be on the safe side, it is recommended that cyclists drink at least one full litre for every hour of strenuous riding. For the upcoming RONA MS Bike Tours, be sure to carry at least one water bottle on you at all times; two is even better. Also, refill at the numerous rest stops along the way, and you’ll have an enjoyable, fun ride.

Happy training!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We have a winner!

Congratulations to the winner of the RONA MS Bike Tour “Find-a-Bike” social media contest- Leanne Whetstone! On June 25th, she was the first to comment on the final clue and hidden location of the bike on the Ontario RONA MS Bike Tour Facebook page.

Congratulations, Leanne! You win a brand-new Norco VFR TWO bike!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fundraising Tip: Tune in to Social Media!

The first RONA MS Bike Tour 2010, is only 19 days away! Whether you’re participating in the Grand Bend to London, Acton to Waterloo, Ottawa to Kemptville, Toronto or Niagara Tour, there is still lots of time left to fundraise.

Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter are valuable tools to help you let your friends, family and coworkers know about the RONA MS Bike Tours. You can use online communities to spread the word about the Tours to your social network, and also as a fundraising tool! Connect with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers by keeping them updated on your training and fundraising progress. It can be as simple as mentioning your participation on a status update or a tweet, or sharing a link to your personal online fundraising page.

Visit for extra fundraising tips! Good luck!

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