Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fundraising Tip - Start Your Own Team

If you’re a seasoned MS Bike participant, or even a new one, why not try starting your own team? It’s easy to get started. Just gather four or more friends, family members or co-workers and start fundraising. Working with a team means you’ll have more support and encouragement. Click here to register your team today!

Here are a few tips for a creating a successful team:

Build a network. Ask your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers to join the team
Come up with a team name. Wear team hats or shirts with the team name on them for your fundraising events.
Keep your team informed. Pass on newsletters and emails to keep your members motivated and inspire them to recruit others.
Create a fun atmosphere for your team before and after the event! Encourage everyone to come up with fundraising ideas and work together to make them a reality.
Hold fundraisers as a team. It’s a lot easier to organize a fundraising event or activity when you have help! Cooperate with your fellow team members to think up fundraisers you can all contribute to.

Not yet registered? Click here to register for your local MS Bike.

Let us know on the MS Bike Facebook page or the MS Bike twitter page if you try this tip!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet MS Bike Participant Anita Trusler

 Anita Trusler’s passion for cycling and a desire to help her community led her to form a team and join the MS Bike. “Many of my team mates have a connection to MS,” says Anita. “The MS Bike seemed like a natural fit.” She joined the MS Bike – Grand Bend to London tour three years ago with her team, the Sarnia GoodLife Cycle-delics.

As a spin class instructor at GoodLife, Anita recruited friends, family and GoodLife members to be part of her team. The Cycle-delics started out with 21 cyclists and raised close to $17,000 in their first year.  Since then, the team has grown to include close to 60 members; raising over $69,000 to date for people touched by MS. “Both years, our team had the top rookie fundraiser of the Grand Bend to London tour - David Palmer in 2011 and  Jeff Burchill in 2012,” says Anita. “I’m very proud of our team.”

This February, Anita was named winner of the Share the Love contest in recognition for her outstanding work as a Team Captain. “It’s incredible to read so many wonderful nominations from my teammates,” says Anita. “Preparing for the MS Bike is a lot of work, but receiving this honour makes it all worthwhile.”

As Team Captain, Anita helps her team prepare for the MS Bike by hosting weekly spin classes.  She also hosts outdoor training rides and get-togethers at local pubs to ensure that her team is geared up and ready to go for event day. “Being a Team Captain is incredible. My team mates look to me to organize everything, and it’s great to have that responsibility,” she says.

With MS Bike right around the corner, Anita hopes that her team will continue to grow this year.  “Rumour has it that we might be close to a hundred team members this year,” says Anita.  “The motivation to end MS has grown even more.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Registration for MS Summer Camp is now open!

 Registration for this year’s MS Summer Camp is now open! This program offers children and youth living with MS a chance to take part in a camp that not only boasts fun and adventure, but also provide respite from the stresses associated with MS while allowing youth to share similar experiences and just be kids! This year’s Camp is being held from August 17-24. Campers will be treated to a unique camp experience in the beautiful Rocky Mountains at Easter Seals Camp Horizon near Calgary, Alberta. Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, the Slaight Family Foundation and Fondation Bergeron-Jetté, the Camp is FREE! For more information, please visit the MS Society website.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Visit MS Bike at the Health and Fitness Expo in Hamilton!

 Come by Booth #5 and visit MS Bike at the Health and Fitness Expo, taking place at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. While you’re browsing through sporting goods, stop by the MS Bike booth to learn more about the largest cycling series in North America! You can find out about the different MS Bike tours in Ontario, sign up for our eNewsletter and, if you register for a tour at the show, have a chance to WIN a NORCO Bike! See you there!

Copps Coliseum
101 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON L8R 3L4

Friday, March 23 – 1pm to 7pm
Saturday, March 24 – 10am to 5pm

Admission is FREE!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fundraising Tip – Engage local businesses!

Is there a café, bakery, grocer or other local business that you visit frequently? Why not ask them to get involved in your fundraising? Here are a few ways local businesses can help you raise money!

•    Request prize donations. Having a trivia night, sports tournament or photo contest to raise money? Ask a local business to donate a product or service you can use as a prize in exchange for handing out their business cards or mentioning their name at your event. This helps raise their profile in the community while giving your contest a bit of extra flare!

•    Hold a silent auction. If you can get enough in-kind donations from local businesses, consider holding a silent auction. Set up a table at your workplace, school, place of worship or community centre where people can write down bids for the various products and services donated by local businesses – all the proceeds with go to your MS Bike fundraising.

•    Set up a donation box. Ask if you can set up a donation box on the front counter at a local business. This is an easy way to reach a wide audience and collect a lot of extra money. Make sure it includes a sign that states the money is going towards MS Bike and a short description of what the event is about. Ask the store owner or cashier to mention it to customers.

•    Approach businesses that carry the type of supplies you need for events. Holding a bake sale? Perhaps the local bakery would be interested in donating something. Throwing a karaoke party? The karaoke machine rental business might give you a discount if you tell them it’s for a charity fundraiser! Let the business owners know that you’ll acknowledge their generosity at your event.

•    Ask for pledges. If you’re a regular customer at a local store or business, don’t be afraid to ask the store owner or employees for donations!

Do you have any tips or success stories about fundraising with the help of local businesses? Share them on our Facebook and twitter pages!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maintenance Tip – Saddle and Seat Post Maintenance

At first glance, the saddle appears to be one of the most low-maintenance parts of a bike. After all, it’s just a seat with no moving parts. However, problems can occur and some of them can have serious safety ramifications. Here are a few ways to keep your saddle and seat post in good shape.

•    Make sure you haven’t exceeded the seat post limit-line. The seat post is the pole beneath the saddle that attaches to the frame. Seat posts are made to be adjustable to accommodate riders of varying heights and builds. The limit-line is the maximum point the seat post can be raised up to safely. It should be clearly marked on the side of the seat post.

•    Make sure your seat post is not over-extended. You should not need to extend your seat post past its limit-line to ride comfortably. If you do, you may need a longer seat post or a bigger bike. As a general rule, at least two inches of your seat post should be inside your frame.

•    Check your saddle regularly to ensure it’s properly positioned and secured. While holding your bike steady, grasp your saddle firmly and attempt to move it out of position. Some side-to-side movement may occur, but if your saddle feels too loose or your seat post shifts up and down it should be adjusted. Most saddles are held on by a few nuts and bolts that can be easily tightened when necessary.

•    Regularly remove and grease your seat post. In order to prevent your seat post rusting and seizing into your frame, it’s necessary to regularly remove it and coating it in a thin layer of grease before re-installing it.

•    Clean your saddle. To keep your saddle in good condition, give in an occasional wash and coat it in a UV protective material. Most seats can be washed with soap and water but some will require specific cleaners depending on their material.

Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to take on MS Bike in comfort and safety! If you have saddle maintenance tips you’d like to share, head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day and it seems like a great time to thank the many women who have played a crucial role in MS Bike and all of the MS Society of Canada’s work.

Multiple sclerosis affects three times as many women as men, but Canadian women have risen to the challenge. Every year, countless Canadian women volunteer and fundraise for MS Bike or the Mandarin MS Walk. The money they have raised has made it possible for the MS Society of Canada to fund research initiatives and support programs that have transformed the lives of Canadians living with MS.

Whether as volunteers or fundraisers, Canadian women have demonstrated their determination and commitment to ending MS. On behalf of everybody at MS Bike we’d like to express our gratitude and wish everyone a happy International Women’s Day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bike Maintenance Tip – Tools every cyclist should have

For any sort of repair or maintenance work, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools! Here’s a list of basic tools that every cyclist should consider having.

•    Hex keys, also called Allen wrenches. A set ranging from 2mm to 8mm in size should be sufficient for most bike repair work.

•    Chain tool. Used to detach and reconnect the links in a bike chain.

•    Screwdrivers. Both a Phillips and a Flat Head are necessary for a number of bicycle repair jobs.

•    A set of wrenches. 8, 9, 10, and 15mm wrenches are the sizes most commonly used for bike repair.

•    Tire levels, also called tire irons. These are used to pry back the tire and gain access to the inner tube.

•    Bicycle pump. A bicycle pump is used to inflate the bicycle’s tires. A pump is essential for regular maintenance or in the event of a puncture.

•    Puncture repair kit. This should include patches, rubber glue or vulcanizing solution, a pen or wax crayon, fine sand paper and tire levers.

Cyclists who frequently go on long trips might also want to carry a bike multi-tool and a frame-mounted pump for emergency repairs. With these tools on hand, you’ll be able to keep your bicycle in tip-top shape for MS Bike!

Are there any other tools you think we should have included on our list? Share your ideas on our Facebook and twitter accounts.

This bike maintenance tip was based on information from Wikibooks.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fundraising tip: hold a trivia night with your friends!

Holding a trivia night is a great way to turn donating into a social occasion! Holding a trivia night is a great way to turn donating into a social occasion! Follow our simple steps and you can have fun with your friends and raise money for MS Bike!

1.    Decide what kind of trivia night you want to have. Do you want to use a classic game, like Trivial Pursuit or Scene It, or do you want to make your own questions that appeal to you and your friends’ interests? You could make your trivia night about anything, from celebrity gossip to superheroes to local history!

2.    Let your friends know about the event. Create an event page on Facebook, Tweet about your event and send out invitations. Let them know that they can attend in exchange for a donation to your MS Walk fundraising.

3.    Prepare your game. If you’re writing your own questions, print them out on cards and create scoring sheets. Ask around at local businesses to see if they’d be willing to donate a prize.

4.    Have fun! Enjoy your role as trivia master and take the opportunity to tell your guests a bit about MS Bike.

Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for more fundraising tips. If you have any ideas for trivia night themes or fundraising strategies, let us know!
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