The riders set out from the starting line for the 2012 62-mile Ride to Defeat ALS.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – An estimated 500 cyclists will gather in Indian Rocks Beach Nov. 2 for the 4th Annual Ride to Defeat ALS. The ride is a one-day, fully supported cycling event that raises funds to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Once again this year, The Indian Rocks Beach Rotary, led by Bruce Sobut and Michael Schulz, will partner with The ALS Association Florida Chapter, providing event support and a Rotary ride team. For Schulz, the ride is personal – he lost his mother, Herta, to the disease last year.
“With my mom’s diagnosis, this ride became a family affair,” Schulz said, in a press release. “In past years, I’ve done the 62-mile route and my father, daughter and wife all participated as well. We ride in memory of mom.”
The IRBR will provide volunteers to man a rest stop along the bike route and helped The Florida Chapter to design a new family-friendly portion of the ride.
The NuMotion Family Fun Ride has been completely redesigned this year. Cyclists of all ages will ride a 1-mile route that starts and ends at the Holiday Inn Harbourside in Indian Rocks Beach. Wheelchair-bound patients, children and families can do multiple loops through a quiet local neighborhood and alongside the distinctive Gulf Boulevard businesses of Indian Rocks Beach. Riders are never more than 1-half mile from the Holiday Inn Harbourside and event personnel. This year’s sponsor, NuMotion, specializes in individualized health and mobility solutions.
While the Ride to Defeat ALS is not a race, participants are racing toward a world without Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Each participating cyclist raises funds that support patient care, programs and research. While the minimum fundraising amount is $250, many participants exceed this amount, raising even more funds that go directly to those affected by ALS.
The one-day ride was named the “Event of the Year” by the Florida Bicycle Association and includes three routes of varying intensity (1-mile, 25-mile, or 62-mile) for riders of all skill levels. Each route was designed for optimum safety and takes riders through scenic areas of Pinellas County, including Fort De Soto Park. The ride starts and ends at the Holiday Inn Harbourside in Indian Rocks Beach. Breakfast will be served pre-ride and this year’s after party includes entertainment, lunch and ice cold beer. To register for the Ride or to sign up to help, visit www.RidetoDefeatALS.org.
What is ALS?
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Patients are robbed of the ability to walk, eat, speak, and eventually breathe.
Upon diagnosis, patients are given just two to five years to live. ALS can strike anyone at any time and although there is no known cure, recent scientific breakthroughs provide hope for the future. Military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS. The connection is currently unknown.
The ALS Association Florida Chapter
The ALS Association Florida Chapter offers care to ALS patients living in Florida and funds research to find the cause and cure for ALS. It is part of a nationwide network of local chapters with the same vision – a world without ALS. Through care, advocacy, research, education and support, we work to empower those with ALS to live fuller lives.
Every year, The ALS Association invests millions of dollars in research conducted by the best and brightest scientists in the world. As the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS, we give help and hope to those facing a devastating disease.