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Rewind to 1996: My mom was experiencing an array of scary symptoms from numbness, vertigo, and sudden loss of vision (which did thankfully quickly return). The year saw a lot of tests, appointments, and ultimately a diagnosis: she had Multiple Sclerosis.

When faced with a change of great magnitude, and the stress that came along with it, my family could have reacted in any number of ways. What my mom and dad chose to do was face it head on – that’s where cycling comes in.  

We biked a little here and there as a family prior to this moment, my dad having more miles under his belt than anyone else, but it had never been a remarkable distance or effort. That’s why when Dad said he wanted to ride 150 miles in the Bike MS event, Mom thought he had lost his mind. With a skeptical “have fun,” Dad went out and gave it a try, forming a team with five friends from work. Not only did he survive the physical challenge, he LOVED IT. He came back feeling inspired to get more involved, raise more money, and make more connections with MS research and support.   

Dad’s team doubled the following year, but he couldn’t convince my sister and me to ride until 2003. We were less optimistic about our success than he was but had the same experience: we found it to be inspiring, fun, supportive, and heck yeah, we’re doing this again! We added our friends and coworkers to the team, my brother joined in 2007, and eventually my mom did too. She never was much into biking, and had every reason not to bike given her condition, but in 2010, Mom joined the ride alongside others who ride with MS. In her words, “I ride because today, I can.”  

So, what does this ride look like, and what makes it the highlight of every summer? It takes place the first weekend in August, both Saturday and Sunday. This year’s event is in Baraboo, which is a beautiful area to cycle around. In addition to the natural beauty, here are the Top Five reasons to ride:  

  1. Community. Many riders participate because we know someone who has MS. It’s one way we can show them support and connect with others in the same boat. We also raise beaucoup bucks for this event, all supporting Wisconsinites with MS and their families.  
  1. Support. This ride is so well supported, with rest stops every ~12 miles or so. There are volunteers, meals, SAG vehicles, bike mechanics, etc.  
  1. Accessibility. With riders who have MS, this ride needs to have options. There is a 25 mile route which is great for both folks with MS as well as younger riders (age 12+) and less experienced riders.  
  1. Challenge. If you’re a more avid rider, you can ride 75 miles each day for two days. Longer routes and hills are ways in which many folks on my team find physical challenge.  
  1. Vibe. Yeah, vibe!  This event has food, drink, music, volunteers, all here for a worthy cause. It’s not a race, and everyone is welcome.  

Over the years my dad’s team grew to be one of the largest in the event, amassing over $1 million dollars raised for the MS Society. Those funds helped to put new treatments on the market, as well as support families in need of incredibly expensive but essential treatment. As rebellious daughters do, I left my dad’s team to make my own. Today we’ve settled on my team for the long term – the Wolf Pack has 13 members, including my mom, dad, husband, friends, and coworkers.  

As many as 500 cyclists are expected to gear up for an exhilarating adventure on August 3rd and 4th at Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Tour presented by the Wilkey Family Foundation. This transformative event, organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, aims to raise awareness and crucial funds to support finding a cure for the disease. 

This fully supported ride promises a spectacular route, ensuring an unforgettable journey for all participants. Get ready to join forces with companies, colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family to have a profound impact on the lives of people living with MS. 

Bike MS boasts an impressive lineup of 50 rides across the country, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Two of these rides have earned the prestigious title of best road cycling events by USA Today. Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Tour presented by the Wilkey Family Foundation is in its 41st year in Wisconsin and boasts the title of one of the longest running cycle tours in the country. 

Register today and join us! 

Special Bike Fed Member Registration Opportunity

Bike MS is extending a 25% discount with special code to active Bike Fed members! Limited number of registrations. Rates increase July 4. $300 fundraising minimum applies. To receive the discount code, active members may check an email sent on May 1st or contact the Membership Team at or 414-626-1540.