West Texas residents will pedal toward a world free of multiple sclerosis during the 23rd Annual Bike MS: Cactus & Crude Ride 2011, presented by Apache Corporation, Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17. With a goal to raise $160,000 to fund MS research and programs and services for more than 56,000 Texans served by the National MS Society, the annual two-day fundraising ride is fully-supported and features a scenic route from Midland to historic Post.

“The ride instills a sense of hope to all those who participate: the hope that one day, no one’s mother, brother, sister, child or friend will be affected by multiple sclerosis,” said Tony Ralf, Regional VP, Development Lone Star/Rio Grande for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “Together, we strive for a world free of MS, and we encourage everyone to make a commitment to get involved in the ride, not only as a personal challenge, but also because it will positively impact to the thousands living with MS each day.”

After day one of the ride participants will stay overnight at the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the deaf, which is designed for both self-contained and inclusive instruction to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students with a focus in higher education and career training. On day two cyclists will pedal their way to the finish line in historic Post. Through the community’s dedication to its rich history and commitment to the future, Post was awarded a “Texas Main Street City” designation for its economic development and renovation efforts.

Registration for Bike MS: Cactus & Crude Ride 2011 is $30, and there is currently a promotional discount using the code: summer. Registered cyclists are required to commit to a minimum fundraising pledge of $250. Visit bikeMStexas.org to register to ride, form a team, volunteer or make a donation. Individuals interested in joining or creating a team can sign up online with co-workers, friends, family or neighbors. Bike MS: Cactus & Crude is geared to various cycling levels – novice to more experienced.

Bike MS: Cactus & Crude is one of five outstanding fundraising rides hosted by the National MS Society in Texas. Other rides include Bike MS: BP Wild West Ride in the Texas Panhandle in July, Bike MS: Valero Alamo Ride to the River in San Antonio in October, BP MS 150 from Houston to Austin in April, and Bike MS: SAM’S CLUB Frisco to Fort Worth in May. These rides are regarded by cyclists as the premier rides in the state, with experienced management, well-coordinated routes, and special attention to rider safety and comfort.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.1 million worldwide.


About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2009 alone, through its national office and 50-state network, the Society devoted over $132 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested nearly $36 million to support 375 research projects around the world. The National MS Society serves more than 56,000 Texans affected by MS with offices in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, Midland and San Antonio. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at jointhemovementLoneStar.org.


Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-344-4867.