Heat and rain don't stop multiple sclerosis benefit ride

Riders at this weekend's Bike MS ride said this weekend's weather was challenging but didn't dampen their enthusiasm.

Riders and volunteers told KRCG 13 Sunday morning's thunderstorms caused them to delay the start of today's stages by a couple hours, but once the thunder and lightning moved off the riders were eager to start.

Stacie Tindle, who was riding in her first Bike MS, said she was able to get her 20-mile ride in before another round of rain hit.

"As the storm was coming in, it pushed me all the way back. It was quite delightful," she said.

Tindle said the rest stops along the bike routes made Saturday's heat much more bearable. She said those stops provided plenty of cold drinks, ice and bandanas as well as shade for riders.

Mark Steffen, another first-time participant, said one of his teammates had a bicycle-mounted thermometer that registered a pavement temperature of 107 degrees Saturday. He said Sunday morning's storms pushed his start time back to just before 9 a.m. The event itinerary had called for riders to hit the course starting at 7.

Michelle Ludwig-Lovell, who has volunteered at Bike MS for the last 15 years, said this morning's thunderstorms forced volunteers to take down many of the decorations at the finish line including an inflatable arch. Nevertheless, she said the weather did not dampen participants' enthusiasm. She said about 3,000 riders showed up this year. Ludwig-Lovell, who herself has multiple sclerosis, said the riders' participation meant "the world" to her. The weather didn't dampen visitors' enthusiasm, either, as crowds cheered wildly for every rider who crossed the finish line Sunday.