Cycling News

The beautiful camaraderie of MS Bike

The camaraderie of MS Bike

To say Brad Sutton is an MS Bike veteran would be an understatement. The 49-year-old has ridden every version of the ride since 2001. That was the year he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and what inspired him to do the ride. “I always say that by doing it, it helps those with MS,” he said. “Never give up, just keep going.”

He’s always loved cycling, and has ridden in other rides for health charities, but of course MS Bike is a personal connection. Cycling is just one of his athletic loves–he also likes rock climbing and downhill skiing.

Back in 2001, Sutton visited his family doctor due to numbness in his left knee. He didn’t think much of it, but eventually after seeing a neurologist and undergoing tests, he was diagnosed with MS.

During the pandemic years, Sutton would still partake in the event, albeit the virtual versions. In 2023 he got back into the real thing, riding MS BIke – Grand Bend to London. Before that he had ridden MS Bike – Niagara and MS Bike – Toronto.

He was super excited to get back into it–although the first day was canceled due to brutal rain. “It was crazy, there were a few inches of water on the start line, so it wasn’t rideable,” he explains. “Day 2 was much better, the weather was nicer.”

For his training, he alternates between riding outside, and in spin classes. He also has done some road racing, including the famous Paris-Ancaster gravel event, which has been a stalwart of the Ontario scene for 30 years.

One of the biggest things he loves about the rides–apart from helping to raise thousands for MS research, is the people.

“The camaraderie is really special,” Sutton says. “When I was doing the Niagara event there was a stretch of rail trail, and it was just so great to ride it with friends.”

He camped behind a cycling group called Butt Ugly, and ended up hanging out with them. “A great group of people,” he explains. “It was a great chat as we all talked about how we deal with MS, as well as the ride itself.”

MS Bike events have a team room where members gather and make it more than just a ride – because MS Bike is more than a ride. It’s an event to raise awareness and funds for a neurological disease that more than 90,000 Canadians live with. On average, someone is diagnosed with MS in Canada once every two hours.

For Sutton, crossing the finish line is only part of the joy of MS Bike. The rest…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…