Volunteers gear up for the 27th Bike MS ride

    Volunteers at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society started setting up on Friday for the 27th Bike MS: Ride the Rim ride on Saturday.The ride starts at First United Bank Center in Canyon. The route circles Palo Duro Canyon.

    The bike ride is a two say event. Cyclists can ride up to 104 miles the first day, then up to 50 miles the second day.

    Volunteers spent Friday packing trucks with food, sport drinks, water, and rest stop posts.

    The National MS Society's coordinator for this event , April Brownlee, said they've taken extra steps to ensure cyclists are both healthy and safe.

    "These rest stops do have sports drinks and water, and a nurse or two," Brownlee said.

    One rider will have to face his own battle.

    Steve Atchley, a 38-year-old Amarillo resident, lost the bottom half of his right leg 17 years ago.

    "I had a motorcycle accident, hit my right leg. It was beyond saving," Atchley said.

    But he said his reason for riding is for a cause greater than himself.

    "This year, I decided to ride because a good friend of mine has MS I found out"

    He says it will not be easy because he said he doesn't have the flexibility a foot would have to push down and pull up a bike pedal.

    This will also be Atchley's first time biking a route this long.

    "Longest ride I had done up to this was a 50 mile race," Atchley said.

    Atchley said he's also doing this to stop MS in its track, and Brownlee said all the money will go toward MS patient care.

    "We want to make sure that everyone in every corner of the panhandle has access to really great care and to doctors," Brownlee said.

    The Bike MS: Ride the Rim is on Saturday, June 21. Any cyclists still wanting to register can do so at the starting line at 5 A.M. the day of the race.

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