Jerry Boyett

Brazoswood graduates Lupita Rodrigez, left, and Joanna Castaneda workout on March 30, 2018 at Brazosport College for the BPMS 150 ride.

The MS 150 Bike Ride has been canceled for the 2020 year.

Scheduled for the weekend of May 2, this year’s 150-mile ride to Austin has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has captured the nation.

The MS 150 brings bike enthusiasts and people just wanting to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society together for a common cause. Multiple sclerosis is a disease where there is damage to the nerves that disrupts communication between the brain and the body. Symptoms are vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination.

Companies including The Dow Chemical’s riding group of bikers will have to take an alternate route time year along with BASF riders, Team Hope, and an abundance of other southern Brazoria County riders seeking to do their part for a positive impact on the cause.

Because of the cancelation, there will be a one-day celebration for this year’s MS 150 in September. No details were immediately available about that celebration.

Jon Bennett, who for the past 30 years has ridden his bicycle from Houston to Austin.

“This year I covered my bases because I signed on for the one in Houston, but also for the one in Tennessee in October,” Bennett said. “We had been training for it, so it is disappointing but certainly understandable. A lot of people who ride have MS and their immune system isn’t always 100 percent compared to other people, so I do understand why they canceled.”

There are usually more than 12,000 riders who set off on this journey.

Bennett took his first ride just to get some exercise and raise money for the cause. Later on, a couple of his sisters were affected by MS, and Bennett has raised more than $30,000 for the cause.

“When I started raising money for the Texas MS, I just knew that for some reason we were not going to have one this year,” Bennett said. “So once that happened, I switched my fundraising for the Tennessee MS 150.”

A contractor for Dow Chemical, Bennett is working from home and still riding.

“I am still going to participate in the Texas MS event whenever they do release the details,” Bennett said. “It’s disappointing that this one is canceled but I am sure everyone understands why.”

Each rider who signed up for the 2020 MS 150 is still obligated to raise the $500 or more for this year’s ride.

Joel Luna is sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160 or at joel.luna@thefacts.com

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