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Bike MS Team - The Big EL at ASCEND

(UPDATED on 4/21/20 to reflect changes due to COVID-19)


The Big EL @ ASCEND raised over $92,500 for the National MS Society in 2019! Join us in 2020 and help us break $100k!


What is Bike MS?

Bike MS is a program of the National MS Society that was created to help raise funds and awareness in support of the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information between the brain and body. Millions of people are affected by MS and by the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

The money that is donated from this ride goes to making life easier for people who have MS, through support groups, scooters, service dogs, cooling vests, and other assistance. It also supports crucial research for new treatments that slow or stop the progression of the disease. One day, we hope this research will lead to a cure and a world free of MS.

Who is the The Big EL at ASCEND?

We are a team of family, friends, and friends of friends who ride to fight MS. The Big EL got its start nearly 30 years ago, when Bob (the father of ASCEND Founder, Alex) started riding in the MS 150 (then, just 150 kilometers) in support of his wife, Ellie (aka Big EL ), who has had MS for more than 40 years. In 1999, his children, Katie and Alex, rode with him and the team was officially born. Eighteen years later, Katie and Alex are in charge of the team, the team has merged with the ASCEND Cycling Club, and we ride in honor of the many people we know who have MS. We are a mix of frequent bikers and once-a-year riders, and we are always open to new members!

What's happening this year (2020)?

The Bike MS: Escape to the Lake ride was originally scheduled for June 6th and 7th, and The Big EL at ASCEND was to ride as a team from Zelienople to Lake Erie. However this ride has pivoted to virtual participation, meaning that the Bike MS folks are still asking/hoping/wishing that people will still register for the ride, fundraise, but do a ride of their own on that weekend. 

BUT! Anyone who fundraises for the Escape to the Lake can register to ride in either the State College (July) or Cook Forest (September) rides for FREE, WITHOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDRAISING. So, we can still raise money for our "home" ride and then ride together later this year. Alex is 100% planning to do the Cook Forest River Ride on Saturday, September 19 (1 day ride, 35 mile or 60 mile option), so please join him!

To riterate: We are still very much asking you to register for the Escape to the Lake ride under the The Big EL at ASCEND team umbrella, but where you choose to ride after that doesn't matter!

What are the perks of joining The Big EL at ASCEND ?

All members of The Big EL at ASCEND get free team swag (usually a jersey, team shirt, team socks, etc.) and food and drink at our team tent at the end of day 1 at Allegheny College. Once you regsiter for the "ride", we'll be in touch with you directly about this all!

How much does it cost? What else do I need to know? (2020 Info)

Registration costs will vary depending on when you actually register. 

If you end up doing the ride in State College or Cook Forest, meals during the ride are provided by the MS Society, and the ride itself is VERY well curated. Rest stops are every 10-15 miles. All turns are marked. Before you know it, you've riden a lot of miles!


Any additional questions, please email [email protected]

Looking forward to riding with you!