Frequently Asked Questions
About The Tours
- How old do you have to be to participate/Can I bring my child?
All participants, children included, must register & raise the minimum pledge for the tour(s). Participants under the age of 18 must have their waiver signed by a parent/guardian over the age of 18.
- Children on a tag along bike (a smaller bike that attaches to an adult bike) are okay.
- Carriers ("seat" on back of bike, or trailer behind) are not permitted.
- Participants need to be aware that we do not have appropriate equipment to transport children who by law require car seats/booster seats.
- Where can I stay the night before my tour?
Prince Edward County: http://pecchamber.com
Grand Bend to London: http://grandbendtourism.com
Acton to Waterloo: http://www.haltonhillschamber.on.ca
You must advise the hotel upon booking that you are a participant of the MS Bike Tours to receive discount.
Prince Edward County:
68 Monogram Place, Trenton, ON K8V6S3
Distance to Start/Finish Location: 40 mins
Discounted Rate for MS Bike Tour Participants: $99.99 (Regular $124.99) PLUS they will donate $5 back to the MS Society
Please note: There are accommodations available in Picton, but we encourage participants to book early as the area is a tourism destination
Acton to Waterloo:
Holiday Inn Express
2750 High Point Dr, NE Quadrant, Milton, ON L9T 5G5
Distance to Start/Finish Location: 19 mins
Discounted Rate for MS Bike Tour Participants: $110 + tax
*Please specify that you are reserving your room under the company, "MS Bike Tour"*
Best Western Inn on the Hill
365 Guelph Street, Georgetown, Ontario L7G 4B6
Distance to Start/Finish Location: 19 mins
Discounted Rate for MS Bike Tour Participants: 10% off best available rates
Crystal Beach Motel
122 Ridgeway Road, Crystal Beach, Ontario L0S 1B0
Distance to Start/Finish Location: 3 mins
Discounted Rate for MS Bike Tour Participants: 10% off
1 Hospitality Drive, Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 6G1
Distance to Start/Finish Location: 18 mins
Discounted Rate for MS Bike Tour Participants: $84.99 + tax (15% - 29% off regular price, depending on type of room)
- Where can I find a route map?
Route maps will be available at the start line on the day of the tour.
Copies of the previous year’s route maps are available in the Cyclist Handbook. Routes are subject to change; however the distance and general location of the tour will be similar.
- Where can I find the address and directions to the Start/Finish location?
The address and general directions to the Start/Finish location can be found in the Cyclist Handbook. Please visit GoogleMaps.com for directions from your specific location.
- What happens to my luggage at a two-day tour?
The MS Society will transport your luggage from Day 1 Start to Day 1 Finish, and back again the following morning. You can claim your luggage upon arrival at both locations.
- I don't want to cycle; is there another way I can get involved?
Yes! We are always looking for volunteers to help out with all aspects of the MS Bike Tours.
- Is there over night parking for the 2-day tours?
Yes, you can park overnight at all of our Start Locations for the two day Tours.
- What is the 100 Club and how do I know if I am a member?
The top 100 fundraisers from 2011 in each tour (top 50 in Toronto) are given special yellow bibs for the 2012 tour. The number on the bib corresponds to their rank in the previous year’s Tour. For example the #1 top fundraiser will have a yellow bib with the #1 on it.
Different tours will have different benefits for this special group.
You should receive your bib one month before your tour in the mail.
- Do I have to wear a bike helmet?
For you safety, we strongly encourage you to wear a helmet at all times while riding. By law, any participant under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
- Will the ride take place if it rains?
The ride will take place rain or shine. If the weather turns while on route and it is not safe to continue riding in we encourage you to use your own good judgment and seek shelter immediately.
- Are dogs allowed on the ride?
No, dogs may not attend the ride.
- How long will the ride take me?
The length of time it will take you to ride depends on the route, if you plan on stopping and how long you plan on stopping for. The MS Bike Tour is not a race and you can finish at your own pace. We ask that you stay on the route at all times as there will be a Tour Leader riding at the end of the route to ensure that no one is left behind.
- What support is available on the route?
Support and Gear vehicles travel along the route to assist riders if they feel they cannot finish or they need transportation to the nest rest stop. At most rest stops along the route there is a first aid station as well as bike mechanic. Tour Leader volunteers will be cycling with you on the route and can help out when needed.
- What are Tour Leaders?
Tour Leaders are cyclists that are volunteering their time to help riders on the route. They will be wearing either a green t shirt or green jersey or orange safety vest for easy identification. These volunteers can assist with minor first aid, help you change a tube and offer encouragement along the route.
If you would like to volunteer as a Tour Leader please contact your local office.
- How experienced at cycling do I need to be?
The MS Bike Tour is for everyone from the novice to accomplished cyclists. If you are a new rider, we encourage you to train for the ride by attending one of our training rides throughout the spring and summer.
There is a lot of support along the route and volunteer Tour Leaders to encourage you along the way. Support and gear vehicles also travel along the route to transport you if you feel you cannot finish or stop and help you if you are experiencing difficulties.
- Do I have to provide my own food?
There are rest stops every 15 to 20K along the route with water, Gatorade and snacks. At approximately midway point there is a heartier stop. At two-day events, dinner and breakfast are provided. Each event has a finish line BBQ for you to enjoy at the end.
The 30K route in Toronto and 45K route in Niagara, do not have a lunch rest stop.
Please bring a water bottle(s) with you for filling up at the rest stops.
If you have dietary concerns you may want to bring your own snacks and contact your local MS Society office about dinner and breakfast options.
- What is the deadline to register for the Tours?
You can register up until the day of for any of the MS Bike Tours, and would be required to pay the registration fee and have the minimum pledge of $250 ready for submission. Please note that some accommodation options may not be available if you register later in the season.
- What is TeamMS?
A team consists of a team captain, plus at least three additional participants who want to participate in the event together. Teams are eligible for special incentives for when they recruit new members to their teams! We will provide things like a tent just for the team, your team name on your event t-shirt and a Registered Massage therapist just for your team based on the number of new riders you recruit! Contact Alicia Brown at email@example.com for details!
- What is a Team Captain?
All teams have a Team Captain who is the main contact person with team members. The Team Captain liaises with the MS Society for registration, pre-event, event day and post-event day activities.
- What do I have to do as Team Captain?
As the team leader, you will establish recruitment and fundraising goals and post them on your team fundraising page. The page is easy to create and personalize. Your fundraising page will help to promote your fundraising initiatives and be the perfect vehicle for providing regular updates with your team members.
There are resource materials available online. MS staff are also available to help.
- Why should I form a team?
Teambuilding will develop teamwork, unity and pride as you work towards a common goal... joining in the fight to end MS. Participating as a Team will create a fun, social opportunity that promotes health, fitness and social well-being. And the larger your team, the more stories you will share!
- Are there TeamMS perks?
In addition to creating a truly memorable event because you are surrounded by people you have selected to become members of your Team, the MS Society has special incentives to reward you for taking a leadership role. These include:
- Team photo on event day
- TeamMS special event day awards
- Team Captain gift
Other fun perks will be awarded if you recruit new participants to your Team. Contact Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Acton, Niagara or Toronto tours, and Amanda at email@example.com for Grand Bend or Prince Edward County.
Fundraising and prizes
- Where do the Proceeds go?
The funds you raise through the MS Bike Tours will help people with multiple sclerosis in several ways. Your pledges will support the MS Society’s national research program, which is leading us even closer to ending MS. Proceeds of the Tours will also provide services to local people living with MS and their families, helping them to deal with the challenges of this unpredictable, often disabling disease.
For more information about multiple sclerosis, click here.
For information on the latest medical research click here.
- What is included in my registration fee?
Your registration fee includes access to the rest stops along the route, support and gear vehicle support, a BBQ at the Finish Line and access to your personal online fundraising page. In the two day tours it also includes accommodations, linens, dinner and breakfast.
- Can I receive a tax receipt for my registration fee?
Registration fees are not tax receiptable.
- Is there a minimum amount I need to raise?
All participants are required to raise and submit a minimum of $250 to participate. If you would like ideas about how to raise this, please refer to your Cyclist Handbook, or contact your local office.
- What happens if I don't reach the minimum pledge?
On the day of the event if you have not reached your minimum pledge we will ask you for a credit card to cover the difference. You will have until one month after the ride to continue fundraising and then you will be notified of the amount remaining, your credit card will be charged and you will receive a tax receipt.
- I'm registered for more than 1 ride do I have to fundraise for each?
You must raise the $250 minimum for each tour you participate in.
- How do my donors get a tax receipt?
Offline donors will automatically be issued a tax receipt for donations over $20 if the MS Society is provided with their full name and mailing address. If a donor would like a tax receipt for amounts less than $20 they should indicate it on your pledge sheet when making the donation. All offline donors will receive their tax receipt by mail.
Online donors will be given the option of selecting whether they would like a tax receipt or not and the tax receipt will be emailed to them immediately.
- My donor said he/she did not receive a tax receipt.
Please have the donor contact us directly. We will need to know who they donated to, which event it was for and the amount. As soon as we verify the donation we will be able to supply them with a duplicate tax receipt.
- How do I submit the money I have raised?
Prior to the ride you can mail your donations and pledge sheets to our secure mailbox.
PO Box 37 Station F, 50 Charles Street East, Toronto Ontario, M4Y 2L4. Be sure to specify which MS Bike Tour you are donating to on the front of the envelope. In order to ensure our records are accurate please ensure to include a completed pledge sheet with the donations.
Otherwise your donations can be handed in at Check In
- What is your cancellation policy?
If you are unable to attend the Tour please let us know so that we do not incur more costs as many of our costs are determined on a per head basis.
If you have already started fundraising, you have the option of leaving the funds as is and collecting a fundraising prize if you are eligible or you can transfer those funds to one other person. If you do not indicate which you would like to do we will leave the funds where they are and issue you a fundraising prize if you are eligible.
- Does the MS Society organize rides to the Start/Finish locations?
We do not organize rides to the Start/Finish locations. However we encourage you to carpool. Join our facebook page to find others in your area who may also be looking to ride share.
- When/how do I get my prizes?
Please indicate on your pledge submission form the prize and amount you are requesting, or send an email requesting your prize. Prizes will be mailed starting in October if we have a prize selected for you.
About Multiple Sclerosis
- What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the protective myelin covering of the central nervous system, causing inflammation and often destroying the myelin in patches and at times the nerve fibres (axons) themselves. In its most common form, MS has well defined attacks followed by complete or partial recovery. The severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.
- Who gets multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis can occur at any age. It is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40, when people are finishing school and starting careers and families. It can make its first appearance in young children and in older adults. MS is more than three times as likely to occur in women than in men and is seen most commonly in people of northern European background.
- What are some common MS symptoms?
MS symptoms are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms may include: vision disturbances such as double or blurred vision; extreme fatigue; loss of balance; problems with coordination; pain; depression; stiffness of muscles; speech problems; bladder and bowel problems; short-term memory problems, and even partial or complete paralysis. Please keep in mind, not all people with MS will experience all symptoms and often the symptoms will improve during periods of remission.
- What causes MS?
We do not know as yet what causes MS. Most researchers believe that MS is an autoimmune disease. For reasons that are still unclear, the body's immune system malfunctions and starts attacking the myelin which protects the central nervous system. There is some evidence that a common virus may trigger MS, and that certain people are more susceptible to developing MS because of genetic factors. There is no evidence, however, that MS is a directly inherited disease. A number of genes are probably involved in making some people more susceptible to MS.
- How many people have MS?
An estimated 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians have MS. Prevalence rates range from 240 cases of MS per 100,000 population to 350 per 100,000 across the country. Canada is a high-risk area for the disease. Multiple Sclerosis occurs more often in countries like Canada that are further away from the equator. The MS Society estimates that approximately 1,000 new cases of MS are diagnosed each year, which means three more people are diagnosed with MS everyday in Canada.