Pedaling from the farmland to the waterfront

MS: Bike to the Bay attracts more than 2,000
Cyclists pause for a break at a rest stop along the Bike to the Bay route near Milton. More than 2,000 cyclists took part in the 30th annual event. BY RON MACARTHUR
September 30, 2013

The state's largest cycling fundraising event keeps getting bigger. Organizers say about $1 million will be raised by more than 2,000 cyclists during the 30th annual Bike MS: Bike to the Bay.

The money will be used for programs and services for Delawareans living with multiple sclerosis, as well as research in the cause of the disease and development of new treatments.

This year, Bike to the Bay, presented by NRG Energy Indian River, covered mostly backroads Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 in Kent and Sussex counties offering cyclists six routes ranging from 17 miles to 175 miles. Most chose the traditional 75-mile route from Dover to Delaware Seashore State Park just outside Dewey Beach, and many repeated the route the following day.

And once again, the favorite rest stop was in the Cape Region. Uncle Ted's Place near Milton – named after the late Ted Stuchlik – has been a stop for every event. And like she has done every year, Aunt Polly Stuchlik talked with cyclists near her front door. At the stop, volunteers from the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs served scrapple sandwiches and baked goods to appreciative cyclists.

Although the temperature was near ideal for a long bike ride, the wind was not. Cyclists pedaled into a tough southerly wind heading toward the beach. Overnight the wind switched and riders had to pedal into a stiff northerly wind heading back upstate.

"We are in this business to put ourselves out of business, and our cyclists help to bring us closer to that goal each year," said Kate Cowperthwait, president of the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.