But I’ve been cycling for years, am I a Rookie Rider? Yes!
Whether you’re a veteran cyclist or you’re new to the sport, you are new to the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride and we want to ensure your first experience is the best it can be. This page, and the Rookie Rider program, is dedicated to making this happen. Join us on September 29 and 30, 2018!
The ride was awesome...I was in the back of the first wave out so no issues there. Cops directing traffic were super friendly and kept us moving the whole time...other rides I have done had little police support and intersections were all at your own risk. I did get a few compliments for doing the century with MS so that always makes a guy feel good. All in all, it was really well put together! The end point Ocean City was gorgeous and really neat to ride into. I will always remember the sheer size and friendliness of this ride and we will return for another in the future!"–Chris Atkins
I want to say as a rookie rider this was a great experience. The staff at all the rest stops were awesome. This is the first bike ride I ever completed, and I look forward to doing it again in 2017. I was also a VIP in my rookie year. In closing I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped out for this great weekend for a great cause see you in 2017."–Tom Neher, Captain of Norwood Nuts (pictured)
> Make sure you are in the know!
> Connect with fellow City to Shore cyclists and Bike MS staff
> Don't wait to begin fundraising
> Start training now and learn how to ride in a crowd
> Make your ride meaningful
Your first City to Shore experience will be one you always remember. Ensure the best possible first year experience:
> Get your mandatory (free) bike inspection August 24-September 21
This inspection will ensure that you receive free bike maintenance during ride weekend. Learn more.
> Bike rentals will be available at all start locations
> Visit the Rookie Tents
Visit the Rookie Tents at the PATCO start to ask questions, pick up your rider number if you haven’t done so already, and turn in any additional funds AND at the Ocean City Finish Line to mingle with fellow cyclists, receive FREE giveaways and enter to win exclusive rookie raffles!
> Wear Your Rookie Rider Sticker
NEW in 2018! Get your Rookie Rider sticker at a start location, the Rookie Tent, or at the Rider Expo, and wear it with pride.
> Participate in the Rookie Rest Stop Raffle
> Experience Ocean City & Finish Line
After crossing the finish line to an abundance of cheering spectators, have your commemorative photo taken, collect your t-shirt, visit the Rookie Tent to win awesome prizes, and enjoy all Ocean City has to offer.
Rookie Rider of the Year Award
Set your sights on this prestigious award! The Rookie Rider of the Year award is given to the top Rookie Rider fundraiser at the Awards Dinner in January.
Rookie Rider of the Year 2011: Joseph C. Calabro
First-year cyclist Joe Calabro of Radnor, Pa., began training for the ride by biking two to three times per week covering between 15-35 miles each time. An avid runner for the past 20 years, he also continued his weekly routine of running five miles per day, three days per week. The 60-year-old cyclist joined The Wild Hogs team this year after the encouragement of daughter Christy Calabro who has been a participant since 2009.
“My ex-wife, the mother of my three children, was diagnosed with MS in the late 1970's. I intimately understand what the disease can do to individuals and it was an increased motivation to be able to benefit my children’s' mother as well as many others who suffer from this illness,” said Calabro.
“During the fundraising process, I had many people express to me that they had someone close to them who had the disease. It's something that most people ordinarily choose not to talk about, and I was surprised at how prevalent MS actually is,” he said.
Calabro’s fundraising efforts, which he credits to a letter-writing campaign to friends, family and clients, surpassed his expectations. “My initial goal was set at $2,500 but as donations continued to come in, I raised it several times to continue to challenge myself and those who visited my website. My final total was $7,175.”
He offers this advice to anyone who’s thinking of part-taking in Bike MS: City to Shore Ride for the first time, “Two things. First, this is like two events combined into one, both requiring commitment for the overall success of the ride. There is the fundraising effort and there is the physical challenge of the ride itself. Get fully involved in both, because the feeling of accomplishment for the physical part of the event will be greater when you know that you have worked hard to get the word out to potential donors in raising funds for the cause which is the purpose for this event. Secondly, I know this sounds obvious but, make certain you have very well-padded biking shorts and a comfortable seat.”
When asked what his favorite part of the event was, he finds it difficult to single out any one part but offers, “The final stretch-run coming into Ocean City, passing throngs of cheering, sign-waving spectators on both sides of the road, was incredibly emotional and memorable.” He adds, “We met lots of friendly riders and volunteers, and, despite 7000 riders, we actually bumped into several of our personal acquaintances during the ride. It's the enthusiasm of all the participants involved that make this event so special."
Already registered for the 2012 ride, Calabro looks forward to journeying 150 miles to help create a world free of MS.