Cyclists pedaling to benefit MS Society

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – More than 500 cyclists took off early Saturday morning in Newport and are heading to the University of Rhode Island for the 3rd year of Bike MS: Ride the Rhode 2017.

The two-day event serves as a fundraiser for those affected by multiple sclerosis. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, more than 2.3 million people are affected by the disease.

Registration for the event began at 4 a.m. Saturday. The ride kicked off shortly later.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society defines MS as “an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves”

The Ride the Rhode ride is the second largest in New England and more than $1 billion has been raised to help those affected.

A celebration at URI will cap off the weekend.

For more information on routes and maps, click here.