Hundreds of cyclists will be participating in the Memory Ride for Alzheimer's Research on Saturday, July 28, with each rider raising money to fight the disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.
Nearly every cyclist participating in the 11th annual Memory Ride has a personal story to tell -- about a grandparent, a parent or close family friend who has struggled with the disease.
The Alzheimer's Association is committed to "a world without Alzheimer's," according to Jim Wessler, President/CEO of the Massachusetts Chapter of the national organization.
Memory Ride has grown from a small, family-inspired event to a cycling challenge attracting riders from throughout New England, and beyond. Starting and finishing in Devens, formerly Fort Devens, the ride has 100, 50 and 25- mile route options. The 100-mile ride, or century, loops out towards the Quabbin Reservoir and through the low rolling hills and country vistas of the Commonwealth's heartland.
The route for Memory Ride runs through Devens, Shirley, Lancaster, Sterling, Rutland, Hardwick, Petersham, Templeton, Fitchburg and Lunenburg.
All proceeds from Memory Ride Grant go to Alzheimer's research. In recent months, new information about Alzheimer's shows that every 72 seconds someone is diagnosed with the disease. Although there are several promising drugs in clinical trials, Alzheimer's has not been a priority for federal funding. In fact, in recent years, the Alzheimer's Association has had to actively fight proposed cuts to federal funding of Alzheimer's research.
According to Wessler, approximately 120,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer's. It is a disease that has significant impact on families- emotionally, physically and financially.
Ride organizers say there is still time to register for Memory Ride, as a rider, volunteer or crew member.