Tomorrow, hundreds of bicycle riders will travel to the Island for a spring tradition called Ride the Vineyard, a fund-raising bicycle ride that provides help for 19,000 people who have multiple sclerosis in four New England states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont).

Organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter in collaboration with the Martha’s Vineyard Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the 21st annual ride starts and finishes at the Martha’s Vineyard High School. The ride offers routes of 100, 50, and 25 kilometers, for casual riders as well as enthusiasts.

A cookout and lively music welcome riders to the finish.

Participants agree to raise a minimum of $250 each ($150 for riders 17 and younger) to fund MS education, support, advocacy and research plus Boys’ and Girls’ Club programs. In 2009, 650 riders raised $450,000.

Late registrations are accepted in-person tonight at the Mediterranean restaurant on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs, and Saturday morning at the Martha’s Vineyard High School.

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between brain and body and can stop people from moving forward in their lives. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but teenagers and even young children can have the disease. MS affects women more often than men, and there are 400,000 people with MS in the U.S.

Ride the Vineyard is the first of seven Bike MS rides. Find registration and ride information online at, 1-800-344-4867, or e-mail