By Rebecca Weaver
Team Grace Cycling, sponsored in part by Grace Community United Methodist Church in Lithia, is preparing for this year’s Bike MS Citrus Tour on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6. Over two days, Team Grace will be riding with approximately 1,000 other cyclists and volunteers between Fantasy of Flight (Polk City) and the Omni at Champions Gate (Orlando) and then back to Fantasy of Flight. Although cyclists will enjoy riding through the citrus groves of Old Florida, along beautiful lakes, and through ancient forests, the main reason they are riding is to increase awareness and raise funds to help support cutting-edge research, programs and services for everyone impacted by Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Team Grace is a group of friends, neighbors, and families from all over the central Florida area. They are casual recreational bike riders, cycling enthusiasts, non-riding volunteers, tri-athletes, and even people with MS who use their bikes for fitness, fun, and fundraising. The total money raised for charities by Team Grace is approximately $75,000, in less than one year. The goal for the Bike MS Citrus Tour is to raise $50,000 in the fight against MS.
Team Grace’s Captain is FishHawk resident, Stephen Barone, who has been riding in Bike MS events for more than 15 years. He is proud of the over 35 riders and volunteers who will be participating in this year’s Bike MS Citrus Tour as well as other events throughout the year. “The Citrus Tour is our hallmark event. However, since we formed last winter, Team Grace riders have also participated in the Bike MS Cycle to the shore between Jacksonville and Daytona; Bike MS Breakaway to Key Largo between Miami and Key Largo; the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure and Plant City YMCA’s Dean’s Ride. We ride most weekends from FishHawk and sometimes we travel to ride at the many great cycling locations in the Tampa area. We have a great group who enjoy spending time together.”
Grace United Methodist Church is located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia. Discover grace at www.mygraceumc.com.