Join Olympian Cindy Klassen for the 25th Anniversary of the MS Bike Tour

WINNIPEG, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division, together with MTS, Manitoba's leading telecommunications provider, are pleased to announce six-time Olympic medalist Cindy Klassen will be the Celebrity Rider for the 25th anniversary of the MS Biking to the Viking. This 170-kilometre recreational bike tour will take place August 23-24, 2014 starting at 8 a.m. in Stonewall, Manitoba. Cyclists will follow a route to Gimli where they will enjoy a dinner celebration before returning to Stonewall the next day.

"MTS employees and their families have been supporting Biking to the Viking since the very beginning," said MTS Chief Corporate and Strategy Officer Paul Beauregard, noting MTS Volunteers have been operating a rest stop at the event every year for the past 25 years. "We're thrilled to have our long-time friend Cindy join Team MTS "The Biking Bison" this year to make the 25th anniversary extra special."

Since 1989 the MS Bike Tour has combined fun with fundraising as participants cycle throughout Manitoba. Thousands of kilometers have been travelled on bikes of every description, with cyclists of all ages and levels of fitness uniting with a common mission to help end MS.

"Cindy is an Olympian, but you don't have to be! We are thrilled to welcome Cindy to join in our cause and hope that Manitobans of all ages and cycling experiences will be inspired to take part in the 25th anniversary MS Bike Tour," says MS Society President Donna Boyd. "We have teams made up of families, groups of friends, and co-workers of all kinds, coming together to take part in the ride. I invite all Manitobans to join in and help make this a record-breaking year."

Tour cyclists enjoy many supports making it a family-friendly event. Five rest stops along the route provide washrooms, snacks, water, and lunch. Support vehicles, on-route bike repair, and route marshals ensure the safety of the riders.  Shuttle vehicles are also available to pick up cyclists in need of support. Best of all there are energizing volunteers cheering you on along the way.

Register and raise funds at msbike.ca

This year an estimated 750 cyclists will make the Biking to the Viking journey raising over half a million dollars.  Over the past 24 years more than 15,000 cyclists have fundraised more than $6.8 million! Make the 25th year the year you join!

The MS Bike tour national sponsors: Brinks, Garneau, Pedal; provincial sponsors: SodaStream Canada, Energy 106, Quarry Physiotherapy, Olympia, Woodcock Cycle Works, and Bikes & Beyond.

About MS Bike Tour
The first MS Bike Tour, then known as MS 150K Bike Tour, took place in August 1990. The event was a resounding success with 205 cyclists raising $105,000. The riders travelled from Headingley to Portage La Prairie where participants spent the night in Portage and biked back to Headingley the next day. And the tradition of pedaling to end MS has continued and since 2002 the bike tour route has headed to Gimli with cyclists making the round trip of 170 km. The tour has become known as Biking to the Viking, named for the statue of the Viking on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

Over the past 24 years more than 15,000 cyclists have taken to their bikes for the MS Bike Tour. Some ride with friends, family, or form a team with co-workers. Some are looking for a new fitness challenge or a different way to see Manitoba's beautiful countryside. No matter why they ride, all participants in the Tours come away with the knowledge that they are making a real difference in the lives of people affected by multiple sclerosis. Collectively the Bike Tour has raised $6.8 million dollars, funds which are split evenly between services and programs for those living with MS and research into treatments and a cure for MS.

About the MS Society of Canada
The MS Society of Canada provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. With a membership of 28,000, it is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services. Since its founding in 1948, the core support of the MS Society has been from tens of thousands of dedicated individuals, companies and foundations in communities across Canada.

For more information on the MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division, please visit mssociety.ca/manitoba.

About MTS
MTS is the leading full-service communications provider for residential and business customers in Manitoba. The company's suite of products and services include the latest in wireless technology, high-speed Internet, an award-winning IPTV service, voice services, home security, and an extensive range of business solutions. A technology leader, MTS operates advanced wireless networks using the latest 4G and Wi-Fi technologies, delivering the best coverage for Manitobans. MTS also continues to expand its world-class fibre-to-the-home network, making MTS's fastest Internet plans and Ultimate TV service available to more communities across Manitoba. MTS's momentum is fuelled by the knowledge, skills and spirit of its 3,000 Manitoba-based employees. With over 100 years of operations, MTS is rooted firmly in the community and is a proud sponsor of the MTS Centre, home to the NHL's Winnipeg Jets. MTS is wholly owned by Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. which is listed on the TSX (trading symbol: MBT). For information on MTS's products and services, please visit www.mts.ca.

SOURCE MTS Allstream

For further information:

MS Society Contact:
Debra Fehr
Marketing & Communications Manager
MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division
p. 204-988-0913
e. debra.fehr@mssociety.ca 

MTS Contact
Chelsea Ross
Corporate Communications
MTS
p. 204-958-3230
media.relations@mtsallstream.com