CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of bicyclists are expected to participate in the sixth annual Tri-State Trek, a three-day fundraising ride starting in Newton, Massachusetts and finishing in White Plains, New York, this July 18-20. The event and its participants raise money and awareness for the fatal neuromuscular disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's disease. Looking to be 300 strong this summer, the Trek is distributing cowbells in the communities it passes through so that spectators can help to cheer on the group of riders, which includes the armature and experienced rider as well as ALS patients.
"This bike ride is about raising money and bringing attention to the work we're doing to find a cure for a horrific disease," says Sean Scott, President of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), a nonprofit biotechnology company in Cambridge, Mass. and the beneficiary of this three-day fundraiser. "The people who participate in the Trek do it to support the research we do here. They ride because they want to see changes in medical science, and the spectators who cheer them on and ring those cowbells let them know they're not alone on their bikes."
The world's largest ALS research facility, ALS TDI, employs a team of 30 of the best and brightest research scientists and technicians. They work together at the institute's state-of-the-art laboratory in Cambridge. Driven by a single, profoundly important goal -- to discover viable treatments for ALS as quickly as they possibly can -- the group is focused exclusively on curing ALS.
"We're so proud to ride for such a wonderful organization," says Mat Mendel, the event's founder, organizer and long time cyclist. "I know cowbells and bicycles won't cure this disease, but I believe the work being done at TDI will. The more people that ride and the more noise we make, the more attention we will bring to the brave patients who fight this disease. I know something will be done. We need a cure, we need More Cowbell."
"More Cowbell", the Tri-State Trek's call to arms, is an American pop culture catch phrase originally derived from a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell. The idea resonates with cyclists, as traditionally cowbells are used to cheer on riders as they race through the Pyrenees or up the Italian Alps. Interns for the Tri-State Trek started passing out cowbells at the event's finish line in White Plains, NY as part of a project they were working on to get the community more involved in the ride, and it wasn't long before cowbells echoed through the city.
About the Tri-State Trek
This year marks the sixth Tri-State Trek, which begins in Newton, Massachusetts and finishes in White Plains, New York. The event began with just 16 riders in 2002 and included 165 riders in 2007. The event is a journey that goes far beyond riding bicycles. It's about overcoming obstacles, pushing beyond your comfort zones, and riding for those who no longer can. Participants challenge themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to fund research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute. In total, the Trek has helped to raise nearly a million dollars for ALS research. For more information on riding, volunteering, or just coming out to cheer, call 617-441-7211 or visit them online at http://www.needmorecowbell.org/.
About ALS Therapy Development Institute
The ALS Therapy Development Institute (www.als.net), based in Cambridge, Mass., operates the world's largest research and development program focused exclusively on ALS. Its staff of 30 scientists and research technicians work on behalf of ALS patients to discover and advance novel therapeutics for treating and ultimately curing ALS. The non-profit biotechnology institute excels in identifying novel disease targets, discovering compounds that may act against these targets, and screening potential treatments for clinical development.
ALS Therapy Development Institute
SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Foundation