Bike the US for MS riders spend night in Orion

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Rich and Debbie Straub, in back, say goodbye to some of the 13 Bike the US for MS riders preparing to leave their home in Orion following breakfast on Saturday, June 23.

This year, the Bike the US for MS riders tasted Orion hospitality.

Next summer, they’ll get a full meal.

Raising awareness of multiple sclerosis — and funds to battle the disease and its effects — the riders left Bar Harbor, Maine, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, and reached Orion on Friday evening, June 22.

They camped in Central Park, Orion, with some of them accepting offers of a hot shower from nearby residents.

Debbie and Rich Straub invited them to their home for breakfast on Saturday morning, June 23. Thirteen of the 24 riders enjoyed breakfast pizza and orange drink on the Straubs’ deck.

The riders came from all over the United States — Brittany Orlandini from southern New Jersey, Ellie Diggins from northern California (she had never been east of the Rockies until this trip), Lynn Cipriani and Joe Abernethy from Arizona, Claire Dal Nogare from Texas and Emily Huber from Indiana.

Most if not all of the riders have a personal interest in MS. Cipriani’s father has the disease.

So far the riders have raised $30,000.

The riders, ages 19 to 42, are on the Northern Tier bicycle route.

After crossing the Mississippi into Muscatine, they swerved northward

and pedalled into Minnesota.

Traveling through North Dakota, Montana and Idaho, they hope to reach Seattle, Wash., at the end of the 4,295-mile route on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

If the riders will give Orion a couple of weeks’ warning next year, said Main Street Orion’s Deb Ford, they will receive an even bigger welcome than they did this year.