WHAT'S IN A NAME?
While the original Cyclepaths team members first rode together in the second year of the annual Eastern North Carolina MS Bike Tour in 1990, they did not appear as an official team until 1993, when they won the Best Team Name Award. While the Cyclepaths have raised a lot of money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the team members have enjoyed the many friendships and great training ride opportunities.
Captain emeritus and team founder, Dave Holmes, first rode in the Tour in 1990 and completed his twenty-fourth MS bike tour at age 75 in 2014. Judge Robert W. Bryant, Jr. is another early team member who continues to ride with the Cyclepaths. Bob has ridden in twenty-two MS bike tours, first in support of and now in memory of his brother Larry, who passed away from complications related to MS in 2008. Larry was the inspiration for the formation of the Selma Cyclepaths. Dave, Bob, Ken Williams, and Lynn Burleson are the only Cyclepaths to have ridden in twenty or more North Carolina MS Bike Tours.
North Carolina Bike Tours of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The first annual MS Bike Tour for what was then the Eastern North Carolina Chapter was held in 1989. Most of the early tours prior to 1998 were called “Break Loose to the Neuse,” with riders starting and finishing in Greenville, North Carolina, spending one night at Camp Sea Gull, near Oriental. The tour was known as “Beach or Bust” from 1998 through 2000 when the riders pedaled from Clayton to Emerald Isle, with an overnight stay in Kinston. Riders and bikes were bused and trucked back to Clayton. Since 2001, the tour has been held in New Bern with consecutive day loops originating and ending on the New Bern waterfront.
Prior to 2012, there were two North Carolina Chapters of the National MS Society. The Central Carolinas Chapter sponsored the Breakaway to the Beach Bike Tour, while the Eastern North Carolina Chapter hosted the Historic New Bern Bike Tour. These two Chapters merged in 2012 with the new Greater Carolinas Chapter continuing to sponsor both of these tours.
The 2015 Historic New Bern Bike Tour and 2015 Goals
In 2015, the Historic New Bern Bike Tour was the largest MS Bike Tour in the Southeastern United States and the eleventh largest in the country, raising a total of $1,814,000. There were 1845 cyclists and 730 volunteers contributing over 3,285 hours of their time. For 2016, the Historic New Bern Tour hopes to raise $1,900,000.
In 2015, the Cyclepaths registered 84 riders and raised $118,283. Forty of the Cyclepaths achieved Jewelry Boomerang status by raising at least $1,000 each. Seven of those Cyclepaths became 100 Club members by joining the ranks of the top 100 individual fundraisers. In 2012, the Selma Cyclepaths became the first team in the history of the North Carolina MS bike tours to raise over $1 million. In 2014, the team received the Circle of Distinction award as the first North or South Carolina MS bike team to cross the $1 million contribution threshold.
Fundraising History of the Cyclepaths
Since becoming an official team in 1993, the Cyclepaths have registered as few as three riders and as many as one hundred twenty in a single year. Cyclepaths fundraising totals have been as little as $4,265 and as much as $134,452. The Cyclepaths have had one third place finish, four second place finishes and nine first place finishes. Going into the 2015 Tour, the Selma Cyclepaths have raised a total of $1,463,496 in support of MS research and programs.