Cyclists peddle to finish line

Brittany Parker, Editor-in-Chief

Over 1,200 cyclists peddled their way onto the Francis Marion University campus Saturday, Sept. 24 for the 26th annual Bike MS:  Breakaway to the Beach charity ride.

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society sponsored the two-day event. The finish line for the first day was located on FMU’s campus on Alumni Drive.

Bike MS brought many people to the FMU campus for the first time.

On-looker Katy Hine traveled from Charlotte, N.C. with her boyfriend, who is a bike mechanic, and her dog Mia. Hine said that she never had any involvement with the bike ride until this year, but she plans to come again.

“There’s a lot of excitement; it’s really fun to be around,” Hine said. “There are a lot of really dedicated people here.”

Cyclist Jon Palmer, who had also never been to FMU, traveled all the way from Leesburg, order to participate in the bike ride for the first time.

“It’s been awesome,” Palmer said. “If they could have held off on the rain this morning, it would have been perfect.”

Brenda Burnes came out to support her husband, who participated in the event for his fourth year in a row.

Sandy Burnes said that he first decided to get involved with the event due to the encouragement of several of his coworkers.

After crossing the finish line, Sandy Burnes paused in order to discuss travel plans with his wife about getting to the event’s ending point the next day.

“He’s going to take the bike, and I’m going to take the car,” Brenda Burnes said.

Brenda and Sandy Burnes traveled to Sunset Beach, N.C. on Sunday, Sept. 25, which marked the conclusion of the 2011 Bike MS:  Breakaway to the Beach charity ride.