The Harbour Island Athletic Club will break in its new indoor cycling studio this Saturday with an event designed to raise money for the ALS Association.
An estimated 30,000 Americans have Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease, at any given time in the United States alone according to the ALS Association website. City Bike Tampa and the Florida Chapter of ALSA have partnered to create an event that will raise money for patient care and comfort as well as research for treatments.
"Sadly, a person who is diagnosed with ALS today is given basically the same treatment options of a person diagnosed in 1939 when Lou Gehrig received the news that he had ALS," director of marketing and communications for ALSA Alissa Gutierrez said. "There is still no treatment, and no cure. Researchers have had some significant breakthroughs in the past year about what causes ALS, and we hope the momentum will continue. That’s why events like this that raise awareness and critical funds are so important."
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that can strike anyone at any time, progressively paralyzing its victims by attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Patients are robbed of the ability to walk, eat, speak, and eventually breathe. Upon diagnosis, patients are given just two to five years to live.
The event comes as a spin off to the organization's larger fall event, Ride to Defeat ALS and found its way to the Harbour Island Athletic Club through sponsor City Bike Tampa, whose owners are members of the facility.
"A lot of us at ALSA are cycling enthusiasts, and our Ride to Defeat ALS has quickly turned into one of the ALS Association Florida Chapter’s signature events," Gutierrez said. "An indoor cycling event seemed like a logical next step for our riders to participate in during the off season. It also allows us to reach people we have not reached through our Walk to Defeat ALS or the ride, and other awareness events. It's a very low cost event, as the sponsors are providing the food, beverages, and prizes. All of the fees and fundraising goes to support patient care and programs and research to find a cure."
The indoor version is the first of its kind but Gutierrez hopes to see it catch on at other facilities as it is low cost and is handled entirely by ALSA when it comes to sign ups, marketing and day of event operations.
The new facility at Harbour Island Athletic Club boasts 30 bikes. With four, hour long slots at each bike, there are a total of 120 openings.
The fee to register is only $20 for the first hour, with food and refreshments available. Fundraising is not required, but is encouraged. All participants raising $125 or more will receive an event t-shirt. Those over $500 earn a Ride jersey and the top 3 fundraisers for the series will receive awards at the annual Ride to Defeat ALS Awards Ceremony in January.
To register online, visit www.spintodefeatals.com or show up the day of.