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Bike MS Frequently Asked Questions

 

About the Ride:

What is the minimum pledge?

All riders must turn in the minimum pledge amount of $300, but we encourage all participants to set higher goals for fundraising. In 2012, the rider average was over $890!

Why is there a fundraising minimum?

The primary goal of Bike MS is to raise funds to support those living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in our community. By raising funds, you are helping the National MS Society support vital medical research and local programs

When do I turn in my pledges?

We encourage you to turn in pledges as you receive them using the Deposit Ticket located on the Fundraising Tools page. You will also have time to send in funds after the ride, however, $300 must be turned in by the day of the ride to participate.

I cannot find my team from last year. How do I register with my team?

Unfortunately, our system does not carry forward teams from the previous year to automatically be listed for this year's ride. If you do not see your team, contact your team captain and ask them to get your team registered for this year so that the other team members can register as well or you may register and create your team.

Can I be added to a team if I didn’t indicate I was on a team when I registered?

You can be added to a team anytime by calling 757-319-4253 or via email at bike@msvirginia.org.

Can I have someone follow me in case I don't make it?

We prohibit personal vehicles on the route and in or around rest stops. We provide plenty of SAG vehicles to transport any cyclists in need.

Can my friends/family join me after the ride or at the Finish on Sunday?

Yes, guest meal bands will be available for purchase in the weeks prior to the ride.

How do my friends/family sign up to volunteer?

We always need great volunteers! Volunteers must be able to perform tasks such as setting up/breaking down rest stops; replenishing food and drink, etc. For a full list of volunteer needs or to register to volunteer for Bike MS, visit our volunteer page.

Will there be a way to get my luggage to the overnight location or do I have to carry all my gear on my bicycle?

We will transport your luggage to the overnight location. Riders are entitled to two pieces weighing no more than 35 pounds each. Be sure to attach the luggage tags you get in your registration packet to your items.

I can’t ride on the scheduled one day ride date. Can I join in on the other day?

Unfortunately this causes too many logistical difficulties for us. But if you would still like to be involved, then please consider being a volunteer.

Can I leave my vehicle at the Start location for the weekend?

Yes. Security will be patrolling the lot at the Start/Finish location throughout the weekend and overnight. Please follow the parking crews directions when parking or your car WILL BE TOWED at your expense.

Is there a minimum age requirement to participate?

Yes. All cyclists must be at least 18 years of age by the day of the ride.

What if it rains the weekend of the ride?

We ride rain or shine. If it rains, grab your poncho--you have trained for months and we want you to be able to complete this course. If there are severe storms with high winds, hail or torrential rain, the ride will be canceled or the course will the shortened or adjusted to ensure the safety of our cyclists and volunteers. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Will a bike storage area be created? 

Locks and security for bikes is not provided. However, you may store your bike at your accommodation assignment/room.

Can I pull a trailer or tag along?

For the safety of all riders, no tag alongs, carriers, or trailers may be pulled by bikes during Bike MS. 

What kind of food can I expect during the ride?

Our volunteer staffed rest stops (placed every 10-15 miles) provide nutritious fruits, snacks, water, and Gatorade. Lunch will be served on the route on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday afternoon a cookout, as well as a buffet dinner, will be served. At the conclusion of the ride on Sunday, a food finish will be provided.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are prohibited at the ride, however, service animals are welcome.

 

Donations: Submitting, Entering, and Tracking:

When do donations need to be turned in by?

To receive a rider number and participate, all cyclists must turn in the required minimum $300 in donations by the morning of the ride. 

How do I turn in donations?

Please be sure to include your name and team name (if applicable) to ensure we properly credit your account. 

Mail to: National MS Society, Bike MS, 4200 Innslake Drive, Suite 301, Glen Allen, VA 23060

Pay or raise the minimum online. It’s the fastest, easiest way to fundraise. No paper, no mail. You don’t even have to leave your computer!

Call in your minimum. Pay by credit card. Call 757.319-4253.

Can I mail in cash?

For any cash donations you receive, please deposit the contribution into your checking account and send in a personal check or make a personal donation online. Checks should be made out to the National MS Society. Please put your name on the memo line of each check.  

Can I send a money order or cashier’s check?

Yes, we accept money orders and cashier’s checks for donations and registration fees.

Can I use FedEx, UPS or Certified Mail to turn in my donations?

Yes, it is encouraged to mail donations via a method that can be tracked. At your discretion, you may use the above methods to turn in your donations. Please note that if sending regular mail, we cannot be responsible for the US Postal Service.

I mailed/dropped off donations at the Chapter office, but they do not appear in My Account.

Please allow 10-15 business days for processing. If the donation does not appear after 15 business days, please contact us at 757.319-4253 or bike@msvirginia.org. Please note that if sending regular mail, we cannot be responsible for the US Postal Service.

Can I send in donations for more than one cyclist in one envelope?

Yes, but please be very specific as to how the donations should be credited. The more information you provide, the faster we can process your donations.

Someone made a donation to my team, rather to a team member. Can it be changed?

Yes, please contact us at 804.353.5008 or bike@msvirginia.org.

What if my donor makes the check payable to me?

No problem. Just endorse the back "Payable to NMSS." Then sign it and get it to us.

How do I split gifts between multiple riders?

We are happy to split donations between multiple riders; however, each rider must be registered at the time the donation is received, and designation (amount and participant info) must be included with the donation at the time it is mailed or turned in.

What can I do to make sure my donations are credited to my account?

Please make sure that your name is written in the memo line on all checks and/or include a note with your name and mailing address you used when you registered.

Should I enter my offline (check or cash) donations in My Account?

You can, please note that donations will not count toward your fundraising until the Chapter receives them. If you enter your offiline donations, please make sure to include complete name and address information for your donors to ensure that the donations are credited properly when received.

The total amount ‘I have raised’ does not reflect all the donations?

Donations marked unconfirmed will not be reflected in your total amount raised. Although you can see ‘unconfirmed’ donations in the ‘Progress Section’ of your account, they will not appear in your total ‘I have raised’ amount. Only donations marked ‘confirmed’ will be calculated in the amount you have raised. Rider numbers and prizes will only be given out based on cyclists confirmed donations. Note that ‘unconfirmed’ matching gift donations do count toward prizes and fundraising incentives, see information regarding matching gifts below. 

What is the difference between a ‘confirmed’ and ‘unconfirmed’ donation?

Donations are marked ‘unconfirmed’ if the participant has entered them through My Account manually. Donations will be marked ‘confirmed’ once the Chapter has received them. Also, matching gifts submitted will be marked ‘unconfirmed’ until the Bike MS staff receives the money for the matching gift from the company. See information regarding matching gifts below. 

Why is Chapter listed as a donor on my pledge report?

If we receive an offline contribution that does not include the donor's name and/or mailing address, it will be credited to your account under the name Hampton Roads Bike MS. To update this information, please email bike@msvirginia.org

What happens to the donations if I can no longer participate in the event?

All registration fees and donations are non-returnable and non-transferable. Your donations allow the National MS Society to fund vital medical research and support local residents in the community living with MS, regardless of your participation in the event.

Can I obtain a copy of your 501(c)(3) letter and/or tax id number?

Please email bike@msvirginia.org to receive a copy of this letter.

Are donations tax deductible?

All donations are tax deductible in the same calendar year your donation was processed to the extent allowed by law. Please work with your tax professional to determine what deductions you are eligible for.

What if my donors need a receipt?

Sponsors who make an online donation via our website will receive an email confirmation that can be used for tax purposes. Offline check or credit card contributions that are received and made out to the National MS Society for $100 or more will receive a thank you letter from us that can be used for tax purposes. In addition, your donors cashed check acts as a receipt.

 

Matching Gifts

What are matching gifts?

Matching gifts are an easy way to double your donations, boost your fundraising and help you achieve higher fundraising levels, earn great prizes, and become a Thousandaire. Many companies offer a matching gift program to encourage employees to contribute or volunteer their time to charitable organizations. Although the process for matching gifts varies at each company, most programs match contributions dollar for dollar. Some will also provide funds for volunteer hours.  

How do I know if my company or my donors company has a matching gift program?

Contact your company’s HR department and inquire about a matching gift program and matching gift processes. If you don't have an HR department, you can click here to check and see if your company matches. Ask all your donors to do the same, and encourage them to take advantage of the program by completing the appropriate process designated by their company.

Do matching gifts count toward my required $300 minimum donations?

Yes, matching gifts do count toward your required $300 minimum donations, as well as Thousandaire status and fundraising prizes and incentives. 

How can I submit a matching gift?

Please check with your company's HR department to learn how to submit a matching gift. The process and program is unique to each company. There are three common ways to submit a matching gift donation: 1.) paper form with your check donation or after an online donation has been made 2.) online form through your company portal after the donation was made 3.) company donation portal. Please confirm with your company to for the proper process to submit a matching gift.

How can I ensure my matching gift is submitted correctly?

When submitting a company matching gift, or encouraging your donor to do so, please ensure you are submitting the gift to the National MS Society in Richmond or Virginia Beach, VA.

How can I confirm my submitted matching gift form was received and entered?

You can view your donations by logging into your account. Once a matching gift form/notification is received by the Chapter it will be entered into your Bike MS account for the year the donation was made.  The matching gift will be entered as an ‘offline unconfirmed’ gift until money for the matching gift is received from the company. The Name of the donation will appear as: Company Name, Matching(Company(Donors Name Matching Gift)). Entry example: Johnson & Johnson Matching Gifts Program, Matching (Johnson & Johnson(John Smith Matching Gift)).

I thought I submitted a matching gift, but do not see it showing in My Account.

Please contact us at 804-353-5008 or bike@msvirginia.org follow up on your matching gift submission.

My matching gift donations are not included in my total amount raised.

Unfortunately your matching gifts will not appear in your total amount raised until the matching gift money is received from the company and the donation is marked ‘confirmed'. When the money is received, the matching gift donation will be marked ‘confirmed’ and will appear in the total amount ‘I have raised’.

Why are my matching gift donations showing as unconfirmed donations?

Each company’s matching gift policy and practices differ, including when the matching gift check is sent to Bike MS. All matching gifts are entered as ‘unconfirmed’ when notification of the matching gift is received. Once the actual donations arrive/checks are mailed from the company, the particular matching gift will be marked as ‘confirmed.’ Although marked ‘unconfirmed,’ matching gifts will count toward your prizes and Thousandaire. Entry Example: GE Foundation, Matching (GE Foundation (Bob Smith Matching Gift)) 

If my matching gift donations are not included in my total amount raised, will I still qualify for fundraising prizes, incentives and VIP status?

Yes, Bike MS will include ‘unconfirmed’ matching gift amounts in your fundraising totals when calculating fundraising prizes and incentives. Please also include them when calculating your total amount raised and fundraising goal. 

How long does it take for Bike MS to receive the matching gift money and mark my matching gift donation confirmed?

This process and timeline varies for each company. Some companies cut checks quarterly and some yearly. It can sometimes take at least six months for Bike MS to receive monies from a particular company. Please check with your company regarding their process and practices.

Can my matching gift be used for next year’s Bike Ride?

No, matching gifts can only be applied to the same year the contribution was credited.

 

General

I forgot my Username and Password.

Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. If you have problems, please contact us at bike@msvirginia.org for help.

How do I change my Username and/or Password?

First, login to the site using your username and password. Once logged in you will see a link at the top of the page called "Update My Profile." Once in your profile, you will be able to change your contact information, e-mail address, username and password. All changes will be made to your account immediately. There is no need to sign in again.

How do I unsubscribe from e-mail?

Towards the bottom of each e-mail message there is a link stating, "Click Here to Unsubscribe from this E-mail Message." Click this link and follow the instructions given to unsubscribe.credited.

 

About My Participant Center

What is a Personal Page?

A personal page is an online promotional tool for your use when asking your friends and family to join your team or sponsor you by making a donation. Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. You have the option of personalizing this page by going to your participant center. You will be able to customize images, text and the style/color layout of the page.

By default I have a personal page, do I have to change it?

Once you sign up for an event online, by default, you will have a personal page created for you. A compelling personal page attracts and engages supporters. While you can spread the word using customized e-mail solicitations, your personal campaign page can be your own creative expression of your commitment to the cause. Customize your page by selecting the layout and style that work best for you. Utilize the elements of text, photo and status indicators to their fullest advantage.

How do I change my personal fundraising goal?

First, you will need to login to the Participant Center. On the bottom right side of the Center home page is the location to modify your personal fundraising goal. Enter your new goal and submit the changes. Tip: Once you reach your goal, go back in and raise it. You'll be surprised that people will continue to sponsor you, if they believe you are still trying to reach your goal.

How do I change my team name, team division or team goal?

Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name or team division. The team captain will need to login to his/her center and click the "My Team Progress" button on the top right. On the Team Progress page, team captains will have the ability to update the team name, division and goal.

How can I see who has donated to me?

Login to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Center and click the "My Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your donor list and any amounts having been donated.

How can I see who is on my team?

Login to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your Center and click the "Team Progress" tab; this will allow you to view your team roster and the amounts raised by each team member.

What is a team message?

Simply go to your Center and click the "Update Message to Team" button. This will allow you to make all necessary changes to your team message.

What is the difference between making my personal page private or public?

By default, a personal page is Public, meaning your name will appear in the participant search list, and anyone accessing the site will be able to support you. Setting your personal page to Private means your name will not appear in the participant search list, and only people you personally invite will be able to support you.

 

Contact

If you would like more information about Bike MS: Virginia's Ocean to Bay Ride or Bike MS: Ride Virginia, please contact:

Karla McCarraher, Bike MS Director

t+ 757.319.4253

f+ 757.490.1617

e +karla.mccarraher@nmss.org

m+ 760 Lynnhaven Parkway, Suite 201, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Learn more about Bike MS events nationwide

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*includes a special free water bottle. Proceeds benefit Bike MS.

Thank you to our national sponsors

 

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