Bike MS

National MS Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter

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Frequently Asked Questions

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City to Shore – General Info, Registration and Participation Requirements

  1. What are the dates of City to Shore 2013?
    Bike MS: City to Shore is September 28 & 29, 2013.
  2. How do I register?
    Click here to register online or call 800-445-BIKE.
  3. How do I create a team?
    When you register, you will have the ability to start a team and serve as the team captain. When registering, click on the ‘Create a Team’ button and follow the registration prompts. If you opt to register as an individual, you may still create a team at any time before the event. Email us or call 1-800-445-BIKE, with your team name, to create your team and designate you as team captain.
     
    There is no additional cost to create or join a team, but please keep in mind that each team member is responsible for the required fundraising minimum.
  4. How do I join a team?
    When registering, click on the ‘Join a Team’ button. Search the team name you would like to join and once found, click on the team name. This will take you to the team’s web page. On the team page, scroll down to the team list (screen shot below) and click on ‘Join Team.’ Follow the registration prompts.
     
    screen shot
     
    If you are already registered as an individual, but would like to join a team, search the for the name of the team you would like to join and email us or call 1-800-445-BIKE. 
     
    There is no additional cost to join a team, but please keep in mind that each team member is responsible for the required fundraising minimum
  5. What is the minimum age requirement to participate in Bike MS?
    All participants must be at least 12 years of age as of the morning of the ride. Our priority is to provide a safe ride experience for all participants. As a result, the National MS Society has a strict Minors Policy.
  6. What are the participation requirements and minimum donation required?
    All riders (team captains, team members and individuals) are required to register, raise the minimum of $300 and complete the signed waiver/safety pledge prior to the event to receive a rider number and participate. The average rider raises $750, so set your goals high! Click here for participation requirements and deadlines.  
  7. Why is there a fundraising minimum?
    The primary goal of Bike MS is to raise funds to support people living with MS. By raising funds, you are helping the National MS Society support vital medical research and local programs for the 14,000 area residents in our chapter area.
  8. What happens if I register but do not reach the fundraising minimum?
    In order to participate in the ride, each cyclist must raise a minimum of $300 for City to Shore in donations prior to the event. Our Fundraising 101 page provides many tips, tools and resources to help you reach the minimum. In addition, email us or call 1-800-445-BIKE for additional ideas and suggestions. Click here for participation requirements and information on receiving a rider number.
  9. Will reaching certain fundraising levels qualify participants to receive incentives?
    Yes, cyclists and volunteers receive the same benefits and prizes. Click here for more information on fundraising clubs, prizes and incentives.
  10. What if I want to fundraise but I don't want to participate? Will I still have access to these tools?
    Yes, you can register as a virtual cyclist or a volunteer and have access to the same fundraising tools!
  11. I registered, but can no longer participate; can I transfer my registration to next year’s ride, another person, or another Bike MS Ride?
    No, registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
     
  12. Are registrations fees tax deductible?
    No, registrations fees are not tax deductible. 
     
  13. Does the registration fee count toward my required minimum $300 in donations?
    No, the registration fee does not count toward the required minimum $300 donations. The registration fee serves to help underwrite the cost of the ride, so that funds raised can help the National MS Society support vital medical research and local programs for the 14,000 area residents in our chapter area.
  14. Are there tools available to help me fundraise?
    Yes, there are tools available to help you reach and exceed the required $300 minimum. In addition the Fundraising/Welcome Kit all cyclists receive in the mail after registering, My Account makes fundraising online fast and easy. Plus visit the Fundraising 101 page for additional tools, tips and resources.  Still need help? Contact us at 800-445-BIKE or at mscycling@pae.nmss.org.

Donations: Submitting, Entering and Tracking

 

  1. 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. However, there are incentives for turning in your donations early. Click here for deadlines.
  2. How do I turn in donations?

Mail the minimum to:
National MS Society
City to Shore Ride
30 S. 17th Street
Suite 800
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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 1-800-445-BIKE.



 

 

 
When mailing donations it is recommended to make copies of your checks/donations and mail via a method that can be tracked, such as UPS or FedEx.
 
Please be sure to include your name and team name (if applicable) to ensure we properly credit your account.

  1. Can I mail in cash?
    No, please don’t send 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. Click here to request receipts for cash contributions
  2. Can I send a money order or cashier’s check?
    Yes, we accept money orders and cashier’s checks for donations and registration fees.
  3. 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.
  4. I mailed/dropped off donations to the Society 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 800-445-BIKE or mscycling@pae.nmss.org. Please note that if sending regular mail, we cannot be responsible for the US Postal Service.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Should I enter my offline (check or cash) donations in My Account?
    You can, however it is not recommended since donations will not count toward your fundraising until Bike MS receives them. It is recommended that you turn donations in to Bike MS immediately so they can be entered and count toward your fundraising. Click here to see how to turn-in your donations.
  9. 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 My 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. Click here to see how to turn-in your donations. 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. 
  10. 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 Bike MS 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. 
  11. Why is PAE Anonymous 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 PAE Anonymous. To update this information, please email mscycling@pae.nmss.org
  12. 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 over 13,000 local residents in the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter living with MS, regardless of your participation in the event.
  13. Can I obtain a copy of your 501(c)(3) letter and/or tax id number?
    Please email mscycling@pae.nmss.org to receive a copy of this letter.
  14. 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.
  15. 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. If needed, you can request receipts for other contributions by emailing mscycling@pae.nmss.org.
     

Matching Gifts

Watch this video to learn how and why cyclist Albert DeRitis used matching gifts to help him raise $41,125 in 2012 and earn the coveted top fundraising spot.

  1. 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 VIP cyclist. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Do matching gifts count toward my required $300 minimum donations?
    No, matching gifts do not count toward your required $300 minimum donations. However, they do count toward VIP status, fundraising prizes and incentives.
  4. How can I submit a matching gift?
    Please check with your companies 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.
  5. 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, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter in Philadelphia, PA.
  6. How can I confirm my submitted matching gift form was received and entered?
    You can view your donations by logging into My Account. Once a matching gift form/notification is received by the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter in Philadelphia, PA it will be entered into your City to Shore account for 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)).
     
  7. I thought I submitted a matching gift, but do not see it showing in My Account.
    Please contact us at 1-800-445-BIKE or mscycling@pae.nmss.org to follow up on your matching gift submission. 
     
  8. On my registration I indicated my company has a matching gift company, but there are no matching gifts in my account?
    To receive a matching gift donation, you must complete the matching gift form/process through your company. Each company's matching gift process is different. Please check with your HR department to learn more.
     
     
  9. 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’ in My Account.
  10. 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 VIP status.
    Entry Example: GE Foundation, Matching (GE Foundation (Bob Smith Matching Gift))
  11. 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, City to Shore 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. To help you track your matching gifts, download the pledge sheet.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

CITY TO SHORE WEEKEND & RIDE INFORMATION

  1. How do I receive my rider number?
    To receive a rider number, each cyclist must meet the participation requirements. There are a number of ways to obtain a rider number once you have met these requirements. 
  2. Where are the start locations for the Bike MS: City to Shore?
    Click here for start times, directions and more information about the 25, 45, 75 and 100 – mile start locations
  3. Are the roads closed to cyclists only?
    No, but we do work with the local authorities in every community we ride through. Safety is our number one concern, although safety and courtesy are personal responsibilities. As the ride grows in size each year, the integrity is at risk with the townships we ride through due to size and collective behavior. We need your help to be a safe and courteous cyclist throughout ride weekend and ensure the future of the ride.
  4. What is the exact route for the event?
    You will be able to find cue sheets and a map of our route on our route page
  5. What support will be on the route?
    This ride is fully supported. There will be rest stops every 10 to 15 miles each day and vehicles equipped with first aid and mechanical support will be on the route at all times. If you need assistance, let a volunteer know and they will find someone to help you.
  6. What if I can’t finish riding?
    Bike MS: City to Shore is a fully supported event. If you can’t seem to finish riding, there are Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles that roam the route and stop at all rest stops to pick up cyclists and their bikes to transport them to the Finish Line. NOTE: personal SAG vehicles are prohibited.  
  7. What if I need mechanical support along the route?
    City to shore sponsoring bike shops are along the route and at all rest stops to assist with mechanical support and ensure each cyclist is able to finish the ride. To receive FREE maintenance ride weekend cyclists must have a ‘Bike MS Inspected’ tag. Click here for more information on getting your bike inspected. 
  8. I’m riding on Saturday only, how do I get back to my start location?
    Return transportation is provided on Saturday from Ocean City to each start location. Once you’re ready to leave the fun and excitement at the finish line, just proceed with your bike and belongings to the Transportation Center located at 6th and Atlantic.
  9. How do I find overnight accommodations in Ocean City?
    Starting June 1, participants can contact Access Ocean City for help with housing Saturday in Ocean City.  
  10. I’m staying over on Saturday, how do I get from the finish line to my overnight accommodations?
    Jitney transportation is provided free to participants who book Saturday night housing through Access Ocean City.
  11. What are my training opportunities?
    TrainingPeaks and Group Riding Skills courses are provided free to all registered Bike MS cyclists. Plus, please check our Bike MS calendar or check with your local sponsoring bike shop and clubs about training rides in your community. Click here for more training information.
  12. What if I have never ridden in a group before?
    With 7,000 cyclists on the road during City to Shore weekend, all with a variety of skill levels, it’s important to know how to ride safely and courteously in a massive group. Through the League of American Bicyclists, Bike MS offers FREE Group Riding Skills courses to all registered cyclists in September. Click here for more information and to sign-up. 
  13. My spouse/co-worker/family member doesn’t ride but wants to come support me at the event, what can they do?
    We need volunteers! They can register to be volunteers.
 

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