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The Team FINNEGANS Mission
We’ve formed a team for Bike MS—an epic fundraising ride that is changing the lives of people affected by MS and helping fuel progress toward a world free of MS. We’d love your support as we prepare for this incredible experience. If you want to do more than make a donation, join our team!
We’ll go the distance for MS. It will take advance training, preparation and ongoing commitment from hundreds of other people in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest and thousands of cyclists all over the country. What will really put power in our pedals is your support and our commitment to those impacted by this disease. Every mile we ride brings us closer to our goal—a world free of MS.
Please support our team today.
We’ve set an ambitious goal because we know that with support from people like you we can get there. The money raised will help fund amazing progress in MS research, as well as programs and services that ensure people affected by MS can live their best lives.
About Team FINNEGANS
2019 will be our 8th year riding as Team FINNEGANS in the MS150. What started as a team of 26 riders, a crockpot of sloppy joe’s and a few cases of beer in 2012 has grown to over 150 FINNEGANS riders and volunteers annually. Team FINNEGANS was honored in 2017 with the induction into the National MS Society’s “Chairman’s Circle” for raising over $500,000 to help fight MS!
Team FINNEGANS welcomes ALL RIDERS to join the team – there are no additional fees or requirements to have an affiliation with FINNEGANS or a member of Team FINNEGANS. Simply click the “Join Our Team” button on this page.
Riders on Team FINNEGANS enjoy several benefits before and during the MS150 including organized spring training rides, happy hours at the FINNEGANS House, an opportunity to reserve hotel rooms in Hinckley, an original FINNEGANS MS150 jersey (for purchase), and a FULLY STOCKED team tent at the halfway point of the MS150 in Hinckley.
Fundraising goal: $200,000
Rider goal: 200
Captains: Mike Watercott & David Saarela
ABOUT BIKE MS AND THE MS150
Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National MS Society and raises more money than other cycling event for any non-profit. To date, Bike MS cyclists, volunteers, and donors have raised more than $1.3 billion to stop MS in its tracks, restore what’s been lost, and end MS forever.
Our local ride is the MS150: a two-day bike ride from Duluth (Proctor High School) to the Twin Cities (Century College in White Bear Lake), where riders cover 75 miles per day. It’s more than a ride. It’s an experience grounded in camaraderie and marked by passion, inspiration, determination and pure enjoyment. It will be an experience you’ll never forget, shared with new friends and old.
Becoming a Member of Team FINNEGANS
Why should I join Team FINNEGANS?
One of the best parts of Team FINNEGANS is our diverse rider base with a simple common denominator of all being fans of cycling and doing good in our community. Team FINNEGANS is unique compared to many of the other large teams that are primarily employer based. There is nothing wrong with those teams, but they are not Team FINNEGANS. And of course, FINNEGANS provides a top-notch team tent in Hinckley for our riders!
Large teams at the MS150 are afforded special benefits by the MS150 that individual riders do not enjoy such as hotel rooms and hospitality tents in Hinckley, dedicated buses from White Bear Lake to Proctor, and pre-ride packet pick-up events.
We know that the MS150 is a million times more enjoyable when you are part of a great team. Trust us, we know from personal experience.
I already registered for the MS150 ride, but I heard about how cool Team FINNEGANS is – can I be moved to your team? Yes. Email us at email@example.com and we’ll get you moved to our team.
Team FINNEGANS produces a new original jersey each year. The design is created by FINNEGANS’ graphic designers and is available for purchase in March. This jersey is available only to riders on Team FINNEGANS who are registered for this year’s MS150.
Do riders receive free jerseys?
No, riders must purchase their own jersey. Riders are not required to purchase a jersey to ride on the team. Team t-shirts are also offered to order, if you’re looking for something less expensive or different than a jersey.
Can I still get a team jersey after the order deadline passed?
No. Each year’s order is custom and additional inventory is not ordered. The order deadline is typically late March. Occasionally riders who ordered jerseys wish to trade for a different size, or sell, if it doesn’t fit when they receive it. The team Facebook page is a great forum for that, so you might get lucky and score a jersey that way if you missed the deadline.
Training for the MS150
I’m worried I cannot ride 150 miles, what should I do?
We encourage you to give it a try! The MS150 is fully supported, so if at any point along the way you decide you don’t want to ride any further, rider support and gear (SAG) vehicles are available to transport you and your bike to Hinckley on Saturday or Century College on Sunday.
The MS Society also puts on a one-day MS Twin Cities Ride in the spring (May 19, 2019), which you could use to gauge your fitness and boost your confidence that you CAN ride 150 miles over 2 days. This ride has distance options of 15, 30, and 45 miles. Team FINNEGANS has a Twin Cities Ride team we encourage you to join; however, we usually focus 100% of our energy on the MS150.
Do you offer training rides?
There are 3-4 Team FINNEGANS training rides on Saturday mornings prior to the MS150 usually starting and ending at the FINNEGANS House in downtown Minneapolis. Riders of all abilities are encouraged to join. The rides are a great way to meet fellow Team FINNEGANS members while spending time on your bike.
How do I train to ride my bike 150 miles?
We like to keep the answer simple: just ride your bike as much as you can. Keep in mind that your training rides don’t need to belong to be effective. Just getting a good amount of time on your bike leading up to the MS 150 will be beneficial. An indoor bicycle trainer (or spin class) can also be useful if you’re looking to train in the cold weather months, or simply have other real-world obligations that limit your ability to go on outdoor rides.
If you’re looking for a more structured answer, the MS Society has resources available to help you craft a training plan, found here.
MS150 Logistics and FAQ
What are the options for accommodations Friday and Saturday?
Camping or reserving a hotel room.
o Friday Night in Proctor and Duluth: Riders are responsible for reserving their own hotels for Friday night. There are many hotels in the Duluth and Proctor area for Friday night, but hotels do fill up if not reserved well in advance. Shuttles to hotels in Duluth and Proctor are provided by the MS150. Please consult their website for hotels on the shuttle route.
o Saturday Night in Hinckley: The MS Society allocates Hotel rooms Saturday night at Grand Casino Hinckley. Team FINNEGANS is provided a block of rooms from the MS Society, which we distribute by priority of rider fundraising totals from the prior year if demand exceeds rooms provided. Riders still must pay for their own room if they are allocated a room by Team FINNEGANS. The MS150 also provides shuttles to area hotels around Hinckley that can be reserved by riders outside the Team FINNEGANS hotel room allocation. Please consult the MS150 website for shuttle routes from/to Grand Casino Hinckley.
* Camping: Camping is readily available both Friday (on the Proctor High School football field) and Saturday (in the fields outside Grand Casino Hinckley, aka “tent village”). Bring your own tent and enjoy the fresh air! Otherwise, in recent years, tents have been available to rent both nights through an MS Society arranged third party, where a pre-setup tent is available for rent. You may also “camp” indoors on Friday in the Proctor High School gym, or Saturday at the Hinckley High School gym.
What are the logistics of the weekend, such as getting to the start in Duluth and transporting my stuff?
The MS Society has you covered. Here are the high-level logistics:
Pre-Ride: Riders that have raised at least $300 prior to the MS150 can pick up their rider packets prior to the MS150, which will include your rider wristband, bike number place, and a t-shirt. A packet pick-up event is usually held at the FINNEGANS House a few weeks prior to the ride.
* Friday: You’ll check-in at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN. You’ll park your car here for the weekend (carpooling highly encouraged), drop your bike off for delivery to Proctor High School, and board a bus with your luggage and be driven to Proctor High School. Once at Proctor High school you’ll either set up your tent on the football fields, or board a shuttle arranged by the MS Society to Duluth area hotels. There is a spaghetti dinner offered at Proctor High School, although many riders chose to get dinner in Duluth. The MS Society has pre-arranged shuttles all night to/from Canal Park, so getting back to Proctor High School or your hotel is a breeze.
* Saturday: You’ll pack your bags and tent (if camping) and hand off to the designated volunteers for transport to Grand Casino Hinckley. If you stayed at a hotel, the MS Society has pre-arranged shuttles to get you to Proctor High School. After grabbing breakfast inside Proctor High School, you’ll find your bike in the bike corrals and begin day 1 of riding. When you arrive at the day 1 finish at Grand Casino Hinckley, you’ll park your bike in the bike corrals for the evening. You’ll then find your bags/tent that was delivered from earlier in the day. After getting settled, find the Team FINNEGANS team tent to celebrate and relax!
* Sunday: You’ll once again pack your bags/tent and hand off to the designated volunteers for transport, this time to Century College in White Bear Lake. After grabbing breakfast under the large food tent, you’ll find your bike in the bike corrals and begin day 2 of riding. When you arrive at the finish at Century College, after soaking in the hero’s welcome you’ve received you’ll find your bags/tent there were delivered from earlier in the day, and be on your way! There is a lunch provided in Century College.
Does Team FINNEGANS offer its own transportation of gear, riders, and bikes?
No. While you’ll find some teams do this, our position is that the MS Society does an excellent job and there isn’t a need to coordinate team specific logistics in lieu of what is already provided to all riders. However, Team FINNEGANS does try to send up several “Team Buses” from Century College where groups of riders board a bus together.
Can I drink on the bus from Century College to Proctor High School on Friday?
Yes! Just note that drinking alcohol is NOT permitted on the Century College campus, or at Proctor High School, so alcoholic drinks should only be opened and consumed on the bus.
What is the Team FINNEGANS team tent like in Hinckley?
It’ll feel as if you’ve biked 75 miles to a FINNEGANS heaven. You’ll be greeted by your awesome teammates, and enjoy some much-deserved time celebrating all the good you’ve done by being part of Team FINNEGANS and the MS150! The tent will have plenty of ice cold FINNEGANS, water/soda, catered food, lawn games, multiple massage therapists, and phone chargers. Team FINNEGANS also boasts a serious “desert brigade” of fellow riders’ homemade desserts for a pot-luck style spread to ensure you gain back every calorie you burned earlier in the day, and then some. We’ll also coordinate a team photo in the afternoon.
Do I need to pay a fee to be on Team FINNEGANS?
No. Your only financial obligation is the registration fee for the MS150 itself; we do not ask for an additional rider fee.
What happens if the weather is lousy?
The ride goes on rain or shine. In the event of lighting or other dangerous conditions, the event will be delayed until conditions improve.
Where can I interact with other riders? Please join our team Facebook page, “MS150 TeamFINNEGANS”.
What if I don’t reach my $300 fundraising minimum?
You must meet the $300 minimum to participate in the event. Riders short of the fundraising minimum can make a self-donation for the amount necessary to reach $300.
Where can I research the ride further? The MS Society website has all the information.