ST. JOSEPH - Heat indexes are expected to be around 100 degrees over the next few days and an excessive heat warning is in effect through most of Friday.

Despite this, over 700 bicyclists are taking part in the five-day 281-mile National Multiple Sclerosis Society Bike MS: TRAM Ride.

It's no surprise that the water coolers were the hot spot for bikers before they took off from St. Joseph on Wednesday morning.

"I'm doing this with my grandson Emmett, he's a 13-year-old so he's going to be in great shape and I'm probably not. I think we are very nervous about the heat," Cyclist Deb Castellanos says.

Brent Renneke is the Public Relations Manager with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Upper Midwest Chapter, he says they have no shortage of water for bikers during the journey.

"We just tell people that they have to stay hydrated, we have rest stops every 10 to 12 miles. We want people to really take advantage of those, they're fully stocked with Gatorade and water."

This is the 27th year for the ride, which will raise over $700,000 for people with MS.

For John Schenk, this is the first year he won’t be able to ride after taking part last 17 events. He says his days of taking part have likely passed due to a knee injury. However, he still raised thousands of dollars for the cause this year.

"As I got to know more people I started taking my fundraising a little more serious. In my first 17 years, I raised over $251,000."

Bikers will have overnight stops in Sauk Centre, Fergus Falls, Wadena and Little Falls over the event.


Dan DeBaun, WJON