PICTOU – A Pictou resident and avid cyclist plans to cross Europe in support of the MS Society of Canada.
Ahmed Nassrat was scheduled to fly to Paris Thursday night and begin his 4,500-kilometre bike ride called Team Fight from the Atlantic coast of France to the Black Sea in Romania that will end in early December.
It’s a trip of a lifetime for Nassrat, an MS advocate, in his effort to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling affliction of the brain and spinal cord that statistics indicates affects 100,000 Canadians.
He will pass through eight countries over 55 days while biking up to six hours and covering about 80 kilometres daily.
His goal is to raise $1 for every kilometre completed.
“I am doing whatever it takes in the fight to end MS,” he said.
“My goal through this journey is to spread awareness of multiple sclerosis and to raise funds for research into the cause and cure for the disease. I have never attempted a long distance bike tour like this before, so I am extremely excited to be going on this amazing journey.
“I hope to have the opportunity to remind people that Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world and how important it is to join me on Team Fight.”
Nassrat explained that he chose his bike route because they are bike lanes that are nearly all paved. There is a project ongoing to completely pave the route by 2020. The eastern European countries he will pass through include Austria, Serbia and Hungary before entering Romania.
Temperate fall weather is one thing Nassrat is relying on during his ride, so he’s not expecting snow.
“I hope not, but you never know,” he said. “I have shoe covers but I hope it’s no colder than five or six (Celsius). It’s really nice now.”
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s Atlantic Division has recognized Nassrat for the various events he has supported for more than 10 years as both a fundraiser and participant in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick MS bike tours.
The funds raised from MS Bike are designed to help support innovative research into the cause, treatment and cure for MS, provide valuable services and programs for Canadians affected by MS, and help sustain important advocacy work on behalf of Canadians affected by MS.
Those wishing to support Nassrat on his journey across Europe can do so by visiting his I Challenge MS fundraising page at, http://mssoc.convio.net/site/TR/IChallengeMS/NationalOffice?px=1225896&pg=personal&fr_id=5264&s_locale=en_CA or follow his journey on Instagram by checking out the hashtags #AhmedBikesAcrossEurope and #IChallengeMS.