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What is the Bike MS: Texas MS 150?

The Bike MS: Texas MS 150 is a bike ride organized by the National MS Society MS South Central Region. This year’s event is a one-day ride. The Bike MS: Texas MS 150 is the largest of the 100 Bike MS events in the United States with (in “normal” years…) up to 13,000 cyclists, 3,500 volunteers and countless spectators along the route and at the finish line. Up to 60,000 people participate and contribute to this event each year, making it one of the largest charity bike rides in North America.
Rest Stops are positioned about every 10-15 miles along the route and allow cyclists to access support services, such as: hydration and snacks, medical support, bike repairs, port-o-lets, and SAG (Special Assistant and Gear) services. Thousands of cyclists will stop at the rest stops to rest and “re-fuel” for their journey.
CERT Rest Stop Entrance Controllers (REC’s) will staff the rest stops along the Katy route - all along the route to the College Station finish line. There are several different starting points from the Houston area: Katy, Waller, and Todd Mission at the Ren Fest. All three routes join into one route (the Katy route) on the journey to Kyle Field in College Station. CERT Rest Stop Entrance Controllers typically assist the cyclists by: helping them to safely enter and leave the rest stops, managing the cyclists’ flow within the rest stops, giving directions and information, and supporting rest stop services.
The MS Society has implemented safety protocols to ensure the safety of the riders, staff, and volunteers. Further details can be found on the National MS Society website: Bike MS: Texas MS 150 2021. These safety protocols and procedures will be further reviewed at the (virtual) pre-event trainings (dates to be announced). Together, we will cure MS while empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives. We are so excited to see you in 2021!

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What role does CERT play?

CERT volunteers from counties across the ride route control cyclist flow into and out of six rest stops. CERT Rest Stop Controllers (RECs) operate under the Incident Command System and span of control as if they were deployed in response to an event. CERT RECs provide a safe environment for all cyclists using the rest stops, not only by directing traffic flow, but also by setting up the systems to accomplish these tasks. CERT Rest Stop Managers and REC Team Leads work together to determine how best to design and implement the safety features in each unique rest stop. CERT RECs then staff these features and provide a safe, orderly, entrance and egress for all participating cyclists. Community Emergency Response Teams have been involved for 15 years in the ride, and during that time have upgraded their area of responsibility and received praise from Multiple Sclerosis Society staff and their safety peers.

Why the Bike MS: Texas MS 150?

This volunteer opportunity allows CERT teams to practice team work as well as other CERT skills…leadership, communication, problem solving, and traffic and crowd control.

CERT Rest Stop Controllers and Team Leaders are responsible for rest stop control ensuring that the entrances and exits operate smoothly. CERT Rest Stop Managers oversee the operation of the entire rest stop, making sure the various entities are setting up their respective areas according to a predetermined plan. Although there is a predetermined plan, CERTs must be ready to adapt as unexpected things have happened and will happen!

CERT operations follow the incident command system. There is a CERT Team Leader that oversees the CERT Rest Stop Controllers. The CERT Team Leader (as well as the leaders of the other entities…supply, food, hydration, medical, bike shops, etc.) report to the CERT Rest Stop Manager.

In summary, CERT team members manage every rest stop and contribute greatly to the organization, operation, and safety of the rest stops.

This year marks the 37th Annual Bike MS: Texas MS 150 and CERT’s 15th year of being involved in the event. The camaraderie and fellowship developed over the one-day event helps CERT Teams build the relationships and organization needed to respond to emergencies and/or natural disasters.

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