The last time Joe Terinoni rode his bicycle was nearly a year ago, last September, when he rode it 80 miles from Cherry Hill to Ocean City, NJ.
“We don’t do biking, no one on this team,” said the Warrington resident. “We don’t even practice or train during the year. We dust the bike off and we go.”
Joe and his family, including his son, James, and daughter, Ashley, have one fundraiser they get together for every year, the “Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.”
In its 39th year, Bike MS: City to Shore is a two-day event, with route options for all cycling abilities from 25-180 miles, that takes nearly 7,000 cyclists through the flat terrain and back roads of South Jersey to the blueberry fields of Hammonton.
The ride raises money to help combat multiple sclerosis – a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective myelin covering of nerves.
“It is the second largest MS cycling event. It is a very big ride for the organization itself, and a key event for our fundraising,” said National Multiple Sclerosis Society Media Relations Manager Michelle Welk.
Joe, his family and close friends, started getting involved with the ride 14 years ago.
When asked what compelled him to get involved in the ride, Joe pointed to his brother, Steve Terinoni of Warminster. “That man right there. He came to me – he called me one day, he said, ‘You wanna do something crazy?’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Just say yes,’ I said ‘Yes.’ We didn’t even have a bike yet.”
Stephen explained, “I saw an advertisement about the tour on I-95. I said you know what, that MS Ride, I’m gonna do that and I called him up.”
Despite having zero extensive experience biking and no family or friends with the disease that they knew of, the brothers felt compelled to join the ride every year and have now grown their team from two to 18.
The team now goes by the name “Team Smiley.”
Stephen says his favorite thing about the ride is the groups of people that gather to cheer you on.
“Like every 20 miles there’s a break area, when you get to them areas and the town’s out there cheering you on. Then when you get into Ocean City the whole entire town’s out there cheering you on,” he said.
Joe estimates he’s raised more than $30,000 alone over the past 14 years, not including what each team member raises individually (each rider must raise at least $300 to participate).
“I just put my bucket in the Bagel Barrel and that’s where I probably get a lot of the money. Plus I have four buckets out in other restaurants all over Doylestown,” he said.
If anyone is interested in donating towards Team Smiley’s efforts, you can visit Joe and drop your donation at Bagel Barrel, located at 60 W. State Street in Doylestown.
For more information about joining Team Smiley, you can reach out to Joe at 267-687-9465 or Stephen at 215-534-5410.
For more information about Bike MS: City to Shore 2018, visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/PAEBikeEvents?pg=entry&fr_id=29704.