There are some great causes on the horizon looking for help from cyclists.

Consider putting some of these rides on your calendar:

Bike MS Ozarks

More than 400 cyclists are expected for this year’s ride, which departs from Republic Middle School in Republic on Saturday, Sept. 7, and spends the night in Joplin’s Schifferdecker Park before returning on Sunday, Sept. 8

Three options — 50-, 77- and 100-mile routes — are offered on Saturday, followed by a 79-mile ride on Sunday.

The goal is to raise $275,000 for people affected by multiple sclerosis.

The Southwest Missouri ride is one of 70 nationwide, with 80,000 cyclists expected. If that doesn’t fit your schedule, there’s a two-day MS ride the following weekend (Sept. 14-15) from Tulsa to Bartlesville in Northeast Oklahoma and another (Sept. 28-29) from Olathe to Lawrence in northeast Kansas.

To learn more, to sign up to ride or to volunteer, go to, or to sign up for the local ride, go to

Maple Leaf Ride

This is an important fundraiser for the Joplin Trails Coalition and starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. The ride starts at Kellogg Lake Park on Missouri Highway 96 on the east side of Carthage.

Routes follow lesser traveled paved roads in northern Jasper County.

Staffed rest stops with food, drink and bathrooms are spaced along the route.

The 15-mile ride costs $20 and the loop rides cost $35, but that costs goes up by $5 on Sept. 28, which is also the date needed to guarantee a T-shirt. A post-ride meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free to registered riders; $5 charge for others.

Day-of-ride registration will be available. Cash or check only for ride day registrants; T-shirts will not be available to day-of registrants.

Severe weather will cancel the ride. In the event of a cancellation, all fees paid will be considered a donation to the Joplin Trails Coalition.

To learn more about the Joplin Trails Coalition, its fundraising rides or for links to register, go to

Svitak Freedom Ride

This ride begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

The 18th annual Svitak Freedom Ride offers 10-, 25-, 40-, 67- and 80-mile options as well as a 100-mile Century Ride.

Prices start at $35 (plus a $3.50 sign-up fee) for the 10-mile option and rise to $55 for the 100-mile ride. Prices go up by $5 on Sept. 11.

The ride is held in honor of of Phil Svitak, of Joplin, a U.S. Army Night Stalker, who was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan in 2002.

Proceeds from the Svitak Freedom Ride help buy bikes for children of military families at Christmas. The goal is 50 bikes each year.

To learn more, or to register, go to

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is