May 21, 2024

Iowa Speedway to host charity bicycle ride

Annie’s Ride is Saturday throughout Jasper County

A charity bicycle ride, which will feature the Iowa Speedway and benefit the Mercy Ruan Neurology Clinic, is headed to Newton.

Annie’s Ride is made up of three routes, from 10 miles to 80 miles, that will bring cyclists throughout Jasper County starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Iowa Speedway and until conclude with a concert by Des Moines-based band The Nadas.

Started by Chris Andrews, Annie’s Ride is a way to say thank you and support the Mercy Ruan Neurology Clinic, which has made a big impact on Andrew’s life. Andrew’s sister, Annie, was diagnosed in 1998 in her early 20s with Multiple Sclerosis and started the endless battle of treating the unpredictable disease.

Annie’s diagnosis took a turn for the worse in early 2014 when she started having seizures. She was unable to care for her family or herself and at one time spend 194 days in the hospital.

“At times she was completely incapacitated and experienced a complete loss of virtually all body functions including her ability to eat or swallow, breathe and even blink her eyes,” Andrews said. “Although she was told many times that she would never live alone, never walk again and never ever care for her daughter, she has done all of these things.”

After trying almost every treatment science had to offer, the Mercy Ruan Neurology Center decided to try a risky new treatment with chemotherapy that had shown some promising new data for MS patients.

Now, Annie lives at home with her family and is able to walk, exercise and drive.

“The disease is still there and she certainly does not have the luxury of living ‘normal’ but she has beaten insurmountable odds,” Andrews said. “Her recent scan revealed no new lesions and she is working to continue to beat those odds every day.”

Saturday’s event will help support the team who works with Annie.

The rides are split into a competitive 80-mile route at 11 a.m. that will wind through Newton, Oakland Acres, Lynnville, Sully and Reasoner, a 40-mile route at noon with an abbreviated trip through Newton, south of Kellogg, Killduff and Reasnor and the 10-mile fun and family route at 2 p.m. on the track at the Iowa Speedway. All rides will start and end at the track.

Following the rides, food and beverages will be available. The Nadas concert will cap off the event at 6 p.m.

Tickets are available for the rides and the concert at

“This ride will raise money to allow this fantastic team in Dr. Hughes’ office and the Mercy Ruan Neurology Clinic to offer these services and resources to so many who can’t access them,” Andrews said. “100 percent of our money will stay local.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or