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Sonoma County hosts 'Waves to Wine' cycling fundraiser

  • Colin Nambiar-Silow, right, high-fives Cisco teammate Josh Merrill after completing their 40-mile bicycle ride during the National MS Society, Northern California Chapter's Bike MS: Waves to Wine 2013, in Rohnert Park, Calif., on September 21, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

A bit of rain Saturday boosted the challenge faced by more than 2,200 cyclists who tested themselves on North Bay street courses in order to make inroads against multiple sclerosis.

Saturday afternoon, a tent city came to life at Rohnert Park's Sonoma Mountain Village, home base for this weekend's Waves to Wine Ride. The event, featuring an array of longer and shorter, one- and two-day rides, is a major regional fund-raiser for the National MS Society.

Among the riders celebrating in Rohnert Park on Saturday afternoon was Susan Pomolia. She'd set out from Sonoma Mountain Village that morning for a 40-mile local ride with the 40 members of her Cruisin' With Susan team.

Bike MS: Waves To Wine 2013

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"It was hysterical, at first, in the rain," she said.

Pomolia began to raise money for efforts to eradicate multiple sclerosis after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2009.

Other participants in Waves to Wine mounted up at San Francisco's Cow Palace early Saturday and rode all the way to Rohnert Park. They arrived at the tent village to find a party replete with myriad festivities, food, live music and beer and wine gardens.

Pomolia and team Cruisin' With Susan were proud of their 40-miler and happy to drive home Saturday night. More extreme cyclists camped out at Sonoma Mountain Village and today will extend the experience with tough and scenic local rides of either 50 or 75 miles.


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