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The bikes will be back

Next summer will bring hundreds of bicyclists to Wadena when the MS Tram comes to town Wednesday, July 28.

Wadena Chamber of Commerce Director Shirley Uselman said the economic impact is huge.

"We fill all of the motels in town," she said. "We're talking up to 1,300 people."

It's not only local motels that get filled. Uselman said she books rooms in a surrounding town, sets up bicyclists with local families who can house them for a night, and then there's the camp-out at Sunnybrook Park.

"It's incredible to see the sea of tents," Uselman said.

Aside from just being fun to be involved in such an event, Uselman said there's a big boost to the local economy.

"Most of these people come downtown," she said. "They have to eat and buy necessities."

Many also just want a souvenir from their trip, Uselman said.

So it's no wonder why Uselman wants to make the riders feel at home and welcome here. She said a welcoming group is used at Sunnybrook Park to help, and she encouraged anyone who just wants to meet some of the riders to come out to the park. There are other volunteer opportunities available, too, and those interested should call Uselman at the chamber at (218) 632-7704. She said anyone who is willing to host a rider should also call.

The riders will arrive between around 10 a.m. to noon on July 28, and spend the day in town. They'll leave early -- around 5 a.m. -- because that's the best time to beat the summer heat, Uselman said.

The Tram comes every three years, and raises money to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.