- Pan Mass Challenge; The Pan Massachusetts Challenge
- A 192 mile bike ride split over two days, starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown, Massachusetts that raises money for cancer research and treatment for the Dana Farber
- A pioneer in the athletic fundraising event industry that today raises more money for charity than any other athletic fundraiser in the country.
- An athletic fundraiser launched in 1980 by Billy Starr with 36 riders who rode 220 miles and raised $10,200 for the Jimmy Fund
- The organization that has grown to nearly 6,000 riders and has raised $338 million for Dana Farber Cancer Institute
- The organization that generates half of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor
- An event that I have participated in for six consecutive years and to which I will forever be committed
Before my first PMC, I not only didn’t bike, I didn’t think about biking, didn’t own a bike, and didn’t really know too much about the PMC. My husband rode in the PMC with some friends, but beyond filling his water bottles and driving to P-Town to pick him up, I had no other involvement in the PMC. And then, I found out that one of my customers had cancer, and everything changed. To say that this woman was vivacious, funny, interesting and charismatic is an understatement. I had only ‘talked’ with her through email, but it didn’t matter. She was so open & sharing about what she was facing, and I found it increasingly unbearable to sit uselessly on the sidelines. She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to more people than I could count. One snowy night in January, 2007, I went on my computer and without thinking twice, signed up for my first PMC ride.
The logistics hit me pretty soon after the snow melted. Hmmmmm…I guess I kinda need a bike. And a helmet. And…bike shoes, cute bike clothing, shades, gloves, maps, a bike computer, power bars, a waterproof bag for my phone, bike repair kit, replacement tubes, bandanas, and never ever forget the most important biking accessory known to womankind: Hoo Ha Ride Glide http://www.reflectsports.com/anti-chafing-skin-cream. Purchases made, I went into the parking lot behind the bike shop to test my bike for the first time, and that’s when I realized that I had yet another logistical issue: I didn’t know how to bike.
Everything had changed in the twenty some odd years since I had last sat on a road bike. The gears were in a different place, my feet were locked in by clip-on shoes, the brakes were in a different place. (That’s what we in the pastry biz call a recipe for disaster.) I somehow managed to click out one foot before I faceplanted in asphalt, and thus began my
That first PMC I rode with my husband, and there is nothing that can describe riding in the PMC for the first time. The emotions were truly overwhelming, and I spent the better part of those two days thankful that I was sweating so much that it might camouflage the fact that I couldn’t prevent random moments of crying. The streets were lined with supporters ringing cow bells, towns gathered together under a balloon archway, a summer camp hiding behind ‘Da Hedge’, bag pipers playing on the Bourne Bridge at 5am, young children waving signs made in crayon saying ‘thank you – because of you I’m cancer free’. Getting goosebumps yet? Yeah…me too. I was hooked. I said to my husband as soon as we crossed the finish line together that as long as I was able to walk, I was going to do the PMC.
Well…I can’t walk right now, and so I can’t be out there on the road this August with the other riders, but I can still pass the sugar about something very dear to me.
If you want to find out more, check it out: www.pmc.org .
Good luck to my dear teammates, and good luck to every rider this weekend. Ride safe friends – rubber side down.