80 Hilly Lobsters

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61 miles in and a stop at McLoon’s Lobster Shack

Lobster ride 002Last Sunday marked the Lobster Ride out of Rockport, ME.  Snappy Dog, Jean, Joe and Carolynn made the trip this year to ride through the beautiful countryside to gobble Lobster ride 015some lobster. The 80 mile ride with a challenging total ascent of 3988 ft, comprised a northern loop of 50 hilly miles along the coast, through the forest and around some lakes – and a more moderate 30 mile southern loop.  For a ride of this sort, it is highly recommended to take your 6’5″ friend and hang on that wheel for as long as possible. Thanks Snappy Dog!

elevationphoto 1This was such an anticipated ride that some of us are now sporting new lobster jerseys at the office and others are exhibiting their lobster affinity in other ways!  Last year’s idea of marketing lobster tattoos as a PMC fundraiser saw its beta test market this year.  Next year we promise a lobster tattoo station along with a PMC donation bucket.  Cleverly placing the tattoo on the right calf gives the folks you pass a reason to ask “Is that real?”.

A hilly ride out of Hollis on Saturday was hosted by Ken and attended by Gregg, Kevin, Snappy Dog (training for the Lobster, we presume), and Christina.  News has it that no photos were taken as there were 20% grades involved – not to mention hot dogs with fresh onions at 9am – but we did hear about a llama farm.  Perhaps the steep climbs and onions induced visions of Machu Pichu?

Kevin also joined Dave and other Newburyport friends on Sunday for an 80 miler and the second half of their Double Nubble ride out to Nubble Lighthouse.

One weekend to go.  We are in the home stretch.  The work is done, it is just to keep the pedals moving now.

It’s the time to reflect on why we commit our summer weekends to be on the road and in training.  On PMC weekend, each of the 5,000 riders has a story to tell.  They ride for someone who has been lost, who is in treatment, or who is a survivor.  Team Sylvie rides to contribute to cancer research in memory of our friend who we lost 4 years ago.

The Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund depend on these funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research.  Thank you for your generosity.

Fundraising link:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

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Apple Pi & Pain au Chocolat

The gang

Rollin’ the Apple Pi with Ken, Snappy Dog, Craig, Queen of the Mountain, Julie, Kevin, Dana, Gregg, Eilidh, John and Matt

Enjoy this post from Guest Blogger Kevin:

We have established a rhythm and a routine,
Far from organized, and mighty short of discipline,
We show up (which is 90% as Woody A says) early (early-ish?) and get ready in the cool.
If someone doesn’t forget their helmet…
Or their shoes…
Three weeks to go and we’ve done this a lot
Really, a lot
And every ride is an adventure and a discovery!

More Monarchs! Celebrating Sylvie in spirit!!

Because we’ve been riding and riding and riding since spring, since last year, and the year before, and the six years before that.
As a Team, for a Challenge that’s almost a Movement (but not as Arlo G would say)
We’re not fast (some of us), or strong (some of us),
But we’re all in this together, and we’ll all be there at the finish!
This week at Eilidh’s and John’s nest, deep in the woods of Carlisle, where the public road is mostly treed, and where the private road ends and the curvy driveway begins, we meet, greet, and mount bikes and head for the smooth pavement ahead.  We love smooth pavement!
Country roads through fields and parks turn into city roads as we leave the flats to find the hills while the miles click silently on the computers. The hill climbs earn the long swoop down. The slowest of us going up, are the fastest of us going down, and w???????????????????????????????e all laugh together at the bottom.  We follow the Pi signs marking the route through apple orchards and we stop at country stores where store owners love the cyclists’ flash and chrome.  We partake in carbs, and protein, and gloriously cold Gatorade. And because it’s July, some of us pretend we are French and buy chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat – no pain in that!) and talk about the TourIMG_0778.  We also pondered deep philosophical questions like “How long do you wait for the train before you realize the gate is broken”? The Apple Pi ride clocked 50 mi on a day that became hot as a pie baking, and just as sweet; we savored the moments alive and together.
Ba???????????????????????????????ck at E&J’s, the beer  was poured, the bubbles burbled, and the cool-pool-toe-dangle-splash….was great. Two weeks to go. Fundraising continues. The miles click by.
192 miles over two days.  We’re ready.
100% of your donations to the PMC go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  Thank you for supporting us and the Pan Mass Challenge:

Kevin:  http://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135


The B2B (Bakery to Bakery)


The first “B”

Kevin and I joined 9 new PMC friends on the Bakery to Bakery ride on Sunday.  After introductions, we left at 6am from Newburyport, along with Dave, Linda, Claudia, Jim, Ron, Diane, Mike, Sue, and new2Matt.  We rode along the ocean to Salisbury Beach, and Hampton Beach (where interestingly, half a dozen guys were seeking yesterday’s treasures with metal detectors).  We pedaled through Odiorne State Park and arrived in Portsmouth, NH at our first target.  Cere’s Bakery is worth many the mile (30-some at least!).  Luckily we got there early enough in the morning that nothing had sold out.  Linda said they are known for the scones, and our crew selected a good sampling of other goodies too: blackberry pecan muffins, chocolate croissants, etc.  It must be pointed out that even the coffee was delicious.  And it was like they had set the chairs out, expecting us.  After enjoying the treats – and feeding the sparrows the crumbs – we hopped back on our bikes and rode into thenew4..1jpg quaint town of New Castle, and onwards into Rye, Stratham and Greenland.  Next up was our second target in Exeter:  Me and Ollies for some more refueling and a bicycle- and World Cup chat with a Dutch lady.  Onwards into Seabrook and back into Newburyport.  68 miles in the books.

We were eleven PMC folks on the road.  Each of us riding for a story.  We heard about a young man who will ride his first PMC this year as a survivor, a man who was lost to cancer 24 years ago and his brother who will ride his 23rd PMC this year to continue to honor him.  And Dave will be riding his 30th PMC this year! There are so many reasons to ride.  Please be a part of helping us get to $40 million for this year’s Pan Mass Challenge. 100% of funds we raise for the PMC go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  We thank you for your generosity!


Kevin:  http://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135


The second “B”



Craig’s Rule of the Road

HarvardCraig has some simple Rules of the Road.  Well, one Rule, anyway: that any street with the word “hill” in it is to be avoided at all cost.  I learned this after Ken, Ditmars, Craig and I had climbed Oak Hill Road, Nagog Hill Road and Bear Hill Road on our ride from Acton out to Harvard on the weekend (hill climbing to be blamed on Christina’s GPS route).  We consider Bumblebee Lane to be a safer option as long as no one gets stung!  After this hilly ride, we will all be laughing our way up Corn Hill on day 2 of the PMC!

The weekend before, Barb hosted a 50 miler out of Newburyport, where Ravi got a flat tire, lost his chain, but rescued a turtle crossing the road (I just made that up, there haven’t been enough turtle rescue stories this year).  Rumor has it that some good Samaritan appeared to assist in the bike crises. The route IMG_0746went along the Merrimack River, through farmland (buffalo burger anyone?), around 3 reservoirs, through a salt marsh, and some nice neighborhoods.  A cute country store served as a snack station after about 20 miles.  Towns visited on the ride included Newburyport, Amesbury, Merrimack, Haverhill, West Boxford, Groveland, West Newbury, Georgetown, Byfield, Newbury.  Donna, John and Eilidh rode an nice 20-25 mile course.  Weather was awesome and so was the company!

Stay tuned for updates on the ride along the coast with nine new friends, the Alzheimer’s ride, and a favorite discovered last year – the Lobster Ride.  We have three weekends left until the PMC!  When you see us out there logging our miles, hand us a Gatorade, I mean, give us a wave!

Remember, 100% of your donations to the PMC go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund for important research initiatives.  Thank you for your donations:






Queen of the Mountain!!


Trepidation at the start line…

June 14 was the epic B2VT ride. Formerly named the B2B, after Harpoon’s Brewery to Brewery (Boston to Windsor VT) ride, this ride hosted 800+ riders cycling 132 miles  gaining 8,475 ft in elevation with 3 category 3 hills. Craig, Heather, and I didn’t know what we were in for. Snappy Dog and Christina, however, had been training with Gregg performed a reconnaissance mission of the first 100 miles the weekend before.  Thankfully, details of that mission remained classified and we had no idea what was in store.  Here you have it:

b2vt mapThe ride left at 5:30 am from Bedford and rode through drizzle to rest stop 1 in Townsend B2VT 001MA at mile 30.  We met up with Kris and Paul, our superb support crew, and after some encouragement and trail mix we were off again. The drizzle lightened up and we r???????????????????????????????ode through to mile 53 and stopped at Mike’s convenience store in the town of Fitzwilliam, NH to eat Ritz crackers and peanut butter, a delightful combination.  Mike’s was a place for most riders to catch a breather before the ominous climb that everyone talks about:  the Leviathan and the King of the Mountain KOMtime trial.  This is the first of the cat3 hills, a  4.4 mile timed climb to rest stop 3 at mile 81.  Despite the warning signs, the Leviathan sneaks up on you from a right hand turn into an immediate climb.  It was determined that if you turn the pedals and keep your head down, 6 mph is very near the tipping point on the bike.  The next rest stop and the potato chips were a welcome sight.  After many more incredible miles we began to see signs about Big Daddy which we found out is not some big guy that gives you a 4006379_race_0.004662165341931868.displayhug at the finish line.  Imagine riding 131 miles into Okemo only to be met with a 8-12% grade climb into the base of the ski lodge and the finish line.  Big Daddy’s Revenge indeed.  Interestingly, if one slaloms up the hill, the incline does not seem quite as steep.  In the end, most of us spent a few miles in with Kris and Paul, and logged 90-100+ miles.  But Christina is our Queen of the Mountain.  Covering all 132 miles and 8,475 ft in elevation, she rode over the finish line to claim her beer glass and well-deserved pint of UFO. Bravo Christina!

Roll it!  Our Queen of the Mountain in her own words:

Thanks for following along!  And thanks for your support of the Pan Mass Challenge. This year our aim is to raise $40 million dollars.  100% of funds we raise for the PMC go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  Be a part of it by clicking a link below!  Thanks for your generosity!


Queen the Mountain (Christina)http://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0191



Snappy Dog: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/TM0229


Words from the wise:  Triple-checking is not enough, always check four times that you have your cycling shoes.

Soggy Sunshine and Seven Hills

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photo 3-1The training rides have kicked off.

A couple of Saturdays ago was the first 47 miler in the rain.  Kevin and I rode through Lexington and Bedford and stopped at Fern’s in Carlisle for an emergency coffee break.  Near Great Brook Farm, we contemplated buying some goats, but weren’t sure how to transport them since we still had 30 miles to go.  Some puddles, side roads and foggy glasses later, we pedaled a backwards Strawberry Hill to arrive in Concord Center to compose the following limerick:red camera 2014 008

  • There once were some bikers from town,
  • Who thought that in drops they might drown,
  • Dissolve they did not,
  • So they gave it a shot,
  • And pedaled in soggy socks all around


Saturday was the ride to host.  Kevin and I (mostly Kevin) hosted a ride from Lexington, into Concord, Lincoln and Bedford.  There was a 30 mi loop followed by a 20 mile loop with a good gang represented, even debuting a couple of trekkie jerseys!  Craig, Michael, Julie, John, Ditmars, Eilidh, Kevin, Jason, Matt and I finished the ride (flat tire count = 1) and were greeted by Wendy Kris, and Heather.  A great lunch topped off a fun ride on a beautiful day.

And a thumbs up to Erika’s PMC fundraiser held on Friday!

???????????????????????????????Sunday was the Seven Hills Wheelmen’s metric century ride (61 miles) out west near Quabbin Reservoir where a roller coaster of hills took us from Barre through Hardwick, Ware, and Gilbertville.  Note that unlike in Portland, there was no peeing allowed in this reservoir.  Worchester’s Lynne, Willa and Greg let me tag along for a while, but I took a recommended detour tobakery the Rose32 Bakery in Hardwick  for a Cinny Bun refuel at mile 40.  The bakery also attracted some folks from Bose who are training for the PMC, so I rode with them until rest stop two.  This stop was manned by a Czech fellow lounging in his lawnchair listening to classical music on NPR while his lovely wife (in her Sunday finery) rode circles in the parking lot on her Schwinn bicycle.

Though we enjoy the time training for the Pan Mass Challenge, the chance to be out on the road, and the funny stories along the way, we remember the goal at hand and the people we have lost.  This year we aim for $40 million dollars.  100% of funds we raise for the PMC go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  Be a part of it by clicking the link below!  Thanks for your generosity!

fundraising linkhttp://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Good couple of weeks of riding.  A tribute to the steel Lemond that has served me so well for so long.  Welcome Carbon Fiber, we have become FAST friends!

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Kicking off PMC 2014 with Heavy Hitter Inspiration!

DSC_4130“What are you taking pictures for?” a small lady asked after poking me in the arm. I was in the CRI boathouse in Watertown last spring and I had just been out on the water photographing rowers. I told her I was doing some work for the club. “Do you row?” she asked. “No,” I said, “I am more of a cyclist, and right now, I am training for the Pan Mass Challenge“. “Oh! We have a rower in our boat who does that – let me go and find her” and off she went. In a few minutes, she was back to introduce me to Loie and we talked for a very brief time. It was a Friday, and according to custom, it was time to get right over to the local diner for a team breakfast. Loie invited me to join. In the curved corner booth sat a crew of 8 ladies. Loie and I began sharing incredible stories of riding the PMC: the riders, the volunteers, and the people along the way. But Loie, who had ridden her first PMC in 2006, had an even more incredible story, she was a survivor of pancreatic cancer. The others at the table were cancer survivors too. This crew of ladies arrives at the boathouse at 5:30 am twice a week to meet their coach, climb into the shell, and ROW! And you better get out of their way.

Last Friday night, a Pan Mass Challenge event was held in Boston to celebrate Heavy Hitter PMC riders who had who had raised more than $6,700 for last year’s event. The featured speaker was Loie!! I was so excited to connect with her again! Loie spoke about being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2005. She reflected on her frank conversation with her doctor, how her doctor warned her that the surgery – to remove a tumor the size of a half-gallon of milk – may involve as many as 6 internal organs, but they couldn’t be more definite until the surgery. Like a game show host, Loie replied that she would take the spleen and pancreas option, thank you very much. Loie spoke eloquently and directly about her feelings at the time of diagnosis and shared interview recordings of her husband and her teenage son done back when she was in treatment. She talked about her complicated surgery (which thankfully did only involve her pancreas and spleen!), her treatment and finally her full recovery. She showed photos of herself, her family, her rowing crew and her PMC rides. She continues to be a beacon of hope and an inspiration to those around her. The evening closed with a standing ovation for her story, her courage, her struggle and survival in the face of this terrible disease.

And with this inspiration, I kick off my PMC training season with the goal of being a Heavy Hitter. See you on the road Loie!

The PMC is the largest fundraiser in the US and this year our target is $40 million dollars.  With your help we can make this happen!  100% of funds we raise go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  Thank you for your generosity!

Please click here to go to my fundraising linkhttp://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Loie in the 2013 Living Proof Photo at the PMC

Every year, there is a Living Proof photo taken of all the cancer survivors who ride in the PMC. Here is Loie at PMC 2013.