Wow! #PMC2014

This is what we trained for (except the rain of course). Please enjoy our thoughts and photos of PMC2014.  Don’t forget to scroll down!

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“The cure for cancer will be delivered by bicycle.” – Opening ceremonies…  Kevin‘s addendum: “They neglected to mention it will be delivered in the rain. No problem!”
“It was an amazing experience – the support of people by the side of the road cheering in the pouring rain, as well as the spirit if our team mates, gave us the energy to finish” – Eilidh & John
“The cold and rainy downpours we confronted on Saturday’s leg of the journey were no doubt difficult for many of us to deal with. But it pales in comparison to the day-in-day-out havoc cancer wreaks. So we rode to help fund the research, the care, and the treatments for so many who need it. And we will ride as long as we need to.” – Snappy Dog/

“Thanks to the lady bagpipers, the little girl on the dune with a fist full of twizzlers, the cops in the intersections, and to all of you who made noise and put up signs and slathered sandwiches and pumped up tires. To the massage therapists (Sophie!) who never sat down, to the security folks (Justin!) who kept us safe, and to the cars full of folks who hung out the windows to cheer us on. All together, one more time. PMC2014.” – Dana


Thank you for your generosity! Fundraising links:





Queen of the Mountain:


Snappy Dog:







Until next year!

The Annual Migration is About to Begin!

monarchThe Annual Papillon Migration is about to begin!  Inspired by Sylvie our papillon, we are ready for all 192 miles.  Friday we will meet with the folks we have trained with, gather around a big table for dinner and watch the opening ceremonies. At 5:30 am on Saturday, we will roll out of Sturbridge and take flight.  When we land in Bourne we will be tired but happy.  We will have seen hundreds of people along the road cheering us on.  Holding signs.  Ringing bells.  We will have seen the signs with photos of pedal partners – kids with cancer.  We will be inspired to get up the next day and do it all over again with Provincetown in our sight.

This is where we sign off, say thanks to our supporters, and get a good night’s rest.

Ready to roll:  Kevin, Gregg, Craig, Queen of the Mountain, Kris, Heather, Eilidh, John,  Barb, Erika, Ravi, & Ditmars


and of course, our very own Snappy Dog!


80 Hilly Lobsters

Lobster ride 012

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:

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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:



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!




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)



Snappy Dog:


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