Take What You Need

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Take What You Need. Love. Hope. Strength. Healing. Peace.  As we approach the last few days of our training for the Pan Mass Challenge, we think about what the patients need, what their doctors and caregivers need, and what the researchers need.  Recent advancements in cancer treatments have shown that research is yielding better results for patients.  The Dana Farber Cancer Institute plays a big part in caring for patients and is very active in conducting research with the funds raised from the PMC.  Please help us raise the money needed for this continued effort!

IMG_6980On Saturday, we rode again with some of the Platelet Pedalers out of Newburyport to the Nubble Light House in Maine and back again.  Twelve riders clipped in at 6am in anticipation of 95F (35C) heat, armed with Gatorade and determination.  We made the usual stop at Cere’s Bakery for breakfast, the lighthouse for a photo opp, and the Beach Plum for ice cream.  We clocked 77 miles in the heat.

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Dana, Craig, Lotika, Christina, Julie, Barb, Ravi & Gregg. Eilidh and John (not pictured)

The Emmaus, Cycle for Shelter ride out of Haverhill, NH was held on Sunday.  This well-supported 62 mile ride was our largest group ride of the summer.  With one weekend left to train for #PMC2016, we are getting in our last miles, catching up with our cycling friends and thinking about the big ride ahead.  The volunteers have already been hard at work preparing for PMC weekend.  The countdown is on!  Let’s roll!

100% of rider-raised funds go to supporting the important work of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute!  Thank you for supporting us!

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

Joanne: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JW0323

Erikahttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/EF0060

Jeanhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JA0203

Jean Renehttp://profile.pmc.org/JG0427

Eilidhhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/SB0247

Johnhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JC0474

Barbhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/BR0030

Christina: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0191

Craighttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0203

Gregghttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/GS0101

Juliehttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JM0546

Ravihttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/RP0074

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

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Willsboro Wandered Off…

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After a fun time in Burlington, at the Vermont Brewers Festival on Saturday, it was time to put on some miles on the bike on Sunday.  With a little online investigation, a group ride was located, sponsored by the Green Mountain Bicycle Club – it even included a short ferry ride across Lake Champlain from CharLOTTE VT to Essex NY!  About 15 locals joined in for the 40 or 50 mile loop in NY called the Willsboro Wanderer.  You would think the name of the riding club would have tipped us off, but it didn’t.  Joanne and I were surprised to be met with a 2 mile ascent straight off the ferry – and elevationno one was slowing down.  That’s when we truly realized we were in the Adirondacks.  The climbing did not stop.  For 40 miles (elevation gain of 2934ft).  When we were able to look up, it was a beautiful ride through the mountains, passing by tomato farmIMG_6600s and corn fields and the Meadowmount School of Music.  Needing a bit of a break, we did a small jaunt to Dogwood’s Bakery for a refuel .  Kevin, the ride sweeper, stayed with us through the route and was rewarded with a brew at the Old Dock Restaurant while waiting for the ferry.

The weekend before included a short rainy ride out in Cornwall, Ontario where this city kid spotted 6 ground hogs, a deer and two fawns, two turkey families and a bike path that abruptly ended. This year’s training has officially included two countries.

Preparing for #PMC2016 and 192 miles is no easy task and the count down is on.  There are 2 weekends to go, and some of us (me) are behind in our mileage.  These days, any short early-morning rides end with a climb up Park Ave to get ready for the hills in the dunes on Day 2 (right Kevin?).

As always, we are riding for our stories and for yours. Please help us reach our fundraising goals!

It is not too late to contribute to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the PMC!  Please support us today!

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Joanne: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JW0323

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

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Kicking off #PMC2016 with No Bike Shoes Day!

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Celebrating No Bike Shoes Day!

I’m not certain when this year’s Pan Mass Challenge training started, though I do know that the blog posts didn’t start up in parallel.  There have been miles logged, group rides completed and a fundraiser held.  So, here is an account:

Kicking off PMC2016 with No Bike Shoes DayA couple of weeks ago, Barb and I both forgot our cycling shoes but didn’t realize it until we each got to Gregg’s.  This episode prompted a surprise trip to Newburyport to ride 50 miles with Barb on her home turf.  (Once, a couple of years ago, I forgot to bring my shoes to the start of the B2VT ride.  This resulted in a very speedy trip home and joining the ride some 20+ miles in).  Forgetting your shoes once is an accident, twice and you’re famous.

Eilidh’s Harvard HillsIMG_6257In preparation for the Tri-State Trek, Eilidh was logging some seriously hilly miles in Harvard and I tagged along for some hill training.  Fortunately, we had a speedy support crew who knew just when to show up with apple cider or rain jackets, not to mention a bowl of hot soup at the end.  Congrats to Eilidh on her ride to support ALS.  PMC has nothing on you after that ride!  Way to go!

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We love Cere’s!

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A quarter of a Double Nubble – Kevin and I headed up to Newburyport to meet up with IMG_6419Dave’s Patriot’s Platelet Pedalers gang riding to the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine – an 80 mile ride, one they do back-to-back later in the season (dubbed the Double Nubble).  Since not too many miles were logged at that point in the season, we opted for half a Nubble and a full stop at Cere’s Bakery in Portsmouth.

Strawberry Hill ForeverJean, Jean-Rene and I did a ride with Quad cycles taking us out through our familiar Concord and Carlisle loops.  It was here on Strawberry Hill that we ran into Bonnie and Roger, out training for their cycle trip to Italy.  Why didn’t I take a picture??

Suds and FundsJoanne, Jean, Erika and I held a raffle fundraiser at Joanne’s on a beautiful sunny day!  Thanks to those who were able to attend and huge thanks go out to our raffle prize donors Pemberton Farms, Fusion Taste Restaurant, Wheelworks, Marathon Sports, Somerville Theatre, Winestone, Melrose Boot Camp, Gerry, Joanne’s mom, and a special thanks to Kate from Craft Beer Cellars for the Allagash White and the Lil Heaven IPA!  Yum!

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Holy Hills of Hollis – Riding out of Hollis, NH, I knew I was in for a hilly ride.  Ken had mapped a 36 mile ride that expanded to 53.6 miles with 3238′ climbing because it was a beautiful day and we wanted to suffer.  Ken reported that he only hit 41.2 mph on the 16% grade descent from Mount Vernon because of the headwind (this balanced the 7mph ascent).  Usually he hits 50 mph on the way down (insert crazy laughing noise).  We discovered a cute place that sells just about everything – antique typewriter anyone? – to stop for a ham and egg sandwich and read the messages on the message tree.

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Independence Day RideThe Independence Day ride has been going on for several years and is led by Alan from Teanorth bridgem Kermit and this year I joined in with Snappy Dog and Craig.  This ride starts in Framingham and follows the marathon course into Boston.  We stop for lunch at 9:30am at Faneuil Hall where the place that sells the Italian sausages doesn’t open until 10am.  Smoothie it is!  From there we ride back on a car-less Storrow Drive and into Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington (stop at Ranc’s), Bedford, Concord and the famous North Bridge for a photo opp.  As told by Garmin, the ride was 70 miles and the top temperature was 94F.   Nobody melted, but I didn’t want to see another hill for a while.

And here we are with 4 weekends to go!

Please consider a donation to the PMC.  100% rider raised funds go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Interested in knowing how the money is spent?  Click here for a short video where Ed Benz, President and CEO of DFCI, explains.

Thank you for supporting us!

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

Joanne: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JW0323

Erikahttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/EF0060

Jeanhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JA0203

Jean Renehttp://profile.pmc.org/JG0427

Eilidhhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/SB0247

Johnhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JC0474

Barbhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/BR0030

Christina: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0191

Craighttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0203

Gregghttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/GS0101

Juliehttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JM0546

Ravihttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/RP0074

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

monarch

#PMC2015 marks half a BILLION!

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An incredible achievement!

This year marked an important Pan Mass Challenge milestone. Being $45 million dollars away from reaching a cumulative total of HALF A BILLION dollars raised, meant we had to increase our fundraising by 10% over last year – and with your help, WE DID IT!

That is a lot of money!  Curious to know how it is spent?  Click right here.

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our supporters!

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Wheels Up! It’s PMC time!

Thanks so much for the generous support of the PMC!  It really makes a difference to know there is a great community of family and friends lifting you along the way from January to August especially when the training/ planning/going gets tough. For the PMC, the toughest part is often more emotional part than physical. As Kevin says, “Pain is temporary. Meeting kids with bald heads from chemo and big happy smiles under their head scarves saying Thank You, Thank You, stays with you for a long time, and it’s hard to ride with tears in your eyes”.

We are ready.

Volunteers have been preparing for the riders and we can’t wait to see them out there.  Click here to see how many pounds of peanut butter will be consumed!

Here is an account of the last week before the PMC:

While Snappy Dog was finishing up the Ragbrai ride across Iowa and making friends with the locals, Gregg, Julie and Barb traveled north to the Lobster Ride in Maine.  We could tell that they enjoyed it because they have been sporting their lobster gear ever since.
We did some Craig-tracking and learned he was not MIA, but out riding around NASA.

On Friday, a USA vs France wine taste-off fundraiser was hosted by Erika, our wine expert at the Boston Wine School and co-hosted by Joanne, Jean and I.  Joanne, who we all think should have a catering business on the side, prepared the goodies that were gobbled.  That evening we even got to taste test the PMC wine (not bad!) and the PMC beer that can be found in local stores (some proceeds go directly to the PMC).  Be on the lookout for that!

Emmaus Cycle for Shelter, was held last Sunday, a 62 mile course which left from Northern Essex Community College in Haverill.  The ride was one of the best-supported, well-organized rides around and raises money to provide the basics for homeless children and adults to begin rebuild their lives. Within the last year, this organization has placed 200 families and 80 individuals into permanent housing. Ravi, Lotika, Gregg, Julie, Barb, Eilidh, John and I rode along the coast line collecting sand on our bikes and a few more hill climbs before the big PMC weekend.

Fried Clams, My Perfect Beach day and Headwinds – as told by Joanne

Jean, Erika and I headed out from my hometown of Ipswich on a rainy Sunday morning that, thankfully, transformed into my perfect beach day – overcast, breezy and not a lot of chance for a sunburn on my pale, pale skin.  Our destination, Plum Island!

We made good time through Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury and into Newburyport, when we were slowed down by a powerful headwind (which is really a misnomer, as it’s really a “total body” wind).  PMC alum Erika told us the headwind getting to and onto Plum Island is reminiscent of the last push to P-town and I thought, “Dear God, what have I gotten myself into?”  Though, the fliIMG_1343pside of the headwind is the tailwind – and, boy, oh boy, did we like that!  Unfortunately it only lasted ~ 3 miles.

We made a quick stop at the observation tower and made our way back in the previously noted, glorious, tailwind.  Erika clocked us at 18-20 mph on that stretch, which is FAST for us!

We made our way back via a rather congested,  but short ride, through Newburypimage001ort Center (whilst encountering some unexpected odors and hills) to our REAL final destination – The Clam Box!  Jean & I shared the native fried clam plate and Erika got a cheeseburger (what?! A burger at the Clam Box?!)  The picture does NOT show the 35 minute line to order – but SO, SO worth it!   5 more days until the PMC – yikes!!!

Thanks for supporting us!

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

Joanne: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JW0323

Erikahttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/EF0060

Jeanhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JA0203

Eilidhhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/SB0247

Johnhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JC0474

Barbhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/BR0030

Christina: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0191

Craighttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/CB0203

Gregghttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/GS0101

Juliehttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JM0546

Ravihttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/RP0074

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

Harvard plus Half a Double Nubble

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Kevin, Jim, Debbie, Susan and John waiting for a glimpse of Nubble Lighthouse. Dave and Matt missed the photo shoot.

IMG_4560Sunday was an 80 mile ride from Newburyport to the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine, passing through Rye, Portsmouth to stop at Cere’s, and rolling by several beaches:  York Beach, Rye Beach, North Hampton Beach to name a few, but to be honest I had no idea where we where.  It was the second IMG_4555Nubble ride of the weekend for Dave and the Platelet Pedalers, their Double Nubble just before the PMC.  The temperature was 92F but as long as we kept moving, it wasn’t so bad.  Debbie was told she was riding a camouflage bike, we were introduced to an ice cream eating lobster and later on took in a live performance of The Little Mermaid, at least until all the french fries were gone.

On Saturday Christina, Kevin and I rode out to Harvard to tackle the hills on a cloudy but humid day.  The best part was the company and the guilt-free salt and vinegar chips!

Only a few days to go before we click in to start our 192 mile ride and it is not too late to donate!  100% of funds raised go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund:

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

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Let’s all pedal a little bit harder.

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With heavy hearts, we let you know that Barb’s sister, Joyce, passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Joyce was the inspiration for the PMC team “Joie de Vivre” and would meet us at the Family Finish line each year.  We will all be thinking of her as we ride across Massachusetts in August.  Before she passed away, Joyce requested that donations in her memory be made to Barb’s 17th PMC ride. Let’s all pedal a little bit harder and help Barb reach her fundraising goal of $10,000:

Here is her fundraising link:  http://www2.pmc.org/profile/BR0030

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The Joie de Vivre PMC family at the Provincetown finish line a few years back. Barb is in the orange jersey and Joyce is in the cowboy hat.

On Sunday, June 14 a PMC kids ride was held in Concord and Eilidh and John volunteered to ride along and help out. We heard that Lisa’s Aiden thought the ride was a race and didn’t let anyone get near him as he sped through the course! A future racer for sure!

Here is Eilidh’s snapshot her volunteering experience:

  • two little girls quizzed me as we weaved our way down a tricky hill in traffic –  how many meters in a mile? Shall we look it up on Google?
  • a little boy engaged John in a conversation about his life and ambitions
  • one little boy told me that he has started his own construction company, and has raised a million dollars for the PMC this year – nice work:-)
  • a slightly older girl cycled incredibly slowly –  down the hill at a speed you can only go with brakes locked on for grim death. She shared that she was better at science than cycling (me too)
  • one very little boy lost a pedal, crashed his bike, scraped his arm and then had an existential crisis by the side of the road wondering grimly how could his friends leave him at a time like that? What were they thinking? Who would do such a thing? Why? Ice cream cheered him up
  • a 9 year old girl gave me honest and direct feedback that I was going too slow and she does soccer, running, field hockey, swimming and lacrosse and is a lot faster than her brother.

In preparation for our 192 mile bike ride, there has been a fundraising event at Slumbrew Brewery, some training rides, and a half marathon!

IMG_4031Though there was a torrential downpour on May 31, our Slumbrew fundraiser at the brewery was a great indoor success.  We filled that place up!  Thanks to all who attended despite the flash flood warnings and thanks to all who donated fantastic raffle prizes.  We had some very happy winners!

See some of the other action here:

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Thanks for your support of our 2015 PMC ride.  100% of funds raised go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund:

Dana:  http://www.pmc.org/profile/DS0304

Kevinhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/KS0135

Joanne: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JW0323

Jeanhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JA0203

Eilidhhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/SB0247

Johnhttp://www2.pmc.org/profile/JC0474