The Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day bike ride across Massachusetts, in which all the participants raise money to fight cancer (this link goes to my fundraising page, so thank you if you sponsor!), is a grueling ride, and it takes some grueling training rides to get ready.
I had done a few 50-milers already, including one day with two 27-mile rides, but in recent rides my group had been going faster. I knew in this ride we would be pushing it.
In the end, we went 57 miles, through the scenic wooded areas of Wayland, Sudbury and West Concord, Massachusetts. We averaged about 17.3 miles per hour, which is a much faster pace than any of my training rides last year, and even faster than my pace for the 2008 PMC itself! Some more highlights:
- I rode the first 15 miles on under-inflated tires. I have finally fallen out of love with my inadequate hand pump, but my more powerful floor pump had yet to arrive (it would actually be delivered to my house while I was out on this ride). I still went fast though I labored to keep up with the group. I figure I got a better work out than they did, so there. We managed to fill the tires through a comical attempt to us CO2 canisters. I think we got the hang of it now.
- For several miles, a lone rider from Natick joined us. Tom is a cancer survivor and eight-year PMC rider. Our group is cancer free, so none of us would even think of trying to match Tom’s story, which includes doing one day of the PMC in 2003, then having cancer surgery the following Monday, and getting back to training for 2004 right out of chemo. It makes me feel great that there are so many survivors like Tom riding the PMC (plus, he represented the “living proof” riders on the field at PMC Night at Fenway Park that evening), and lucky that I don’t have a similar story to tell (knock on wood).
- We spotted a deer- there is usually some small form of wildlife on our rides, but it is always cool to see something like this. I just barely caught this deer in my video, but froze the frame to prove it.
If for some reason you would like to see this video via Youtube, I have uploaded it here as well.
Fundraising Update: We are getting closer to the goal– about 75% of the way there as I write this, or just over $1,000 left to raise! The PMC is a little more than two weeks away (August 1-2). Please join my team of sponsors at: http://pmc.org/DH0159