Pan-Mass Challenge Update; 30-Miler, Fundraising & Telling Equipment Who’s Boss

As April rolls to a close, I am happy to say many of you have already helped me raise $1,790 for my Pan-Mass Challenge ride to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. That’s way ahead of last year’s pace, but at 42% (of the $4,200 minimum goal) we still have a way to go. Those of you who would like to help beat cancer by sponsoring at any amount, please go to– and thank you!

Also, a big thank you coming for the Ban Asbestos Now folks. In exchange for helping raise awareness of their petition to ban cancer-causing asbestos, they will be making a donation to sponsor me as well.

Despite travel and the usual April weather, I actually got four outdoor rides done this month. For the most recent ride with my training group, we went our normal early short ride, only to get to the halfway point and say, “That felt short. Let’s keep going.” We did, adding a short leg to bring our ride to just under 30 miles, a significant (almost milestone) as we get ready to start doing rides of 40 miles and longer in May.

Also, I fought through a balky front derailleur, which had been sticking. My fix? I kicked it until it shifted properly. That’s going to lead to some very bad habits and come back to bite me later I’m sure, but it worked.\I also fought a dying camera battery (I think the rechargeable battery in my Flip camera is coming to a premature end) to capture a little flavor of our first (almost) 30-mile ride of the season. I also wouldn’t mind making some of my shots a little less shaky, but I’ll figure something out.

Pan-Mass Challenge: First 30-mile Training Ride, April 25, 2010 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

The PMC is a charity ride in which we raise money to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. 100% of the finds we raise passes through directly to the charity. Last year riders raised $30 million, and over 30 years that figure has totaled $270 million!

Please help me fight cancer by sponsoring my ride at :, and help by spreading the word. April is almost done as I write this, and would love to go out on a high note.

Thank you!

Pan-Mass Challenge: First 2010 Training Ride

After a winter of spin classes and other workouts, my training group got together on Saturday, April 3 for an honest-to-goodness outdoor ride- our first of the year- in preparation for the Pan-Mass Challenge August 7-8.

We went a short but good 24 miles, starting out slow but increasing our average speed to 15 mile per hour before tackling a huge hill at the end– for good luck, or something. At the midpoint, we reached Dover Falls at the Dover/Needham (Massachusetts) line, and saw some of the effects of flooding by the Charles River from the recent 15 inches of rain we had.

The rides will get longer and faster very quickly, as the Pan-Mass challenge dates of August 7-8 loom closer every week. So does our fund-raising deadline. We are 40% of the way to our goal of $4,200. Several generous people have helped so far (including the Ban Asbestos Now folks, who are still conducting a drive for petition signatures, each of which means $1 to sponsor my ride).

To sponsor my PMC ride directly, please go to to donate. Any amount is welcome, and I appreciate the generosity of my friends, old and new, that keep us all pedaling closer to a cure for cancer

Pan-Mass Challenge 2010- 1st Training Ride of the Season from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Pan-Mass Challenge Update; April & First 30-Miler

UPDATE: New link for sponsor page:

It has been a while since I have posted an update on my preparations for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day ride across Massachusetts. I am riding for the second year, raising money to help fight cancer. A few notes:

  • I have been overwhelmed by the response so far to my request for sponsorships. At this point, I have raised $1,335 towards my $4,200 goal. That’s about 30%, and well ahead of last year’s pace, even accounting for the extra money I am required to raise this year.
  • Of course, that means I have 70% left to raise. Will you help by sponsoring? The link is
  • I have been equally impressed given the tough economy. If you find you cannot donate, you can still help; just pass on the link to a few friends or family. The Pan-Mass Challenge raises millions of dollars each year to fight cancer. Every dime goes straight to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (corporate sponsors fund PMC organizational costs). Again, that link:
  • With the improving weather, I have begun some longer rides. Below is a video of some highlights (please define that term loosely) of that ride to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The legs are feeling good, and I will be increasing my rides as we get closer to the PMC ride in August

Pan-Mass Challenge Training- May 5, 2009 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Thank you to all who have helped- and will help- me reach my riding and fundraising goals for the Pan-Mass Challenge. If you have not sponsored me yet, please consider a small pledge at, and please pass the link along.

Getting Ready for the 4th of July Boston, and I’m nice to roller bladers because they’re going to hell anyway



Actually, I try not to get caught dead near Boston’s Esplanade on the 4th of July, but an unplanned bike ride into the city prompted me to whip out my trusty but inadequate camera phone to snap a couple of pix of the preparations for the big concert at the Hatch Shell. Here, you see the Hatch shell itself:


And here is the cannon prop for the “1812 Overture” finale.

What was really on my mind was how nice it is to have a bike path that can take me from my house to the middle of Boston without having to fight automobile traffic. Boston has a few great bike paths, among the the Esplanade trail I favor lately, to the Minuteman Trail, which I rode frequently when I lived in Somerville Mass. Funny to come home later to read an article in the Boston Globe about the conflicts among pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, and other path users. Perhaps the trail is getting a bit too crowded. that’s a good problem to have, but I understand the tensions among the differently-speeded groups of people using these trails.

The Esplanade trail along the Charles River is often crowded as you get nearer the Hatch shell area in the Back Bay, but I didn’t find any antagonism as well as I sped my way along the trail. A few thoughts about trail etiquette that usually help me:

  • As a cyclist, I am usually the fastest, and bear some responsibility for not killing the pedestrians and others on the trail. I like to go fast, but slow down to reasonable spees when it is crowded.
  • Pedestrians and joggers: don’t go three abreast on a bike trail, you are just asking to get killed. Also, make sure you can hear cyclists yell “on your left” as they try to get by, even if you wear headphones. It’s the little things that help.
  • If you need to stop– to gather a group, fix a tire, make a call. GET OFF THE TRAIL. There was a family group of about 8-10 cyclists, including children, sitting on the trail, just waiting for someone to run them over.
  • Rollerbladers– the very nature of your transportation makes you a pariah and a blight on the trails. You take up too much room going side to side, and most of you do not have enough control over the things to be allowed out in public on the skates. I stay nice to skaters and give them a wide berth when I can, but rollerbladers– you are hated. Just get used to it.

In all, it was a great ride today. I was patient with all my pet peeves, and just enjoyed the day. We cyclists rule the trail from the top of the food chain. From us, a little tolerance goes a long way.

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