PMC…take six (sorta)

PMC: [peeemsee]

noun

  1. Pan Mass Challenge; The Pan Massachusetts Challenge
  2. A 192 mile bike ride split over two days, starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown, Massachusetts that raises money for cancer research and treatment for the Dana Farber
  3. A pioneer in the athletic fundraising event industry that today raises more money for charity than any other athletic fundraiser in the country.
  4. An athletic fundraiser launched in 1980 by Billy Starr with 36 riders who rode 220 miles and raised $10,200 for the Jimmy Fund
  5.  The organization that has grown to nearly 6,000 riders and has raised $338 million for Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  6. The organization that generates half of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor
  7. An event that I have participated in for six consecutive years and to which I will forever be committed
The only problem I have this year is that my current ride has four wheels instead of just two.  Sad to say, there will be no actual riding for me this year, because I’m officially a gimpy girl recovering from foot surgery.  The good news, however, is that I still am registered, I am still part of a newly founded team, Team Crank, (more on that in a bit) and I am still raising money to help find a cure.

My current ride ready for the PMC

Before my first PMC, I not only didn’t bike, I didn’t think about biking, didn’t own a bike, and didn’t really know too much about the PMC.  My husband rode in the PMC with some friends, but beyond filling his water bottles and driving to P-Town to pick him up, I had no other involvement in the PMC.  And then, I found out that one of my customers had cancer, and everything changed.  To say that this woman was vivacious, funny, interesting and charismatic is an understatement.  I had only ‘talked’ with her through email, but it didn’t matter.  She was so open & sharing about what she was facing, and I found it increasingly unbearable to sit uselessly on the sidelines.  She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to more people than I could count.  One snowy night in January, 2007, I went on my computer and without thinking twice, signed up for my first PMC ride.

The logistics hit me pretty soon after the snow melted.  Hmmmmm…I guess I kinda need a bike.  And a helmet.  And…bike shoes, cute bike clothing, shades, gloves, maps, a bike computer, power bars, a waterproof bag for my phone, bike repair kit, replacement tubes, bandanas, and never ever forget the most important biking accessory known to womankind:  Hoo Ha Ride Glide http://www.reflectsports.com/anti-chafing-skin-cream.  Purchases made, I went into the parking lot behind the bike shop to test my bike for the first time, and that’s when I realized that I had yet another logistical issue: I didn’t know how to bike.

I’m serious.

Everything had changed in the twenty some odd years since I had last sat on a road bike.  The gears were in a different place, my feet were locked in by clip-on shoes, the brakes were in a different place.  (That’s what we in the pastry biz call a recipe for disaster.)  I somehow managed to click out one foot before I faceplanted in asphalt, and thus began my illustriousbiking career.

PMC...or BUST!

That first PMC I rode with my husband, and there is nothing that can describe riding in the PMC for the first time.  The emotions were truly overwhelming, and I spent the better part of those two days thankful that I was sweating so much that it might camouflage the fact that I couldn’t prevent random moments of crying.  The streets were lined with supporters ringing cow bells, towns gathered together under a balloon archway, a summer camp hiding behind ‘Da Hedge’, bag pipers playing on the Bourne Bridge at 5am, young children waving signs made in crayon saying ‘thank you – because of you I’m cancer free’.  Getting goosebumps yet?  Yeah…me too.  I was hooked.  I said to my husband as soon as we crossed the finish line together that as long as I was able to walk, I was going to do the PMC.

Well…I can’t walk right now, and so I can’t be out there on the road this August with the other riders, but I can still pass the sugar about something very dear to me.

If you want to find out more, check it out:  www.pmc.org .

Good luck to my dear teammates,  and good luck to every rider this weekend.  Ride safe friends – rubber side down.

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Owner, Baker,
& Storyteller

You know that friend who has it all together? Yeah. That’s not me. What I can offer you instead are my experiences, insights, and passions. Pithy observations about making cookies. Wry commentary on running a business. Loving (if slightly sarcastic) parenting advice. And if that doesn’t interest you, I have dogs. Cute ones.

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