This is the story of my third PMC for 2020. Jump here to start at the first ride, and an explanation behind the madness.
In the Before-Times, the Pan Mass Challenge was always held during the first weekend in August. Originally, I was going miss the 2020 PMC as I was planning on camping with my son and the Stow Boy Scouts in Colorado. Of course this is not a typical year. Back in January, everything was open and there were no travel restrictions, so I flew to Galveston for a long weekend with my cousin Jill. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was going to start treatment soon. We visited the local aquarium (see the picture) and went out for a great dinner at a surf & turf joint. Ah, those pre-COVID times. She was successfully treated in March and is now cancer free! Of course I brought my bike to Texas. I pedaled 40 miles in Houston with a Space Shuttle Commander.
Once everything shutdown, I wanted to pick a special ride for Jill that mirrored her quick recovery, and so I chose a shorter adventure. On Saturday August 1st, I rode 30 miles around Myles Standish State Park in Wareham and Plymouth. In the parking lot, I ran into Susan and Evan, who were riding by, and Chrissy in the parking lot. We were all riding our own PMC Reimagined. And just to show what a small world it is, the guy who took this photo rode the first four PMC rides, starting back in 1980!
For my second day, I picked “Fast Jeff” from Team Lick Cancer. While I was noodling around Plymouth, Jeff rode 120 miles solo from his home down to Bourne – wow! On Sunday, August 2, we met in Bourne at the Dunkin Donuts at 6am. All he had for breakfast was a cup of coffee. After his long ride, I expected him to take it easy going up to Provincetown. Even though he is 3 years older than me, he trains very hard, and never let up. Wouldn’t even walk over the Bourne Bridge as it would hurt his average speed on his bike computer.
Unlike my previous rides, Jeff and I rode over every hill including the Rt. 6 service road, and Truro’s infamous Corn Hill. Don’t let anyone tell you Cape Cod is flat. Even with all the extra climbing, we easily topped 18mph and made it into Provincetown by 11am.
As you might expect, after 5 hours on the bike, I was a little ripe. My lovely wife, Laura, drove out to meet me and was looking forward to a nice lunch. I needed a shower, a rare commodity in a pandemic unless I wanted to book a room. However, the Race Point beach did have an outdoor shower, except it had no walls. Laura watched from the parking lot, laughing, as I scrubbed up while still trying to keep my bike shorts covering certain bits. Not that anyone gets arrested in Provincetown for public nudity! While not totally clean, at least I was less funky.
Thank you for reading through all this, and an even bigger thank you for supporting the Pan Mass Challenge / Jimmy Fund. Let’s find a cure, plus keep Chris off the roads, and away from outdoor showers. If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to make a donation to the Pan Mass Challenge. 100% of your donation goes to the Jimmy Fund to fight cancer.