to make a contribution to the PMC.
Sorry, no pictures this year. I loaned my disposable camera to a friend and after 9 months have given up on ever seeing it again. This year I will be riding with a tiny digital camera.
The weekend started with a very strong storm as we drove to Sturbridge, MA on Friday night. Our group, consisted of Jon, JohnK, and Andy, plus a new rider, Mo from Newton, had the usual big pasta dinner followed by the PMC's opening ceremonies broadcast by NE Cable News. The guest speaker was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who kept his remarks short so everyone could get a good night sleep.
We got up at 4:30am, grabbed breakfast, and lined up with 2100 riders.
The goal this year of raising $15 million dollars seemed in our grasp,
especially since another 1300 were starting from Babson College in
Wellesley. As the deep-red sun rose through the clouds at 6am, we
funneled through the hotel's driveway, onto Route 20, now dry from the
previous evening's rain.
We may start together, but our group always separates in the first
mile. Andy, with thousands of miles under his wheels, takes off with
the lead group. I prefer a slower pace, but never miss a chance to
jump ahead, especially on hills. Jon & Mo kept a more reasonable
pace, and JohnK rode mid-pack. All went well until about 9am.
State Police shut down I-95 because of multiple automobile accidents
during the previous evening's storms. Traffic was diverted to local
roads while investigators tried to determine the cause. The police
insisted we shut the event down. So most riders starting from
Sturbridge were stopped at the 40-mile water stop. About 100 riders
were stopped at a parking lot in Plainville, just a mile or two before
the congestion in Plainville. Aha - I caught up with rocket-boy Andy,
though not through my own talents. As more riders dribbled in we were
told we would have to wait at least an hour, but could go ahead to a
Cumberland Farms for snacks. Jon & Mo soon showed up and immediately
wanted to head to the convenience store, if only to keep moving. So
off we went, in search of "Cumby's". Funny thing - we never found it!
Yes, we did hit a bit of traffic in the next town, but it was easy to
cross through the stopped cars. Soon we hit the 60-mile "lunch-stop"
at about 10am. Still no Cumby's!
Now it gets interesting. A few years back, Jay offered Jon a $10,000 donation if Jon could come in ahead of me. (We all worked together at Cadence and Jay knew I was obsessed with cycling. In contrast, Jon's two small boys have conspired to occupy all his waking hours to deprive him of training time.) Now we were together, with more than half of Saturday's ride done. With the windfall for the Jimmy Fund in sight, Jon and I stuck together. I alternated between "domestique" (a team rider who helps the best rider conserve energy by staying in front) and the coach from hell ("SPRINT!" I ordered at 105 miles, and Jon took off like a rocket!). Mo photographed Jon leading me into the finish at the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne. Will Jay make good on his pledge? Just don't tell his wife!
Sunday - on the road to Provincetown
After a sleepless night in a dorm room filled with snoring cyclists,
hitting the road to Provincetown at 5am was a welcome relief. I did
see a Cumby's just before the bridge to Cape Cod. As always, I wore
my "King of the Mountain" jersey (white with red polka-dots),
inspiring me to sprint up every hill, thus leaving little energy for
the rolling ride though the sand dunes of the Provincelands park
before the finish at 80 miles.
My 14th PMC was a good mix of new adventure and old friends. The
hardest part is the fund raising, which is where you come in. My goal
is $14,000 this year, and I want thank all of my 130 sponsors. I do
the ride but you make it all possible.
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