Looking back on the 2011 Pan Mass Challenge…

We made it again! You all helped me exceed my fund raising goal, and I did the easy bit and rode 200 miles in 2 days, on a bike. Thank you to everyone reading this. Once again I was able beat my fund raising total from last year’s Pan Mass Challenge. My 2011 total was $5,280, coupled with my 2009 and 2010 totals I’ve raised over $14,500 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the last 3 years. I could not have done it without all your help, no way. Collectively 5,000 PMC riders in 2011 raised over $35 million, 100% of that went directly to life saving cancer research. That’s. Pretty. Cool. (:-)

Once again the Pan Mass Challenge was a totally inspirational weekend. It feels amazing to be surrounded by so many people all of whom are there for the same reason, to do their own part in the war against cancer. It was an emotional 200 mile journey filled with thoughts of those who ran out of time ( nobody “loses” a battle with cancer, they just run out of time waiting for a cure ). It was an inspirational journey filled with thoughts of those who are brave enough, and strong enough to get up everyday and fight. It was also a journey of hope that our children may grow up in a world without cancer.

I was lucky enough to ride with Team Kermit in 2011. Team Kermit is so much more than just a PMC fundraising team, they’re a family in every sense of the word. Collectively Team Kermit raised over $314,000 for Dana-Farber in 2011, that’s pretty amazing. (:-) I was proud to ride with Kermit onboard!

Kermit's ready to come along with me for the ride. Scared, and rightly so, have you seen how I ride? We also brought along the best of British luck with us. (:-)

2011 was also the first year that Lance Armstrong rode in the PMC, it was amazing to have such a great cancer advocate riding alongside us.

Lance Armstrong lined up right in front of us at the start line.

There had been so much buzz about Lance riding in the PMC that I was shocked ( and mildy starstruck ) when I found myself riding alongside him for about 20 miles. We chatted a little bit, although he did most of the talking, I was too winded from trying to keep up. (:-) Lance skipped the first rest stop which was a good opportunity for me to say my goodbyes, peel off, and go throw up in a hedge. (:-) Lesson learned – Tim can’t keep up with Lance Armstrong, and has no business trying, ever. Now as disappointed as I know you’ll be to read this, I’ve decided that I will not, in 2012, be riding…in the Tour De France. (:-D

"On your left Lance!" (:-D

Team Kermit at the first rest stop.

Nothing like seeing your boys along the way to keep you going!

Heading into Bourne at the end of Day 1! Halfway there!

End of day 1, so far so good!

Day 1, DONE!

My home for the night in Bourne...

Around 8pm on Saturday night the weather started to take a turn for the worse. The wind was picking up, rain was slowly starting to fall. I drifted off to the sound of a soft breeze and gentle rainfall, warm and dry in my palatial canvas accommodations ( tent ). Fast forward to 1am…my tent had been quietly converted into a hot-tub, difference being that the water was cold, and there were no fun bubbles. When you ride 112 miles in a day, you’d be amazed at what you can snooze through. Everything was soaked and it was just a matter of waiting it out until 4am when the breakfast tent opened. Nothing like putting on soaked lycra at 4am, in ankle-deep water, in the dark. “Never riding the f’n PMC again. Ever.” Bad, bad, start to the day, it was ugly.  (:-)

The weather for the previous 2 PMC’s had been amazing, but in 2011 my luck ran out. The weather on Day 2 was miserable, wet, cold and windy, a bikers worst nightmare. It certainly put the “Challenge” in Pan Mass Challenge, Day 2 was tough, but this isn’t meant to be easy. (:-) Due to the miserable weather on day 2 I have a grand total of 2 pictures…

Almost there!

Glad to be done after a really rough day in the saddle, plenty of war stories to tell our kids after this day on the bike. ( DPJ, Chip, Me )

There’s a small group of us that ride the PMC together, we have for a couple of years and I can’t possibly write something like this without giving them a mention. These guys make the miles go by faster, we have a lot of fun along the way…

Matt McGinty – the yank that likes to ride too hard, and too fast. He also has a thing for my Canadian bike, but refuses to admit it.

David Parry-Jones – the Welshman that speaks with a British accent ( but moans all the time therefore reminding us that he is, in fact, still Welsh ). Thanks for taking the brunt of the endless British jokes with me David, even though you’re really not.

Chip Greer – the comedian on 2 wheels, he makes the miles fly by, but maybe they’d fly by quicker if he didn’t draft us for 200 miles.

Thanks guys. (:-)

So it’s a hard ride, mentally and physically. No doubt about it. But it doesn’t come close to the pain that cancer inflicts on people, on families, every single day, not even close.

The people below are the people that I ride the PMC for. These people are the reason I started riding the PMC, and the reason I continue to ride each year. They have inspired me to be better, supported me, helped me fundraise when I thought I couldn’t possibly raise one more dollar.

Jim and Brenda Blake, Christina Mason, Jamie Riehle, Mark Kelley. It’s an honour to ride for you all, thank you for your inspiration, for giving me a reason to ride, for your support. Thank you for making me better.

Each year I wonder if it will be my last PMC. The fundraising is a struggle, 8 months of begging people for money can wear you down, and all the friends that you ask, over and over again. (:-) Regardless, I already know I’ll be back again in 2012. This cause is too important, it means too much to me. I need to do something in the war against cancer, PMC is my “something”. Sure it’s small, but it’s something. If everybody had a “something” we would be in a much better place.

So, see you in 2012, and apologies in advance – if you’re reading this, chances are I’ll be asking you for money. (:-)

PS: For anyone that wants to get me off to an early fundraising start, please feel free and click here!


2 comments so far

  1. Papa Bradstein on

    Great stories…you did sign up for the dorms this year, right?

    • zerotopanmass on

      After that horrific wet and windy night in the tent, I have of course learned my lesson, and have once again signed up for a PMC tent. (:-) Old PMC habits die hard…

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