For those of you who are interested, here is how the next few days leading up to the PMC will look for yours truly.
Thursday: Not too exciting – work, quick power hour ride, solid dinner, pack
Friday: I will not be making the ride from the MA/NY border with many of my Team Forza-G teammates. Have fun all! Instead, I will be start the day working at Harpoon, and then head to Sturbridge with my colleagues, one who will be riding the PMC (Liz) and others who will be working (Adam and Fitz). Yeah Beer! Check-in starts in Sturbridge around 3 PM. Then, I’ll check out the trade show/expo. I will wait for Forza-G to eat dinner. We will get into the room for the Opening Ceremonies around 6:30 PM, presentations start at 7:30 PM, and then the main show will be live on NECN at 8 PM. Having experienced this last year, it is very emotional. I hope you’ll watch. The day will end with a beer or two in the tavern at the hotel, and then off to get some sleep.
Saturday: The day starts early. We will get up around 4:30 AM and try to get to the start area at the Sturbridge Host Hotel by about 5 AM. Breakfast will be the first priority and then we will all assemble at the start. It will be an amazing scene – thousands of cyclists, all wearing the same jersey, all aligned for one cause, all ready to ride. At 6 AM, we will start rolling out, and it takes a while to get up to speed.
The ride on Saturday has 5 rest stops, so one about every 20 miles. There will be a couple of special stops. The first will be for lunch at a teammate’s sister’s house for lunch and a team photo at mile 62! I hope that I can keep up with everyone and make that stop. The second will be at the 5th rest stop of the day at Mile 100 at Wareham High School. This is where Michele and her folks (and anyone else who wants) will meet me to say hi. My guess is that this will be around 2 PM (I hope). This will be the end of my 2nd ever century-ride, the first being last year’s Day 1.
After that, it is 8 more miles to Bourne and the Mass Maritime Academy campus, where we will finish. So many people come out to cheer all the riders on, it is very cool. On the campus, we will check-in, stow our bikes, get showered, enjoy a fresh Harpoon or two, grab some food, and get the official Team Forza-G picture taken. At 6:15 PM, I will be part of the Living Proof photo with all the PMC riders who are also survivors.
Then it will be off to Michele’s godmother’s in Mattapoisett for dinner and a good night sleep.
Sunday: This day starts early as well. Up at 4:15, out the door by 4:45 AM, and getting to MMA around 5 AM. Checking in takes only a moment, find the bike, grab some food and fill the bottles, and we’ll be off. The goal is to reach the Provincetown in 84 miles later around 12 noon. One stop to say hi to a Harpoon co-worker and his family just after the second waterstop, around mile 45 in Orleans.
The last 5 miles, once you see the “Welcome to Provincetown” sign will probably be the most emotional for me. The accomplishment of finishing the challenge of riding 192 miles in 2 days, the ability to say that I have contributed to something greater than myself with all of our fundraising, and the grateful understanding that 12 years after going through treatments for my own cancer that I have the opportunity to do any of this will all flood my brain, and I am sure, tears will roll down my face as my wheels roll over those last few miles.
The team will meet up in Provincetown, enjoy lunch, get showered, share stories, and then walk, yes walk, a mile to get the Provincetown docks to get on the ferry back to Boston at 3 PM. I take the ‘slow’ or ‘PMC Party’ ferry (2 1/2 hours to 3 hours) to get home. I need a little more time with the team, with the PMC, with myself to soak it all in. Then, I will find Michele on the docks in Boston and we’ll head home for dinner, maybe with some friends. I will share stories of the weekend, hear about everyone else’s day, be grateful for the time together, and be thankful that I have someone to share it with. It won’t be long before sleep will beckon.
Well, if you have read all of this now, you’ll want to check back next week to find out if anything in this plan went awry, look for photos, and read some of the stories.
One final thing – to all of the people who have donated to my PMC Ride: THANK YOU! I will think about you often during the ride. You give me strength and determination, not just when I sit on my bike, but everyday. I know that some day, I will look back and think about riding the PMC, and how it helped make cancer a disease ‘of the past’.
Less than 60 hours before I ride from Sturbridge. Cheers, Andy