Mar 15, 2007

Pan Mass Challenge '07 [LINK]

A year and a half ago, I rode in my first Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day bicycle ride across much of Massachusetts that benefits research at Boston's world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I originally envisioned that the ride might offer some encouragement for my brother-in-law, Bryce McHale, in the midst of his treatment for colon cancer. Instead it marked a premature memorial, since he died from surgical complications a few days shy of his 41st birthday. This year I will participate in this remarkable, inspiring event for a third time, riding a 192-mile course along with some 5,000 other bikers the first weekend of August. I ask for your help in sponsoring my ride.

The PMC is the nation's oldest fundraising bike-a-thon, and its most successful charitable athletic event. Last year it raised $26 million for Dana Farber's Jimmy Fund, with an outstanding 99 percent of all funds raised going directly to developing new treatments. For its part, Dana Farber receives near-perfect scores from the National Institutes of Health in the quality and efficiency of its research. They are at the very top of their field.

This year I'll be riding as part of the Caring for Carcinoid team. Carcinoid is a relatively rare form of cancer that, while not what killed Bryce, has features making it an interesting subject for the sort of basic genetic research applicable to all cancers.

My fundraising goal this year is $6,500. My personal goal is to get to the finish line each day well before noon, and in general to whistle past riders with far more expensive bikes. While it may seem like August is an awfully long way off, I've learned you do a lot better when you start off early and keep a steady pace.

To make a tax-deductible contribution by credit card, please follow this printer-friendly link and press the "e-Gift" button in the red sidebar:

http://tinyurl.com/nsjdz

If you prefer to contribute by check, please send me an email (the name of this blog, "at" gmail-dot-com) and I'll contact you with details.

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope you contribute whatever you can.


UPDATE 4/12: I punched the Pan Mass Challenge's entire two-day route into Google's new personalized maps. Here's the first day's ride and here's the second. The 50-mile ride I'm planning out to the starting line the day before is here. If you prefer Google Earth, you can import the corresponding KML files from here, here, and here.

Since Google's new interface lacks a map-sharing capability, I managed to port them over here to Platial, which provides a nice social tagging interface, not to mention a very helpful community-relations rep in the person of Tracy the Magnificent... uh, Amazing... uh, Astonishing... (whatever). Take a look at the map in the sidebar for an overview of the first day's ride; I recommend BIG MAP view. You can comment on any of the points in the route, add your own points, and even "steal" the map. Really, that means "share" it on other sites, since mine's not going anywhere!

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