This ride goes from Sturbridge to Provincetown riding the cape to cure cancer. Thanks to Scott Joy for the following update! “I dedicated this ride especially to Rev. David Dodge of the Stratham Community Church, his wife Susan, and son Joshua, as David begins treatment for oropharyngeal cancer.
On to the weekend report…” Scott Joy Friday On Friday, August 1, I drove with Annie’s Angels founder Bill DaGiau, his wife Diane, and son Billy to check in for the night at a hotel in Auburn and then register, leave our bikes, eat the buffet dinner, visit the Cycling & Fitness Expo, and attend the opening ceremonies at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. Billy Starr, who founded this event in 1980, kicked off the weekend, and NECN broadcast the opening ceremonies, which featured stories about why participants were involved in this cause, as well as music by Jon Robert and Ewing’s Sarcoma survivor Coby Brown. When those in the audience who are survivors were asked to stand and be recognized, Senator John Kerry, standing three rows in front of us, turned around and gave us a thumbs up. Saturday After too few hours back at the hotel, we rose at 4:00 a.m.to check our bags, eat breakfast, and prepare for the 6:00 a.m. ride start. Diane and Tony decided we all needed nicknames. Diane was already “Gibby,” though I later suggested she try “Gabby.” Tony is “Harpoon.” Bill became “Bear.” Although I offered that I already had the nickname “Roadkill,” I somehow became “Danny,” since in our colorful PMC jerseys, we looked like the Partridge Family. Rick became “LoJack.” No one is sure why, but Rick said he was up all night worrying about it. He lobbied unsuccessfully to change his nickname to “Salmon” after “swimming upstream” against the crowd with his bike. No use. He remains LoJack. We made good time and had great weather, not too hot and no rain, despite the forecast of storms all day. The five Team Timberland members who started from Sturbridge — Tony Albright, Bill DaGiau, Diane Gibbins, Rick Swartz, and I — often rode together and met up at the water stops in Whitinsville, Franklin, Dighton-Rehoboth, and Lakeville when we separated. Tony was excited, after three years, to have his picture taken with Boston Bruins legend Terry O’Reilly, who was cycling along with us.
We joined those who started from Wellesley just a mile from the finish line for a team photo and to end the day’s ride together. We arrived just after 3:00 p.m., and my cyclometer reported time in the saddle as 7 hours, 8 minutes. At 110 miles, this is my longest one-day ride ever! After a Harpoon Ale, I found my room for the night in dorm 3 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and showered off. As I headed back outside, I saw that our good luck with the weather had come to a temporary end. The winds were howling, and rain was pounding. The grills were shut down, so I found my way to where riders were being offered 15-minute massages. Good thing for the rain! It let up in time to take the “Living Proof” photo of the 300 cancer survivors who were among the 5,500 participants at 6:15 p.m. After that I went back to eating and finally found the chowder table, which had moved during the downpour. By 8:00 p.m., I was ready to try to sleep after a long day and knowing 4:00 a.m. was coming soon. Bill and Rick were on the air-conditioned ship in bunks stacked three high. I shared my decidedly-not-air-conditioned dorm room with Timberland teammate Steve Borne and another cyclist. Soon, it was morning and the lights came on. Sunday After a good breakfast and once Bill had his bike serviced — leaving him with a loaner wheel and ability to use only half his gears — we got on the road at about 6:30 a.m.
The ride from Bourne to Provincetown is beautiful, with two long stretches on off-road bike paths and scenic dunes. We had water stops at Barnstable, Brewster, and Wellfleet.
The whole ride route was dotted with supporters cheering us on, and I especially liked Cherry Street, where the trees were all decorated with red bows and ribbons, and the residents were especially generous with musical entertainment and extra water.
A short distance from the end, Bill, Rick, and I split from Diane and Tony to head to the Family Finish, where Bill’s family was waiting for us. The crowds cheered, we were checked in, and the ride was complete right at 12:00 noon!
I was thrilled that, although my seat was sore for the last 20 miles on day 1, it recovered for day 2, and my legs stayed strong for the whole ride. Tony offered to change my nickname to “Rock.” I’ll take it!
Next up, the LIVESTRONG Challenge Philadelphia, where I ride half the miles but have four times the hills to get over! I’m already back in training, with a 42-mile ride from Hampton to Portsmouth and back yesterday, despite wet conditions, with visiting friends Fed, Mark, and Christopher.
Thank you so much for your generous support of my first Pan-Mass Challenge ride and the fight against cancer.
All the best, Scott