I’ve answered this question so often in the last week that I have neglected to update everyone here. I can’t believe a whole week has passed, this time last Saturday I was already past the first water stop.
So, how did it go? Incredible. As great–no better– than last year. I feared that in trying to re-create the feeling of last year’s ride that I might be disappointed as can happen whenever we try to re-live a special moment. But that wasn’t the case and it became obvious why riders do the Pan Mass Challenge again and again. It’s because you know, as you are riding by people with signs and cowbells and horns, clapping and cheering and saying THANK YOU I AM ALIVE BECAUSE OF YOU, showing pictures of their loved ones and hearing the stories from every single rider who rides for their mother, their father, their cousin, their spouse or themselves that this isn’t just a ride; it’s a ride to culminate raising MILLIONS of dollars to fund research that is ACTUALLY SAVING LIVES. The ride is only part of it–it is the people who give–you, who give–that are the important ones here. Because the ride means nothing without the donations and THAT is what this is about. So to see the results all along the route–people crying and laughing who come out by the thousands is what makes this the most important weekend of my entire year. The 1700 miles Susan and I rode to train for this ride are nothing in comparison to the 1700 lives that can be saved from the millions of dollars raised.
And can we talk about the volunteers? 3,000 strong that fed us,massaged us,cleaned our sunglasses,gave us water and ice and Advil and changed our flat tires and kept us safe on the roads. Mark was one of these. He changed 24 flat tires and road the course in a truck from 4 am to 6 pm on Saturday and got up at 3:30am again to do it Sunday. It’s extraordinary to see so many giving individuals. I’ve said it before—the volunteers work harder than the riders–and without them this event would absolutely not take place or run as smoothly as it does.
So Susan and I will do this again next year. We have decided to do the full original route from Sturbridge which will add 30 miles to our ride. This means we will need to do a little more training for this if we can find the time but we are certainly up for the challenge.
“The greatest compliment I can make of the PMC is that if you told me I was
going to die on Sunday, which I hope of course does not happen, I would be
thrilled to have spent my last day on Saturday riding the PMC: doing
something to try to improve our world, and experiencing all that is best in
humanity: teamwork and giving of oneself for others. The riders and
volunteers behave in a way that IF there is a God, they would all be acting
exactly as God would hope for humans – caring more about others than
themselves on behalf of this amazing weekend!”Thank you to all who have supported Susan and I with either donations or kind words or balloons or cakes or a pat on the back–it means more to us than you can ever imagine.