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PMC Rides Through Mendon Tomorrow

If you are out and driving around tomorrow morning, you may find yourself stumbling onto a scene that can be equal parts familiar and overwhelming, the sight of 5,000 cyclists making their way from Sturbridge to Cape Cod.
The Pan Mass Challenge is in its 33rd year raising money for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It is a two-day bike-a-thon with several routes that crisscross the state from either Sturbridge or Wellesley. The ordinal route, and the one that will come through Mendon, Bellingham, and Franklin, takes riders from the Western Mass hills to the seashore in Bourne. On Sunday, the second day of the ride, cyclists who are continuing on will either traverse the Cape to Provincetown, or perhaps head back to Wellesley.
There is no overstating the importance of the PMC to the Jimmy Fund, it makes up nearly 50 percent of the yearly funding and is the single largest contributor. This year, the PMC aims to raise $36 million.
Each rider commits to raising a specified amount, depending on which route he or she chooses, and donations are accepted through the beginning of October. Upton and Mendon residents can visit PMC.org to find a local rider to which you can donate. If you do not have a rider to support, I am in my third year participating in this fantastic event, and would love the support of Town Crier readers. You may donate to my ride at PMC.org/profile/CV0042, or by searching out my name once you visit PMC.org.
Aside from making a donation, it's pretty easy to get involved all you have to do is show up. The route from Sturbridge to the Cape is lined with people, sometimes four and five deep, who get out of bed early on a Saturday morning just to give us riders a little encouragement, and you have no idea how much help it provides.
Riding through Mendon is one of my favorite parts of the ride, not only because I get to see friends and family, but also because I get to play tour guide for my teammates, none of whom are from the area. I show them where I used to go to breakfast, the driving range I would frequent as a kid, the street that leads to the hospital where I was born. I never said it was an overly exciting tour, but it's fun nonetheless.
I would strongly encourage people to donate to someone taking the ride across Massachusetts this weekend, and get out and line the streets if you are able and be part of the nation's oldest original bike-a-thon, right here in Massachusetts.




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