They assemble us for the picture, then start handing out the t-shirts. The guy standing next to me is trying to convince the women to remove their tops before putting the t-shirts on, so they won't look wrinkled. (Did you think that having cancer automatically made you a better person than the general population?). After the picture, I rush over to the box of t-shirts to see if I can snag an extra one in the smallest size available. There are only Large remaining, but I take one. I walk back to the bike and stuff this and the PMC Kids shirt in my saddle bag.
8:20pm. I'm in bed. It feels good. 8:37pm. Mark starts snoring.
3:20am. I've been sleeping on and off (Mark hasn't been too bad), but I'm pretty sure I'm awake for the day now. I'm extremely pleased by the fact that my legs didn't cramp at all during the night. I'll just lie here until...
4am. We're up and getting ready. I am shocked at how little my legs hurt. I'm much less afraid than I was 10 hours ago.
We head out for breakfast, throw our luggage on the trucks.
Sunday morning is not a mass start like Saturday. They ask us to not leave before sunrise. After yesterday's heat, there is a much larger than usual number of riders eager to start early. Linda, her friend Mike and I can't get through the gate until 5:23. I think this is actually my latest start in 7 years.
I love going over the Bourne Bridge at sunrise, and we are cruising the 7 miles along the canal. At 12 miles I feel great. I know I will tire and suffer later, but I'm going to enjoy this for now. I warn Linda and Mike that I will probably not stay with them up the big hill at the entrance of the route 6 service road, and that's exactly what happens. Still the service road is the most fun riding of both days: gently rolling hills, smooth pavement, thickly forested,(and very few cars before 6am on Sunday!). I'm having a great time and then...
...There's Lindsay and her family! Lindsay is 9 now. Two years ago, I saw them holding a sign that said "Lindsay is a survivor", and I stopped to talk to them. They were in the same spot last year, and seeing her again, knowing that she was still well, had meant a lot to me. I have been so aware this year of families in the throes of treatment, that I really needed to see Lindsay and know that she continues to be healthy. I immediately pull out the way-too-big Living Proof t-shirt for Lindsay, and apologize for the size. I give the much smaller PMC Kids t-shirt to her sister, because she got dragged out of bed at 5:30 to stand on the side of the road with her parents and her big sister -- she deserves a present! I talk with her parents for a while (they told me their names, but of course I forgot). While we are chatting, there is a tv crew across the street filming the riders, and the producer sends the cameraman across the street to film us. They ask Lindsay and me to stand together, and I just start talking to the camera. Pretty soon the guy has the camera about 2 feet from my face. I have no idea what I said. The producer comes up and asks for my name, phone and email. She says she is working on a documentary for the Discovery Channel and she'll send me a release for my permission to use the footage. HD TV may never be the same.
I get a big hug from Lindsay's mom, say goodbye to Lindsay, and get started again. I feel great.
Thank heaven for little girls!
Rest stop 1: Mark, Paul and Dave are there. I tell them I'm doing okay. I dub Paul and Dave "The British Racing Team". Mark and I agree to stay comfortably behind them rather than struggle to keep up.
They drop us on the hillier parts, but we're moving very comfortably through the 20 miles to stop 2. As usual, all the kids from Cape Code Sea Camp line a section of road cheering for us.
Rest stop 2. We are past half way. I have no fear of the remaining ride. I am shocked by how little my legs are bothering me. Mark and I encourage Paul and Dave to leave without us so that we won't be tempted to try to stay with them.
Ocean View Road in Wellfleet runs along (ie, up) the bluffs in Wellfleet. There is a strong headwind. Gack!
Paul and Dave are waiting for us at the final rest stop. They have decided that we are finishing together. Linda and Mike are there, too, and we all head out together. Mark and I get separated from the rest going up route 6, but before we hit the awful headwinds of the Truro flats, Paul and Dave are waiting for us and they set their pace for us to draft off them all the way to the dunes. Despite all of yesterday's problems, with their help I am pulling in to the Provincetown Inn at 11:13, feeling pretty good.
Now, I can have a beer! And a sandwich, and potato salad, chili, chowder, a cheeseburger, two brownies, and several bottles of water.
Lining up for the bus, I get into a conversation with a woman who appears to be not a typical rider. She is very petite, with short white hair. She is 70 years old, and a first time rider. I don't ask her why she chose this year to attempt such a thing, because by this time I'm pretty sure I know what I'll hear. She tells me that she and her friend began training at the end of June. The fact that she's at the bus stop with me indicates that she could not have finished much later than me.
Thank heaven for little girls!
Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the summer that I was sick, and since I will only be 53 by then, I expect that I'll be riding again.
f you want to learn more about amazing Maddie Savoie and her family, you can visit their web site: www.moreaboutmaddie.com. They even have a section where they included some poor old guy's last six years of PMC journals.
For more information about PMC Kids events (if there isn't one in your town, start one!) see the web site pmc.org.
Monday -- August 6th
What a great weekend with the PMC and the Herold Family reunion. More on that later but for those that didn't get a chance to see us on NECN, here is the link.
|The Savoie Family supports Pan Mass
||Watch this Pan Mass bike riders will make their way from Sturbridge, Mass. to Provincetown in an effort to raise money for cancer. NECN's Matt Noyes m
Thursday -- August 3rd
This is the big weekend for the PMC and opening ceremonies are tonight in Sturbridge, MA. We'll hope to see some of you this evening when we get there. Around 5pm we'll be hooking up with Team MFS for a NECN live interview. Then tomorrow we'll be back home at the Wrentham water stop at 7:30 in the morning. All of the Wellesly riders will be coming through and we want to catch them on their way to the Cape. To all the riders, good luck and stay cool. It's hot out there so be careful.
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