This summer, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge crossed the Atlantic Ocean. A team of dedicated virtual riders launched the first out-of-the-US ride – PMC in Italy. Check out the video below.
Here’s the story from PMCer Lauren Hefferon:
“The PMC partnered with Ciclismo Classico, an Arlington-based bike adventure tour company, to create the first PMC – Italy ride, a 150-mile route from Assisi to the coast that took place over PMC weekend.
Eight PMCers (and a 15-yr old future PMCer) started in the town of Fano with a celebratory dipping of wheels in the Adriatic and a welcome from Fano’s Mayor Francesco Cavalieri. After receiving the keys of the city, we were off on a challenging ride to Urbino, the birthplace of Rafaello. From Urbino we cycled along rivers through the lush mountains to Genga and visited the spectacular Grotte di Frasassi, Italy’s largest known caves. From there, we entered the gentle landscape of Umbria, which has inspired poets and painters from Dante to Raphael.
After a rest day in Assisi the PMC – Italy riders rode 150 miles toward the Tuscan coast. Wearing our 08 PMC jerseys, PMC numbers and our own personal dedications to those for whom we were riding, we rose at dawn, descended through the narrow streets of Spello and spun our wheels across the Italian landscape just as the sun burst from behind Assisi setting the landscape and our spirits aglow! We concluded our wonderful journey two days later at the gorgeous blue Mediterranean with a celebratory tire dipping, a swim in the turquoise water and many beers by the sea.
Jeff and Ellen Kaplan, of Newton, rode in PMC – Italy in honor of Ellen’s sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer (and is doing well) and to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
While the PMC will always have its heart and soul in Massachusetts, the PMC is much bigger than that. The success of the first PMC – Italy demonstrated that, as long as the quality of the rider experience remains high and the fundraising minimums are honored, we can take the PMC magic beyond its boarders to create itineraries that will connect PMCers to cancer victims and survivors around the world. Together, this first group of PMC – Italy cyclists raised $70,000 for the PMC.
With the PMC’s blessings and rider support, we hope to grow the Italy PMC to over 100 riders by 2010. Our goal is to continually weave more and more key PMC elements of the classic route: pedal partners, pre- and post-ride celebration, fans along the route, excellent food, fun and of course great riding. We also look forward to inventing some of our own PMC traditions and of course contributing to the unified PMC goal of raising increasingly more money for Dana-Farber.”
Lauren Hefferon is the founder and director of Ciclismo Classico and an 18-year PMC rider.