In honor of the 30th anniversary Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the PMC blog will take you on a ride through history. Today we continue 30 years in 30 weeks with a look back at the PMC in 1988. We’ll coast through the event’s history, featuring a new year each week, as we lead up to the 30th annual ride on Aug. 1 and 2.
Check out past 30 Years in 30 weeks posts here.
Send your PMC story to Stephanie@teakmedia.com
30 years in 30 weeks
For something a little different to recap 1988, PMCer Brian Richards shares his 1988 PMC experience in a letter to his supporters, which he wrote upon completing the PMC that year. Brian’s 10 year history with the PMC is chronicled on his web site www.brianric.com. Here’s an excerpt:
“I actually did 196 miles. I missed the turn off at the 40 mile point. The sag wagon had to go after me to turn me around. Saturday morning was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. There were over 800 riders, each of who had to raise a minimum of $600 in order to participate in this event …
I had a casualty at the 17 mile point. My chain jumped over the rear sprocket scouring 18 spokes and snapping one of them. I refused any help from the sag wagon and limped in three miles until I got to the first water stop, where I had my bike repaired. It was there where I had my first rude awakening…
There were over 800 reasons why people were doing this ride. We as a group were making a statement against cancer. People were lining up against the road cheering you on. Children were there with a cup of cold water or lemonade for the riders to grab. At times it was hard to figure out if it was sweat or tears running down my cheek. Every time I was cheered I felt like Greg LeMond.
I want to thank all my sponsors for allowing me to attend the most enjoyable event of my adult life. Every penny you give goes directly for cancer research. Not one cent goes for personal gain. Most of us have to cover our own fund raising expenses (this letter is one example). I even sponsored myself…
You are probably wondering why a guy like me would want to torture his body for 194 miles just to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. My grandmother, whom I never met, died of cancer at 48. My mother died at 40. My father, who is very sick right now, and who will more than likely be called by God soon, is fighting this damn disease. I’m going keep raising money for cancer research until I can’t get the sponsors or the good Lord tells me to put down my bicycle. I hope you will consider sponsoring me next year so I can Spin my Wheels for the Jimmy Fund. It is in my father’s name, one of my 1988 sponsors, that I herby dedicate my ride to.”
Brian’s father lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 10, 1988. Brian returned to the PMC next year, continuing to ride in honor of his family.
Those 800 riders Brian mentioned made a tremendous impact on cancer research that year, setting the bar very high for future PMCs. Though ridership stayed about the same from the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge in 1987 to 1988 with 800 participants, fundraising increased 42 percent. Riders raised an astounding $850,000 that year.
And one more tidbit from 1988: the famed PMC bike image, introduced in 1982, become the official PMC logo in 1988.
PMC 1988 facts
Event date: Aug 13 and 14
$600 fundraising minimum for two day rider
189 total miles
Start: Sturbridge Plaza
Finish: Provincetown Inn