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 1992. 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
Barry Davis was in the middle of his yearly fundraising efforts for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge during the spring of 1992 when he learned his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
Davis’ mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and told she had just six months to live. Davis was in such shock, for a month he didn’t train or fundraise for the PMC.
In June, his mother had surgery to see how far the cancer had spread. The results did not give the family much hope. One day that summer, Davis had a long conversation with his mother. She wanted him to ride the PMC.
“I promised her that I would ALWAYS participate in the event in some fashion and to ALWAYS fundraise,” Davis said.
The Thursday before the PMC weekend, Davis stood in front of a local grocery store with his bike, and collected money from customers as they exited the store. He earned $200 in four hours.
On PMC weekend, as Davis joined 1,400 cyclists on the cross Massachusetts journey, he stopped to call home as often as he could. On Sunday when he arrived at Provincetown, there was a message for him to call home.
Davis’ heart sank and when he called, there was no answer at home. He had to endure a slow ferry ride back to Boston.
“It was the worst ferry ride home, not knowing if my mom would be alive when I got back,” Davis said. Luckily, his wife, Linda had spent the weekend with her husband’s mother, who did not pass away on PMC weekend, but one month later.
“From that year on, I would no longer have my biggest supporter of my efforts for the PMC and Jimmy Fund by my side,” Davis said. “I knew that on PMC weekend, I would ride past my childhood home in Oxford and my Mom would not be there to greet me.”
Linda Davis would also lose her own battle with cancer years later. Davis continues to ride in honor of his late wife and mother. Today, his wife Cynthia and other family members continue to get up early on PMC weekend to be in Oxford Center to cheer Davis on along the first few miles of the Sturbridge route.
His mother’s death in 1992 made Davis, who will be participating in his 27th ride this year, an even bigger advocate for the cause.
“Since then, I have increased my participation in the PMC to well beyond a rider and fundraiser,” he said. “I have volunteered in many aspects of the event over the years. I’ve stuffed envelopes, help set up the Sturbridge Host Hotel, and even produced videos.” Today Barry and his family put up the arrows along the Sturbridge to Provincetown route and coordinate the placement of arrows along the other routes.
PMC 1992 facts
190 total miles