PMC 2005 — A Second Attempt

Barry Davis has a great 2005 PMC story to share.

For Barry, a veteran PMCer, the 2005 ride took a bit longer than usual to finish.

Here’s his story:

2005 started out just like every other year, fundraising and training for the PMC.

Except for a new bike. I upgraded my bike to a Felt F65. Things were going well from the start of the ride in Sturbridge when I started to hear and feel a clicking sound as I approached the Masonic Home Rd turn, 6 miles out of Sturbridge.

A quick exam of the bike revealed a cracked and bent left pedal arm. After getting a ride by a PMC safety vehicle to Oxford Center to meet up with my family, my family transported me to the bike shop across from the MMA entrance. At the bike shop, I called every bike shop along the south shore to see if I could get a replacement. No luck. My bike was so new to the market that replacement parts weren’t out there, so I was out of the event.

My family and I were vacationing after the event on Cape Cod. During this time, I felt guilty about not putting my body through the difficult 192 miles. Guilty because I remembered what they both went through during there final days and the pain they were in. Guilty because I felt I got off easy this year.

So, I came up with the idea of riding the 192 miles by myself so as to keep a promise of completing as much of the route as I physically could. 6 miles wouldn’t cut it for me this year.

I didn’t know the middle third of the route, so I called PMC Road Safety Coordinator Allen Eyden to see if I could obtain maps of the middle third of Day 1 of the Sturbridge route. He did four better. Allen organized 4 teams of PMC Road Safety crews to get me from Sturbridge to Provincetown in 2 days.

So, on the weekend of October 1 & 2, 2005, I would be riding what is now known to be my PMC Second Attempt ’05. Allen Eyden, Al and Janice Homer, Kevin and Cheryl Carlsen, Paul Fahey and Joanne Butler, all took another weekend out of their busy schedules and performed their normal Road Crew duties and got me from Sturbridge to Provincetown. These people directed me, turn for turn, every inch along the route.

But the story doesn’t stop there. The night before I started my Second Attempt, I was staying at the Sturbridge Fire Dept as I usually do on the Friday night before the event, when my best friend, my brother in life, Mark D’Agostino of Syracuse stopped in to wish me good luck. He was going to the Patriots game with his 3 brothers on Sunday. He surprised me by asking for my help in bringing his bicycle into the fire station. He was going to join me on Day 1.

Not only did I receive help from the road crew members, but fellow PMC’er Matt Dillis arranged to have his sister, Valerie Souza, set up his personal lunch stop at Valerie’s house at mile 64 of the route.

After only making it 92 miles, we all gathered at a hotel in Onset to reminisce about the days ride. During this time, Kevin Carlsen, a bike mechanic noticed something odd about my bike. The right chain stay had pulled off the bottom bracket. I was riding a broken frame. I had noticed difficulties in accurate shifting while training for and during the second attempt. No wonder.

Well, Kevin had the fore thought of asking what size frame I had and brought a backup bike, a $5,000 Axiom Seven. So that night he got the Seven ready for me to use the next day.

The surprises didn’t stop there. Matt Dillis met me at the start of the canal bike path and rode to PTI with me. Al Homer and his friend and fellow PMC’er Jim joined in the surprise wagon by meeting up with Matt and me at the Cape Cod Community College water stop to ride to PTI together.

With all these surprises, the route of the PMC did get to me. Because I was off the bike for 4 weeks while I was waiting for the replacement pedal arm to arrive, I could not get back all of the training I had done prior to the event. This cost me twice as I cramped up and ended my riding day on day one at mile 92 and during the last 5 miles along Race Point.

But I didn’t stop. I was going to make it to PTI even if I had to crawl to the finish line. When I did, my final surprise was waiting for me. My road crew, a few of their friends, and my children where there to greet me as I crossed the finish line.

I had done it. I completed the 2005 PMC. I wasn’t required to do so, but I felt guilty by not doing so in August. I fulfilled my own self-obligation to put my body through the difficulties of the event.

Nearly 20 people were involved in getting me from Sturbridge to Provincetown, although I was prepared to do it alone. I made many new friends that weekend.

But most of all, I learned one valuable thing over this weekend: the PMC is a family that helps out its own. The PMC is not just about the bike and the money, but about the heart. The caring hearts of thousands of people that care enough to make a difference in people’s lives. People afflicted with cancer, or a single soul trying to keep a promise to his loved ones lost to cancer.

Words can not completely express my deepest thanks for what each and every one involved in my Second Attempt did to make this happen.

Barry Davis and his Road Crew at the PMC finish Oct. 2, 2005

Barry Davis and his Road Crew at the PMC finish Oct. 2, 2005

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