In April, Richard Berkowitz of Miami turned 60. Alan Starr of Newton turns 60 this month. In November, Judy Adler of Maimi Beach will do the same. To celebrate, they will ride their bikes 600 miles – from Montreal to Provincetown. Their goal is to raise more than $60,000 for cancer research and treatment.
The friends will be joined by other cyclists from Florida and the East Coast who were born in 1951 and thus will turn 60 over the course of this year. They are calling the adventure the Tour de 60.
Starr, Berkowitz, and PMC Founder Billy Starr, who also turned 60 in April, were childhood friends who grew up together in Newton. Alan and Billy are cousins.
Their involvement with the PMC goes back decades.
Berkowitz, a founding partner of Berkowitz, Dick, Pollack and Brant, the CPA firm with offices in Miami, Ft.Lauderdale and Boca Raton, has been riding 190 from Sturbridge to Provincetown, in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge each summer for the past 22 years.
Likewise, Starr is a 20-year PMC cyclist and has raised more than $230,000 for the cause. Since 1997, he’s started his ride in Vermont, with other PMCers, turning the ride into a 400-mile, four-day cycling event.
To train for this year’s 600 mile ride, Starr rides about 120 miles each week, he says.
“I look forward to having the accomplishment of the long ride,” Starr says. “Being with friends and riding for days at a time is very rewarding, very meaningful.”
Joining Berkowitz, Starr and Adler on the Tour de 60 are: Gray Dunkin, Doug Lyons, John Shapiro, Charles Martley, Chris Coffey, Harold Kessler and Lee Kessler.
They started August 1. They plan to ride 100 miles a day, stay in hotels, and stop for swims and strolls in the gorgeous countryside between Montreal and Sturbridge, where they will join 5,000 other cyclists at the starting line of the 190-mile PMC. A sag wagon will follow them to ensure their needs are met and all riders are safe until they meet up with the rest of the PMC.
“I’ve ridden as many as 500 miles in 5 days,” Berkowitz says. “To mark my 60th birthday, I wanted to go 6 days and do 600 miles. It’s become a pride thing.” So far, Berkowitz has raised nearly $600,000 for cancer research by riding in the PMC.
For Judy Adler, “the training is the journey, not the destination.” And turning 60 is not something she spends much time thinking about.
“I truly feel physically stronger than I did at 40. I rarely think about my age, I am proud of how much energy I have and how much I can do in a day,” Adler says. “The last 20 years of long distance running, racing and training for 21 PMCs have kept me mentally and physically strong. “
Adler, who signs emails, “When I stop, I will rust,” lost her father when she was 12. He was 50. Her brother, now 63, was diagnosed in May with liver and pancreatic cancer. The two are very close. “I truly live life to the fullest every day,” she says. “I have many challenges left on my bucket list and only hope I will be able to get to do them.”