Day Zero of the Pan-Mass Challenge

Shut up, legs!

Linda and I are the cyclists in the family.


The Pan-Mass Challenge is a pretty awesome charity ride in Massachusetts that happens the first week of August. It starts in Sturbridge and ends in Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod, an impressive 160 miles over two days. My Aunt Linda has been doing it for years, but it wasn’t until last year that she added on “Day Zero.”

Day Zero adds another 95 miles to the PMC, with riders starting Friday morning at the New York State border near Stockbridge, MA. It’s a nice little century ride, with one very intense hill before Northampton and nothing but open shoulders throughout. The PMC requires substantial fundraising (which I might try to do for 2015) but the zero-day doesn’t technically count as part of the race. Despite my touring pedigree, I tagged along last year and this year to get my road-biking fix.

My road bike is an unorthodox choice:

I’ve got a need… For Speed!\

Yep, Bikeasaurus Rex. With every other rider on carbon fiber and titanium racing bikes, I had to be in top form to keep up. Last year’s ride had us take an average speed of about 17mph, and this year’s was no different. It makes for a quick century. My Aunt Linda is in the same generation as my parents, but she usually out-paces me on the larger hills, and I end up drafting some of the stronger riders by the end of the ride, but I make it.

Luckily, it’s an easy route to follow.

We woke up at 6:00 AM and rode to New York, a nicely paced 6 mile jaunt, and took a group photo. We were joined by Team Forza-G, which had something like twenty or thirty riders out for the PMC. I spoke with one Forza-G rider, Kevin, who told me they had a nice mix of really strong riders and some moderate riders this year. Our group ended up in the “moderate” category, although Linda and her friends Ken and Andy probably could have dropped me by at least a half hour.

From left to right: Ken, Linda, Max, Paul, and Andy!

Last year I did the ride on 35c tires, and if you were paying attention, you know I did the group ride in May on 38c tires. Phew! Like taking a pickup truck to a nascar race. At any rate, I kept up both times and this ride was no different, although I had an extra boost from nice and skinny 28c tires (thanks Linda!), a pair of Continental Gatorskins.

I’m still recovering from foot surgery, so I did 60 miles out of 95 before switching to the support vehicle. It was a great ride, though, and I’m glad I was a part of it. Next year, I’m hoping to raise the charity money to qualify for the PMC as well!

I also realized this ride that I am really tired of not having a cycling jersey, so I stopped being a cheap bastard and ordered one on eBay. It’s wool!


I told you guys this was my last ride on Bikeasaurus Rex… Dr. Frankenstein is in the Lab.


Keep Riding!

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