Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pan Mass Challenge 2009 - The Big Post!

Apologies for the wicked late posting of this story. After the PMC I was deep in the throws of a job hunt and ironically enough, being unemployed I didn't have time to update my blog.

Sturbridge, Friday July 21, 2009

From 2009.08.01-02.PMC

It was overcast and rainy as my family drove me out to Sturbridge on Friday for registration. Traffic on the Pike (Interstate Route 90 to non-massholes) was backed up. So we got off and jumped on Route 20, which runs parallel to the Pike. This was a smart choice. We were able to get there early enough to be able to park at the host hotel. The option of taking a shuttle with a 7 and 3 year-old in tow was to be avoided.

Just as we approach the entrance to the hotel, I see Team Kermit arriving by bike from Newton. They were wet, but I guess if you team is named after a frog, then what's a little rain...

Bike Parking @ the PMC
Bike Parking @ the PMC, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Lots of bikes.

Friend from Graduate School...

After I had registered I was walking back to the main lobby and I saw a familiar face. I ran into an old friend and classmate of mine, Amie White. She is captaining her own team, Pedal 2 The Mettle and she is riding for very personal reasons. Amie has been battling Cancer on and off since Grad School.

Friday Night...

I don't think I slept much on Friday night. I was anxious and excited about finally riding in my first Pan Mass Challenge Ride.

Day 1

Good Morning

The ride from Sturbridge went smoother than expected. It is the hilliest portion of the Saturday ride. The only place where I really felt it was the climb into Mendon.

My Family at the Franklin Water Stop

Franklin Stop
Franklin Stop, originally uploaded by Martinator.

With my girls at the Franklin stop.

107 Miles, really?

That was the easiest long distance riding I had ever done. I may have actually trained enough :-) I'm sure that riding with an experienced team helped a lot. Not to mention the natural high one can only get when riding the Pan Mass Challenge.

Running into People...

I ran into a good number of familiar faces. Some were colleagues from my Days at Fidelity. Some were from my days at Monster (I was laid-off less than 2 weeks prior to the PMC from Monster). Back during the winter I was excited to be part of the PMC Monsters team. However due to corporate politics that didn't happen. It all worked out for the best.

Where are my roommates?

When I got to my dorm room I saw 3 other bags there. Over the course of the day, those bags disappeared. I had the room to myself. Well, I did until a Volunteer was looking for a bunk in the middle of the night. He snored.

It was nice having a real shower and a place to recharge my phone. The lack of a draft and A/C made for one hot and humid room, not so nice.

I think what people did was guarantee themselves a dorm room just incase there isn't a better option. Next year (2010) I will pack a tent. It was a beautiful night and I kind of wished I was sleeping outside.

Day 2


I ate a good number of the breakfast sandwiches. They were yummy. I forced myself to stop before getting too full.

Where's My Bike?

It took my 15 minutes of panicked searching to try and find my bike in the morning. None of the rows were numbered and everything looked different in the dark.

Next year I will attach a flag so I can find my bike a lot quicker if I don't have any other bike storage options.

PHAT Pace Line

After the climb into Sandwich and the descending rollers along the service road(?) next to route 6, (that was a blast!), Team PHAT Tuesday formed up in a nice ~19 rider pace line for most of the ride.

Hey Mark!

I had been trying to link up with a former colleague throughout the morning. A lot of texting at rest stops. So, here I am at the back of the aforementioned pace line minding my own business when I see this "non-PHAT" rider pass by. I look at the name tag on the bike. It was Mark! The person with whom I had been trying to connect with. Could not have planned that better. :-)

Arrive at P-Town, Already!

We left Bourne at 5:15 AM, (we would have left earlier if I was able to find my bike), and we rolled into Provincetown at 10:33 AM. That was fast. 77 miles on a bike never felt so short! We averaged 18 mph over 77 miles. Wow!

Hangin' Out in P-Town

The beer tasted good and I ate too much food (which was also very good).

Ferry Ride with Team Kermit

When I registered for this ride, I booked the last "Fast Ferry" back to Boston. It happened to be the least crowded. It left after the Party Boat, but arrived before it.

So it was a funny coincidence when I noticed that Team Kermit was on the same ferry ride. They sat near me. One of the riders from the Team was telling a really funny story about how he left his passport on the plane when he flew into Paris to watch "Le Tour".

Home Sweet Home

It was good to get home and have a slice of the homemade Blueberry Pie that my wife had waiting for me :-)