viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra

PMC’s Huckleberries riders give to somebody — everyday

The Pan Mass Challenge is the country’s largest athletic fundraising event, yet the heart that is shared by the riders may be even bigger.

One group of riders, known as the Huckleberries, left from West Stockbridge on August 2nd for their annual fundraising bike-a-thon, which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

While their name may be as unique as the riders themselves, they are some of the few that make an actual state-line to state-line ride in order to raise additional funds on what has become an annual pilgrimage.

While the group of fourteen riders train from April through July for the August ride, what many don’t see is that the experience has an enduring effect on its benefactors, donors, and participants.

“I have probably broken down and cried four or five times today, it seems to have hit harder this year,” said Huckleberries spokesperson David Grossman. “We all ride for someone — I ride for my mom who passed in 1981 — it’s how I found out about the event 32 years ago.”

The emotions that are conjured during the weekend-long ride, for most of the 5,200 riders, are too much to describe. Often riders share their loss for a loved one who had battled the disease, or are currently undergoing treatment in order to survive.

For the Huckleberries, they have recently ridden as part of the PMC’s Pedal Program, which connects a riding group with a person in need of support of cancer treatment.

The Huckleberries, whose name is in adoration and homage of a former local bakery in Huntington, where the group first stopped on their initial ride from the border back in 1997, received their first partner in 2011 as part of the Pedal Program.

Hannah Hughes, of Ballston Spa,, NY — needed a bone marrow transplant as she battled leukemia. The donor was then her four-year-old sister Fiona, creating a tremendous burden on the family as their daughters underwent surgery.

“These people were incredibly strong,” Mr. Grossman said.

While Fiona and Hannah went through their treatment, the Huckleberries planned their next ride 90 miles further than expected, just so Hannah and Fiona with their mom Rana, and dad Jeff, could be a part of the extended ride.

This year, they met Hannah at the Pedal Program tent along the route and shared in the experience with her sister as they rode their own bikes around the welcome area. Mr. Grossman presented the two girls with a cap and gown, which they had earned upon ‘graduation’ of their treatment.

This past August, the Huckleberries welcomed George Jordan, Publisher of the Berkshire Beacon, who has gone through 42 surgical treatments for his prostate cancer.

“Having (Jordan) there at the border was a treat for us,” Mr. Grossman said. “It’s that little bit of inspiration (of) that’s ‘wow’ this is great stuff.”

The Huckleberries started their journey at 8:00 on Friday morning and had their first stop in Huntington at the River Café. As they left state-line, many had ‘tags’ on their riding jerseys of a fellow rider’s Tom Tinory’s parents as his mom (Rose Marie) had recently passed due to cancer.

Again the Huckleberries stopped in Franklin at a water stop as they usually do, but this year they exchanged photos with Tinory’s family members, as Tom and his sister spoke about their mom.

Mr. Grossman also shared an experience with the Beacon on how he stopped in Bourne this year and had a conversation with a two-time cancer survivor who has been living with cancer for 15 years, and another who had lost her daughter.

“You bump into people and you start with a casual conversation and you get immersed in it because you are all riding for an important cause,” Mr. Grossman said. “Some of the stories are happy, some are sad, and some are ongoing.”

The Huckleberries ride from the Berkshires may have started as a dare by fellow rider Jon Siegel, but today, their ride, like so many other Pan Mass Challenge rides, becomes enduring in both spirit and mind.

“First day riding (in the Berkshires) is the most hilly and arguably the most beautiful,” Mr. Grossman said. “We really enjoy the ride.”

Mr. Grossman rides 30-40 miles, three days a week before work to prepare for the PMC, and he tries to get in another 100 mile ride just before the August weekend.

“A lot of people do the ride who are less fit than we are,” Mr. Grossman said. “Everybody has a reason to ride — I ride with 14 people who I absolutely love and we are there to support each other.”

Hannah’s story as well as the Huckleberries’ experience riding for her, has been documented in Ken Brack’s book, Closer by the Mile. And you can see Mr. Grossman and Hannah on the link

“Hannah rekindled our passion for the ride and I can say that with some certainty — it’s a lot more than a ride,” Mr. Grossman said.



Share This Post

Posted by on August 8, 2013. Filed under Community Events,News,Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online generic viagra accutane buy phentermine viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra