Taking the PMC mission cross country

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Taking the PMC mission cross country

For years, PMC veteran Eric Heller, 59, of Amherst, Mass. has dreamt of riding his bicycle cross country. On June 8, he will turn that fantasy into a reality and begin to pedal his way nearly 4,000 miles from the coast of Oregon to the Massachusetts shore. Along the way, he’ll work to raise money for the PMC and to increase awareness of the critical need to support cancer research. 

Bob Newcomb, 54, of Amherst, Mass., will join Heller for the multi-state charitable adventure. He is a five-time PMC cyclist who plans to ride in his 6th PMC this August in memory of his late mother and father, Mickey and Bud Newcomb, who both lost their lives to cancer. To date, Heller and Newcomb have raised a combined total of nearly $117,000 for the PMC. 

The duo plan to leave from the coast of Oregon and will travel down a series of routes, including the Lewis and Clark Trail and then the Northern Tier, until they arrive in Pittsfield, Mass and enter through Sturbridge. They will arrive in time to ride the 34th annual Pan-Mass Challenge.  

“The PMC is an uplifting experience which never grows old.” said Heller. “For one amazing weekend each year, thousands of wonderful people come together to do good, all connected by a very bad thing called cancer. It is our favorite weekend of the year.”  

Heller and Newcomb’s strategy for success is truly a team effort. Heller’s wife, Yehudit, a 19-year PMC volunteer, will drive a support car filled with clothing, spare bicycle parts and snacks for half of the trip. Newcomb’s wife, Judi, and daughter, Olivia, both three-time PMC volunteers, plan to meet the trio in St. Paul, Minn. to relieve Yehudit of driving duties for the remainder of the trip.  

At stops along the way, such as campgrounds, motels, restaurants, and grocery stores, Heller and Newcomb plan to distribute fliers describing the purpose of their ride and asking people across the country to donate to the PMC. As a way to honor and memorialize cancer patients and victims nationwide, a list of names will be posted on their fundraising website. The website will also track their progress and include a blog and photos of their adventure. 

To track Heller and Newcomb’s cross country ride, visit www.C2C2C2.org

From left to right: PMC veterans and Amherst residents Eric Heller and Bob Newcomb gear up to ride cross country for the PMC.

Post courtesy of Teak Media