Way Back Wednesday - A mid-life crisis in 2004 made for one epic PMC cross country journey to ballparks

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Way Back Wednesday - A mid-life crisis in 2004 made for one epic PMC cross country journey to ballparks

Ten years ago, two-time PMC cyclist Charlie Hamilton rode across the U.S., and through parts of Canada, to raise money for the Pan-Mass Challenge. He turned his self-proclaimed mid-life crisis into a fundraising vehicle for the Jimmy Fund while fulfilling two life-long dreams: to ride his bicycle cross country and to see a baseball game in every Major League Baseball stadium.  

Hamilton started his ride in Atlanta and rode an average of 80 miles a day. He alternated camping in a tent with staying in motels or with friends and acquaintances he met along the way. Over the course of Hamilton’s six month journey, he visited 30 ball parks, pedaled 11,741 miles and raised more than $16,000 for the cause. As an added bonus (or not depending on how you look at the situation), he lost 25 pounds, went through eight pairs of sunglasses, got 50 flat tires and was chased off the road by dogs, trucks and even fires.  

He finished his PMC adventure at Fenway Park, just in time for the last home game of the regular season, where he was greeted by his then PMC Pedal Partner, Eric Donovan. That year, Donovan was being treated for Ewing’s sarcoma at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Donovan was Hamilton’s inspiration to continue riding when things got tough along the route.  

 “I think the trip has made me less cynical and that is thanks to the enormous amount of help and support that were offered to me by hundreds of people around the country and in Canada,” Hamilton said. “And that wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t been riding for the PMC and the Jimmy Fund.”

Along the way, Hamilton maintained an online journal, chronicling his journey. His entries can still be read at www.hitforthecycle.org. 

Just a reminder, registration for the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, set for Aug. 2 and 3, is open. 

Charlie Hamilton and former PMC Pedal Partner Eric Donovan celebrated the victory at Fenway Park.

Post courtesy of Teak Media + Communication