Meet Team Riverside Rockets Generations - joining forces to support the PMC

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Meet Team Riverside Rockets Generations - joining forces to support the PMC

Team Riverside Rockets is a unique group of 26 cyclists, ages 20 to 70, who do not let a 50 year age gap and varying cycling abilities stop them from banning together to make an impact in the fight against cancer. Representing survivors, patients and families from the greater Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts, each member of the team has their own story of how cancer has affected their lives and all understand there is more power in numbers. 

Katherine Brown, of Amesbury, Mass. is the team’s captain and a seven-time PMC cyclist. In 2007, she rode in the annual bike-a-thon for the first time from the saddle of an antique bike, alongside a friend, in honor of her friend’s son who was undergoing treatment for leukemia. After completing the one-day 50-mile PMC route from Wellesley to Wellesley, she was hooked! 

“For me, doing the PMC is a way of coping with the loss of both of my parents to cancer,” says Brown. “I was very close to my mother, whose birthday was Aug. 1, so the PMC is an annual tribute to her.”  

Team Riverside Rockets was founded in 2012 by a bicycle shop owner, a nurse, a social worker and a 15-year PMC cyclist in honor of their respective family members who have lost battles with cancer. Each member of the team has been affected by cancer and bans together to find a cure for the all-too-often deadly disease.  

In the last three years, not only has the team cycled hundreds of miles and raised more than $198,000 for the cause, but it has also developed four signature fundraising events to help spread the PMC’s mission: a pasta dinner night; a bike swap; “Steppin’ Out for a Cure,” a live auction and dinner; and Pan-Merrimack Challenge, the team’s own version of the 190-mile bike-a-thon. This year, the Pan-Merrimack Challenge, their biggest fundraiser, raised $20,000 alone contributing to the team’s overall fundraising goal, to raise $200,000.  

On Aug. 2 and 3, members of Team Riverside Rockets will join more than 5,700 cyclists who will ride up to 190 miles through 46 towns across Massachusetts in the 35th event to raise a collective $40 million. Through the PMC Pedal Partner Program, the team has been matched with a young boy named Wes, a two year old Jimmy Fund Clinic patient, who they will dedicate their ride to this year. The PMC Pedal Partner program, now in its 14th year, matches Jimmy Fund Clinic patients with teams of PMC cyclists who ride the August event in their honor.  

Team Riverside Rockets is also dedicating this year’s ride to their own teammate Holly Gaudette, of Morris Plains, N.J.  Holly is an inspiration to the team. She is currently undergoing treatments for

Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will be a part of the team as a virtual rider this year. Holly plans to join her mother, Bette, and step-father, Rick, also members of the team, to ride in the PMC next year. 

To register to ride in the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, which is set for Aug. 2 and 3, or to support Team Riverside Rockets or another PMC cyclist or team, visit www.pmc.org.  

Team Riverside Rockets in Sturbridge at the start of the 2013 PMC weekend. 


Post courtesy of Allison of Teak Media + Communication