Understanding the meaning of the PMC – A second year rider perspective

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Bill Alfano

Understanding the meaning of the PMC – A second year rider perspective

Special guest blog by 2nd year rider - Carolyn Brayfield

The 35th PMC, and my 2nd, is only days away.  As I think back to this time last year, I remember the feelings that I had going into this big weekend.  Did I train enough?  Did I have everything that I needed for my bike?  Should I read the checklist in the PMC handbook one more time, to make sure I have everything that I need?  These are all important questions to ask oneself in preparation for an athletic event, and the answer to all of the questions was yes.  I realized as I approached the Sturbridge Host Hotel that no checklist could have prepared me for the arrival.  I was a first year rider, so excited to join such an amazing group of people. 

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, I was met by crowds of supporters – cheering, clapping, playing instruments.  I also talked with countless volunteers, who helped us with anything we needed over the course of the weekend.  Supporters and volunteers were similar in that they were always thanking me for riding.  It was in with the help of these supporters and volunteers that I understood the meaning of the PMC.  The training, and fundraising, and the packing checklist are all very important, and necessary for a successful weekend.  But after all of the preparation, we are all going for a bike ride.  The bike ride is unlike any training ride, because on PMC weekend, we are riding to provide resources to the doctors, nurses and researchers at Dana-Farber, who work toward a cure for cancer. 

We ride to be closer to a cure, living the PMC’s mission – Closer by the Mile.  The cheers from spectators, signs from survivors and messages of “thank you” throughout remind us of the importance of our mission.  Heading into my second year of riding, PMC Weekend is only days away.  Interestingly, I don’t find myself asking some of the same questions as last year at this time.  I don’t have the same anxiety about the rolling hills of Day 1, or the dunes that carry us to the finish on Day 2.  Instead, I am counting down until I join the other riders in Sturbridge, where we all share thankful spirit that PMC weekend instills in us, bringing us Closer by the Mile to a cure for cancer.  

Carolyn Brayfield at the 2013 Provincetown Inn Finish Line, riding with Team Ernst & Young.