This photo of my 21-year-old son Dan and me was taken at the 2011 Newton-Needham-Brookline PMC Kids Ride. Dan did his first 196-mile Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) as a 15-year-old and two more until age 17. We ride with Team Kermit, co-founded with my dear friends Steven, Ellen, and Adam Branfman, and a few others. We ride in memory of my loving friend & artist Jared Branfman who died from brain cancer at 23.
Dan and I haven’t done the PMC together since 2007. But we always make it for the Kids PMC; the ride has special meaning for both of us. In previous years, we’ve led young teens, the next generation of PMCers, on a 17-mile ride. This year the PMC organizers initiated a shorter 8-mile, on-road ride for younger kids, mostly 8- to 10-year-olds. When we were asked which group we wanted to chaperone Dan immediately said, “Hey Dad, let’s take the little kids on the road.” “Works for me,” I said. “Let’s have some fun.”
And fun we had. We took off with eight excited kids with their orange rider T-shirts, helmets, bikes, and name tags on their backs, and another adult chaperone. I led the group and was asked constant questions like: “How fast are we going?”, “How far have we gone?”, “Where are we going?”, “When will we get there?”, and the classic “Are we there yet?”
We had a blast with the kids, especially when we stopped the second time and they decided that we needed a team name (Orange Crush) and a cheer (sorry, I don’t remember that). We knew we’d done well when they all asked at the end: “Can we do it again?” “Sure,” we said, “next year.”
2011 will mark my tenth year riding in the PMC. To read my profile and make a 100% tax-deductible donation, go to http://www.pmc.org/profile/TR0029.