Ten pfriends showed up for the fifth, and most challenging, training ride of the season. Although it’s a little early, we decided to venture off to purgatory. The weather was great (67° F), we had had a few good runs lately, and we were feeling tough. It was intended as a 40 mile ride with a few hills. But in Northbridge center, it was converted into a “must do purgatory.” Must do, doesn’t always translate into can do, but we did.

The ride covered 52 miles of hilly terrain. The elevation graph below tells it all. In fact, we climbed a total of 6,606 feet. Yes, that means we got over one mile closer to the sky.  As usual, all of the ride stats were captured and can be viewed by clicking here.  A photo slide show, with scenes from the ride courtesy of Caren Welden, can be viewed by clicking here.

I don’t know about the rest, but my recovery is still in progress, and nearly 24 hours has passed since the ride. We did not set any records for land movement, but we completed the ride, albeit out of gas for the last few miles. And at the end of it all, all that was on our minds was food and a nap.

On a final note, it’s great that we have this Memorial Day to reflect on those whom we have lost and meant so much to us. We do these rides and test our bodies in their honor. By joining this team, we became part of the tens of thousands of cyclists who call upon their strength to help others. Riding and training for the PMC is a way to channel physical, mental and emotional energy into something much greater than the athletic accomplishment that is gained by riding 192 miles. PMC cyclists use their strength to help those who cannot. With each mile pedaled, the PMC brings researchers closer to finding cures for various types of cancer that affect millions of people each year. The PMC team is a “unified force of people made whole by the belief in a single mission has the ability to improve the human condition.”