Crack o’ Dawn riders not flustered by tough winter

Not so long ago, I posted with admiration for many downtown Boston riders (and riders all over Massachusetts) who brave it out through the winter. Especially a tough winter like this year.

Check out this report from WCVB-TV (a 1:48 video clip) on the Crack o’ Dawn riders – up and out at 5:45 AM all winter, logging 500 miles per month. Wow. That’s great. And they’re also supporting the Pan Mass Challenge.

That sort of extreme training is not necessary to make it through the PMC, but it’s great to see that these riders are out on the road, undeterred by winter weather. At one point in the interview, Bruce Kalow says that he’s ridden in temps as cold as “minus 3.” Brrrrr…

You can find more info on the Crack O’ Dawn riders at their official website.

Pan Mass Challenge Weekend

A Massachusetts institution, the Pan Mass Challenge rolls off this weekend. Now with 9 routes and both U.S. Senators participating, the event is in its 31st year. The goal this year: to raise $31 million for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 5,200 riders will hit the roads this Saturday and Sunday, chances are you know one of them. Read more at and support your local PMC rider.

Photo credit: lockwood

Charity Ride Fundraising

show me the money!I’ve been riding the Pan Mass Challenge for 10 years. It’s a 2-day nearly 200-mile ride, but that’s actually the easy part (with some training).

I’ve been successful in raising large amounts of money for a few reasons, I believe. First of all, I’m very passionate about the cause and I share that passion, and my specific reasons for riding, with my sponsors. Many of them have been impacted in some way by cancer and are happy to have a way to help. Many thank me for “doing something.”

My email list is rather large and all-encompassing. I don’t really group my solicitations in any way, I simply ask everyone. It helps spread awareness, and I’m often surprised by the results — sometimes those who you might expect a contribution remain silent, and those who I might not expect anything from contribute significantly.

I also send multiple requests/reminders. I don’t bug people, mostly because I hate that and I don’t want to be annoying. Generally, I send one notice a couple of months before the event and a second just a couple of weeks before the event. I usually send a third broadcast, which is a reminder as the event approaches. Many contributors often thank me for the reminder.

The week of the ride, I send a note out asking sponsors to keep an eye out for the  local media coverage. It’s another opportunity to thank them for their support, and to keep awareness for the cause up.

Finally, I always send a follow-up letter letting everyone know how the event went, how much money we raised, etc. Think about it, if you put down $50 or $100 or more to support an event, wouldn’t you like to know how it went? I include photos, anecdotes, and a final message about the cause/passion for the event. I think sponsors appreciate it and that it helps them to feel part of the event (which they are! the most important part!).

What are your charity ride fundraising strategies?

Photo Credit: borman818

Pan Mass Challenge: Registration Open Today

Pan Mass ChallengeRegistration for all riders opens today for the Pan Massachusetts Challenge, the nation’s largest cycling fundraiser event. Even in tough economic times, the PMC raised over 30 million dollars for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute last year. The “classic” route, which I’ll be tackling for the 10th time this year, starts in Sturbridge, MA and ends in Provincetown, MA. The ride is just under 200 miles and takes two days to complete. Over the years the event has expanded to include multiple routes (there are now 9). Each is a different length, covers different terrain and carries different fundraising requirements, but all contribute in a meaningful way to cancer research.

The beauty of the event, which has always been tremendously efficient, is that in recent years 100% of rider-raised dollars go to cancer research. Rider registration fees and corporate sponsors cover operating expenses to make this possible.

The event is uniquely inspiring and has a tremendous impact on progress toward treatment – and hopefully ultimately a cure – for cancer. Go to the PMC website at and learn more.

Photo Credit: Nantaskart!