Musings, Adventures and Tales of Lauren Hefferon, founder & director of Ciclismo Classico

Pan Mass Challenge Italy Ride again and raises over 30K for Cancer

For the second year in a row Ciclismo Classico hosted a small but enthusiastic group of cyclists for the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) Italy, a nine-day version of our popular Bike Across Italy tour. To create a similar challenge as the 190 mile Pan Massachusetts Challenge (the world’s biggest and best cancer fundraising ride) we combined the last four days of rides into two 70 mile rides. While there is no event in the world like this Massachusetts-made event now in its 30th year, our unique Italian version stays true to the PMC spirit: the riding is gorgeous, the spirits are high and the food stops are delicious, abundant and frequent!

A sample of our PMC-Italy super snacks includes: hot focaccia, pecorino, fresh pasta, cold melon, mozzarella and an all-you-can eat gelato stop. Like the Sturbridge-Provincetown route, the Italy version is a long journey to the sea, with the last 20 miles being hot, dry, rolling and dune-like. We ended with a refreshing swim, beers and a seafood feast. Guides Massimo DeLaurentis (link)and Marcello Bonini who has done our classic Bike Across Italy route over 100 times, were the extra special, magical ingredient of this PMC fundraising tour. They were always smiling, coaching, teaching, laughing and serving our every need. A high point for all was Marcello’s Italian lesson in which he used my favorite Italian song Volare to teach our group some basic Italiano. Another was a gelato lesson in Orvieto in which Patrizia made 6 different gelatos from fresh fruit–we got to taste them all. While a bit more indulgent than the PMC Mass Made version, our group of 7 did raise over 35K. One rider, heavy hitter Will Herman was on his 7th PMC. Two of the riders Rose and Mark Wisotsky were brand new to the PMC and father and son, Clark McDermuth and sonwere on their second PMC Italy. This was my 20th PMC and as Billy Starr often says, you never retire from the PMC. Being able to do the PMC in a place that I love has energized me more than ever to riding the PMC for as long as I can! This year I hope to be a heavy hitter with my PMC donation exceed $6,000 for a grand 20 year total of almost 100K

Ciclismo Classico looks forward to offering the Italy PMC next year. The 2010 version will include two tours: A 7 day PMC Italy Tour in Tuscany August 3-9th starting at the Fattoria Degli Usignoli for two nights then moving South to Siena and Volterra with a grand finale ride that ends on the Meditteranean. We will also launch a week long PMC training tour July 25th-July 31st for riders and their familes that will based for six nights at the Fattoria Degli Usignoli. This training tour, two weeks before the PMC weekend is a perfect and relaxing way to get ready for the big event. The training tour will offer plenty of rain-free miles and hills for PMCers at a gorgeous, Tuscan base with two pools, tennis courts, horseback riding and delicious food for their families. PMCers and families will get the rest and training they deserve to be ready for the big event in August. I guarantee you will love the the Fattoria and the countless loops this stunning base offers; it has been our Tuscan home away from home; not only have we been coming here since 1996 but Billy and Meredith Starr fell in love with this four star property when they took the Tuscan Fantasy several years ago. The PMC stamp of approval! Go PMC!

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