I just sent out an email to a bunch of supporters that are not on Facebook to give them an update as to how things are going with PMC 2013. So I thought I would post it here too. Here ya go! Happy reading!


Good Afternoon!

You are receiving this email, quite frankly, because you are in my contact list. I want to send out a message to let you know that I am once again riding in the Pan Mass Challenge. For those of you unfamiliar with the PMC, it is a 2 day, 192 mile bike ride from Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown on the Cape. It is an amazing weekend and a cause very near and dear to me. 100% of every rider raised dollar goes directly to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. That is something that very few other fundraising organizations can say. Dana-Farber is an important part of my life. When I was younger, my dad spent a great deal of time at Dana-Farber for lung cancer treatment. He lost his battle with cancer on June 21, 1991. I was 14. Two years ago, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his passing, I rode in my first PMC. It was an experience that I will never forget. That year I raised over $7500 for Dana-Farber and that is my goal once again this year. But this message is not just a plea for donations, although that would be great, but more just to tell my story. Every time I get on my bike I think about my Dad. I felt like he was riding with me for every stretch of those 192 miles two years ago. It was a very powerful feeling. The second day of the ride, I wore a jersey with over 100 names on it. Each of the names was given to me by family, friends and even a few complete strangers to carry with me on my journey. Every one of those names belonged to someone that had cancer. Some of them were lucky and beat it. Many of them did not. But each and every one of those names crossed the finish line with me. They helped me accomplish my goal. So here is what I will end my message with. I would love for you all to help me in some way. It can be as simple as forwarding this message to your family and friends and spreading my story. It could be going for a training ride with me some Saturday or Sunday. It can get a little lonely riding 80+ miles by yourself. I could be coming to one of the fundraisers listed below to support my ride and maybe win a raffle prize. It could also be clicking to donation link and helping me meet my donation goal. It could even be just keeping me in our thoughts as I fundraise and train for another amazing 192 mile adventure August 3rd and 4th. Whatever you are able to do, I thank you.

If you have a name that you would like me to put on my jersey for day 2 please send it along. Once all the names are on the jersey, I’ll send you a picture so you can see just how many people will help me pedal my way to Province town.

Here are the upcoming fundraisers and the links for more information:

Kick Cancer in the Meatballs May 19th at The Spaghetti Stain in Dover, NH

Spice and Granola for a Cure June 1st at the York Farmers Market in York, ME

Throwback a Beer for a Cure June 9th at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, NH

Pizza Powers the Pedals August 6th at Flatbread Pizza in Amesbury, MA

Again, thank you one and all for your well wishes, encouragement and support. It does not go unnoticed!


https://marcuspmc.wordpress.com/ –PMC blog site

http://www2.pmc.org/profile/MS0408 –PMC donation page

http://tinyurl.com/MarcusPMC–Facebook page


Why I NEED to Ride

Posted: May 5, 2013 in General

This weekend was one of highs and lows.  Michelle and I had planned to head to Rhode Island to help celebrate one of my car pool buddies getting married.  I got a text from Michelle on Tuesday afternoon saying that something awful had happened and that it was going to be a sad rest of the week at her school.  I knew instantly what had happened.  A fourth grader at the school had been fighting cancer for the past two-plus years and she passed away quietly at her home that morning.  The whole school had rallied around that little girl from day one of her diagnosis and they never looked back.  She was a rock star of a kid and made all of her classmates better people for knowing her.  The kids had  lemonade stands and pancake breakfasts to help raise money for the family’s expenses.  She was truly loved by the whole community.  As we sat at her funeral on Saturday morning, we listened to her mother tell us how positive she had been and how she was always thinking of others.  It was hard to watch her mother give the eulogy for her only daughter who was taken from her way too early in her life.  What was even harder was watching all of the kids that were there.  Kids from the fourth grade had come to say goodbye to their classmate and friend for the last time.  There was a slideshow of all the good times in the little girl’s life.  All the smiles and laughs.  All the parties and family gatherings.  There was a banner made by all her friends at school hung right at the front of the church.  A giant banner with little hand prints all over it with messages for her.  It was an extremely powerful visual.  After what was a lovely and moving ceremony we all went to the gravesite for the burial.  We were all given red roses as we arrived.  Red was her favorite color.  As the ceremony concluded, people began to place their roses on the casket.  The family went first and then a few of their close friends.  Then a swarm of children surrounded the casket and gently laid their flowers on top.  It was an overwhelming image.  No one should have to lose a family member or friend to cancer, especially when they are that young.  The strength of those kids to handle the situation the way they did gave me even more of a reason to ride the PMC.

Thank goodness the weekend was not over.  Michelle and I got in the car and drove to that wedding in Rhode Island.  The ride was quiet at times but as we got closer to the venue we relaxed a bit.  We met up with another colleague and her boyfriend, found our seats in the sun and watched a beautiful wedding ceremony.  Ceremony over we enjoyed drinks and appetizers and dinner and dancing.  The night was perfect and we had a great time.  As much fun as we had at the wedding, I never stopped thinking about that little girl and her friends.  She is the reason I ride the PMC.  Her friends are the reason that I ride the PMC.  No cancer is ever good.  But childhood cancer is just so unfair.  As I train for the 2013 PMC I will have my memories of my father fueling me and the wise words of that little girl that were on the prayer cards at her funeral pushing me, “I used to judge people by their appearance. If they walked funny or talked funny or looked different, I judged them. I DON’T DO THAT ANY MORE! After cancer, I know what it is like walking, talking and looking different.  The worst part of it is the pain.”

I will be wearing a red bandana under my helmet as I ride the PMC this year because red was her favorite color.  I hope that someday I will have the courage and honor that that little nine year old girl had.  She was amazing.Image

So, the weather has finally turned and it really feels like Spring!  I was able to get out for my first training ride on Friday and it was great!  Nice and cool for the first 16+ miles and a little warmer on the return.  I stopped at DG Cycle Sport in Epping to say hello to a friend and fellow teacher/bike which made for a nice rest stop.  We are getting close to my next fundraiser which will be at The Spaghetti Stain in Dover on May 19th.  All the info you need for that is right HERE.  I am really excited to kick cancer in the meatballs at The Spaghetti Stain!  I also have my coffee fundraiser with Port City Coffee Roasters up and running.  This year I have a dark roast, a light roast and a Guatemalan fair trade organic available.  The information on the coffee fundraiser is right HERE.  I am also super excited about the two June fundraisers that we have.  The first will be on June 1st and the York Farmers Market with Hubba Hubba Foods.  They will once again be donating 100% of their proceeds from the market that day to The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber!  This is an AMAZING donation from an amazing company.  I will have an order form out shortly for you to order spice rubs and/or granola if you are not able to make it to the market in York that day.  The second June fundraiser is going to be at the Throwback Brewery on June 9th.  We will have pizza from Flatbread Pizza Co in Hampton as well as cupcakes from Random Acts of Sweetness in Portsmouth to go with the delicious beer from Throwback!  All of the details will be available very soon.  For now, just save the date!  The fundraising update, while not official on my page, is just shy of $700.  We have a ways to go but I know that we will get there!

So, to go with that first ride, here are some ride stats!

training ride 1

Just thought I would give a little teaser for the raffle prizes that will be up for grabs on Monday April 8th at Mojo’s.  Here is the partial list:

Papa Wheelies $25

Six Degrees $100 w/ Janna

Michelle Fijalkowski Original Photos (2)

Seacoast Sports Clubs 1 Month Membership

Fisher Cats tickets for June 24th

The Flower Kiosk $35

The Road House $25

Eleven Velo 100% wool men’s 1/2 zip turtleneck

River Run $10

Primal thermal jersey

These are some amazing prizes!  And don’t forget, if you enter the raffles at ANY of the fundraisers you can also enter the GRAND PRIZE Santini full cycling kit drawing!  This is a prize valued over $475!  And remember, if  you win and don’t ride you can always give it to someone that does! <ahem, me!>  

Also, for those of you that may not have heard yet, Port City Coffee sales are back!  Here are all the details on the coffee fundraiser.  Send me a message on Facebook or an email if you have any questions.

As always, thank you all for you support!


Aside  —  Posted: April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

So as I sit here to write this most recent post the front door is open and the sun is shining.  I am super hopeful that I will have my bike out on the road very soon.  It has been hanging in the garage all tuned and cleaned for the winter and it looks like it’s ready to roll.  So am I!

I think an update on fundraisers is in order.  April 8th is the Mojo’s fundraiser and is sure to be a success just like last ride.  This will be the first restaurant fundraiser of the season and the buzz is already bigger than last time.  I am trying some new technology this time around to promote the events.  One of my school tech gurus showed my classes an online flyer program called SMORE.  It was a great success in class so I figured I’d give it a try to promote the fundraisers.  If you have not seen it yet, here it is in all of its digital glory!  Also on the fundraising front, I met with Anthony from The Spaghetti Stain this morning to talk out the details of my next event.  Here are some of the details.  It will be Sunday May 19th from 3-8 at the Spaghetti Stain in Dover.  For $14.99 there will be a buffet of pasta, meatballs, salad and garlic bread.  Anthony is generously donating $5 from each meal to the PMC!  Look for a new SMORE with even more details soon after the April 8th event.

And now for some news I have been sitting on for a few months.  I, once again, contacted several different cycling companies to see about donating prizes for the raffle.  Many of them graciously donated jersey’s, bibs or some other component for me to raffle off.  One company, Santiti, went above and beyond.  Here is what they are going to do for one of you lucky riders out there!

THE PRIZE: They are offering a full Santini 6FIVE kit to the winner. Prize includes one 6FIVE jersey, 6FIVE bib shorts, 6FIVE gloves, 6FIVE cap, 6FIVE socks in the size of the winner’s choice. Color options are Black, Red and Royal Blue. Prize will be shipped to the winner from Santin. Full retail value of the prize is $500.  The 6FIVE kit is an homage to Santini’s long and storied history – which starts in 1965 when Pietro Santini established Santini Maglifico and began to create knitwear, specializing in clothing for cyclists. It continues today as Santini cycling apparel is worn worldwide by everyone from the cyclists in your local club ride to top professional teams and organizations (like Vacansoleil, Katusha, Green Edge, the Giro D’ Italia, the UCI, and others) alike. Everything in between those two milestones is, as they say, history. This link provides a timeline of the company’s history and a video about them.  Here is a picture of the kit on the road!


All I can say is that is amazing!  Here is how the drawing is going to work.  Every time you enter into one of the raffles at an event you are automatically entered into the grand prize drawing!  It’s that simple.  If you are not a cyclist and you win…you can always make a cyclist that you do know very happy with this amazing prize!

Well, that’s about it for now.  If you have read this far, thank you!  I hope to see you and ALL your friends at Mojo’s on April 8th!

The March to Ride Number Two

Posted: March 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Here were are on March 3rd.  Spring is right around the corner and I’ll be able to get my bike back on the road very soon.  March also means that it is time for PMC fundraising to get into full swing. Several prizes have already been donated and we have the first restaurant fundraiser set for April 8th at Mojo’s BBQ in Portsmouth.  On June 1st I will be at the York, ME outdoor farmer’s market with Hubba Hubba Foods for their now annual PMC fundraiser where they donate 100% of all sales to the Pan Mass Challenge.  There are a couple of more fundraisers in the works as well.  I am in the process of nailing down dates and times with Flatbread Pizza, The Spaghetti Stain,  and Throwback Brewery for what promise to be great events.

So here is what I need from all of you.  I am hoping that you will all fall into at least one of the following categories:

1. You really want to help me reach my fundraising goal so you are going to go to my PMC page and donate!  Donate Here!

2. You have a super awesome prize that you want to donate for my restaurant fundraiser raffles!

3. You want to set up some training rides with me in the Spring and Summer because you know that riding 50+ miles alone can be a little boring!

4. Some combination of 1, 2, and 3!

I hit the trainer pretty hard this morning and rode The Downward Spiral from my good friends at The Sufferfest.  Yes, it is as painful as it sounds.  I figure that if I put in some hard days on the trainer that I will be good to go when the weather turns for the better and I get outside.  Well, that’s about it for now.  If you have any questions about the PMC, my training, The Jimmy Fund or Dana Farber ask away!  If I don’t know the answer I’ll find someone who does.  Thank you all in advance for all the support that I know you will have for me as I pedal down this very important road.


I have just sent out 50+ emails to cycling related companies asking for prizes for my PMC raffles for 2013. I get to sign up for the actual event in about two weeks. Training will begin and fundraising will be in full swing before I know it. And I couldn’t be more excited. I took a year off from the PMC partially for my brother-in-law Dan’s wedding and partially to let the fundraising sources replenish themselves. I missed not riding last year. I missed the fundraising. I can’t wait to get rolling this year. Be on the lookout for bigger and better things in 2013. I raised over $7500 in year one. I am gunning for that number again. And I’ll need your help again. I can ride the miles by myself. But there is no way I can fundraise alone. I brought many of you on my ride last time. I’ll make room for more of you this time. Get ready for another great journey!