A few years ago, on a cruise from New Jersey, Steve and I had the pleasure of meeting two local couples with whom we had an immediate connection. Little did we know how our friendship would blossom from that initial time at sea, the community we would be welcomed into, or the miles we three, plus one more, would spend riding in support of the Pan-Mass Challenge.
We are rolling with each of the “Point Sebago Girls” (named for the vacation resort where we have vacationed together), starting with Pamela Landis.
I’ve always enjoyed bike riding, but have never considered myself a cyclist. Then a friend convinced me to do a triathlon which meant getting more serious about riding. A cyclist friend took me “shopping” for all things bike related, led my training rides and gently reprimanded me for my clothing choice on the bike (let’s say it wasn’t a “kit.”) While I got more serious about riding, I still didn’t consider myself a cyclist – I was a casual weekend rider with an occasional race (short!) mixed in.
Then the perfect storm hit.
In November of 2014, after 6 long years, my mom lost her brave battle with lung cancer at just 71. My mom fought hard, but in the end the cancer won. I miss my mom terribly. I was only 43 . . . we deserved more years together, more laughter, more memories.
Sadly, our story was not unique and too often the cancer continues to win.
In February, 2015, knowing my family needed some happiness we embarked on a family vacation – a cruise to the Caribbean where I met Steve “the Bike Guy” and his wife, Kristin. We instantly became friends and took that friendship back home.
Now bikes and riding were truly prevalent in my life. And with the inspiration and technical support I needed; my passion for riding grew.
I knew about the PMC – an acquaintance of mine rode every year and I always supported her with an annual donation, but now the PMC started to have meaning to me. Kristin and I started to talk about doing the PMC together – with her, and Steve the Bike Guy, in my pocket it felt safe.
Still feeling lost and helpless, I decided to ride in my first PMC in 2016. I joined my friend’s team, Team Perry, and with that my eyes were opened to one of the most amazing communities I’ve ever known.
Not only did I raise $10,000 to fight this deadly disease, but I felt closer to my mom. From the laughter to the tears to the challenges and the friendships I realize that I CAN make a difference in helping to beat cancer.
And, I am now a cyclist.
Name: Pamela Landis
Adventure: Riding for a cure for cancer
Ride: Scott Contessa Solace 35