Pan-Mass Challenge cyclists to pedal through Wareham on Aug. 4

By Hannah Deane | Aug 02, 2018
Courtesy of: Nichole Stahmer Nichole Stahmer is of one of three Wareham residents who will participate in this weekend’s Pan-Mass Challenge.

While cancer often leaves families feeling hopeless, the Pan-Mass Challenge has been giving hope and help to those affected by the disease. This year, three Wareham cyclists will ride up to 192 miles with the goal of raising $52 million for adult and pediatric cancer care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

During this weekend, over 6,300 cyclists from more than 40 states and 10 countries will gather in Massachusetts to participate in the ride. Riders include everyone from seasoned triathletes to weekend warriors and range in age from 13 to 85. The Pan-Mass Challenge is an annual bike ride where proceeds combat cancer.

Wareham is a part of the route which starts in Sturbridge and ends at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. Riders are expected to arrive in Bourne between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. The route enters Wareham at County Road in West Wareham. It then heads right on Pierceville Road and right onto Papermill Road before continuing on Main Street.

The route stays on Main before taking a right onto Gibbs Avenue, a left onto High Street, and then continuing onto Church Street before looping back to get on Minot Avenue. Cyclists then take Onset Avenue until it reaches Cranberry Highway. They then take Route 28 out of town.

A rest stop will be located at Decas Elementary School on Main Street, where riders can receive water, food, and medical attention.

One of the riders is Nichole Stahmer, an avid cyclist and middle school physical education teacher, who has participated in the challenge for the past five years. The other Wareham riders are Dawn Arsenault and Henry Gleason.

“I finished (the first race) and I felt strong. I felt invigorated.” Stahmer said. This year, she will again participate in the full 192-mile race. There are other, shorter options available for riders. The ride route winds through Wareham and drivers can expect to see cyclists passing through town on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Stahmer said she was inspired to ride after seeing advertisements in Boston while her son was receiving treatment for cancer. Stahmer’s mother and son are both cancert survivors.

“Everyone wants to have a positive impact,” said Stahmer. “Overcoming one really hard thing made me push to overcome other hard things.”

To make her ride a little easier, Stahmer has a specialized speaker for her bike so that she can listen to music while she cycles. Stahmer has brought the speaker on many PMC rides and other cyclists have listened to the music during their races as well.

Stahmer had to raise at least $4,800 to ride. To donate, find her profile on the Pan-Mass Challenge website: But, that isn’t the only way Wareham residents can help out. Along the raceway, there are stops where cyclists can take a break, rest and recharge. Residents set up these stations with water and other needs for the cyclists and offer encouragement along the way.

The PMC donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to Dana-Farber through the its fundraising arm, the Jimmy Fund, and is the institute’s largest single contributor, raising more than 53 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue. In 2017, the PMC gave a record gift of $51 million to Dana-Farber, bringing it’s 38-year contribution to a total of more than $598 million since its inception in 1980.

Comments (3)
Posted by: cranky pants | Aug 02, 2018 13:19

To keep the event positive please remind the cyclists that the public is still trying to conduct life as normal. While we will do our best to avoid the cycling route, riders should refrain from riding three or four abreast. Year after year you run into a gaggle of bicycles that are holding traffic back and they refuse to break up and get in line so we can all use the road safely.

I'm a cyclist, and I do appreciate sharing the road. I know that riders have just as much right as drivers, but you don't see my buddies and I pulling up next to each other on Minot ave to hold up traffic in our vehicles.

Use your head, stay safe and know you are appreciated.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 02, 2018 14:08

Well stated Cranky!  I agree 100%  Nothing sours such a positive event more than 4 arrogant dudes, riding abreast, refusing to share the road.  I see it every year with this event.  Funny you say Gibbs Ave.  Last year I had 4 abreast in front of me on Gibbs.  When I finally got a chance to pass them, they got if they enjoyed exercising to their ability to hold up car traffic.

Posted by: | Aug 03, 2018 08:41

The first year I moved into my house I thought this was great - a real nice experience. The next year I had to run around and get stuff done. Leaving my driveway was tough and the riders seemed angry that cars dare to drive on the roads.. The attitude they had was amazingly poor. Main st is nearly shut down and overall that may be a small price to pay - I understand that. They could be nicer about letting people go about their business however.

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