PMC Worth the Ride for This Holliston Resident

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Holliston’s Bud Dodge has ridden in the PMC Challenge, which raises funds for Dana Farber, for the past 28 years.
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

For 28 years Holliston’s Bud Dodge has ridden his bike for the Pan Mass Challenge, raising money for the Dana Farber Institute. Unfortunately, Dodge got involved because of a family member dying to cancer.
“There are two sides of the coin; on one side, I lost a family member, but on the other, I have a cousin who survived cancer,” Dodge said. “It shows you that not everyone dies because of cancer. People do live, because of all the fund raising. It does make a difference.”
Prior to getting on a bike, the Holliston resistant had played soccer and done a little running, but was looking for something to do to stay in shape. Along came bike riding and then in 1990 he got involved in riding for those less fortunate. Dodge began riding with his father-in-law, Howard Metzger, who was 56 at the time.
“My father-in-law decided that he was going to do a 500-mile bike ride for the very first time to support runaways and abused children,” Dodge said. “He showed me that there was more to it, and that you could make a difference.”
After riding with Metzger for two years, he found that the weeklong excursion was taking up too much of his time and using up his family vacation time, so he needed to find something a little shorter. Enter the Pan Mass Challenge, a two-day event the first weekend of August.
That first year, Dodge recalls registering about a week and a half before the event, which he was going to ride the 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown. He and his wife found themselves a hotel in Sturbridge the night before the event, but that evening, his one-year old daughter had nothing to do with sleep, so Dodge found himself up all night. However, he still managed to get on his bike and ride the next morning.
“After being up all night with my daughter, I felt tired, but as soon as I got to the starting line with the 1400 other riders (nowadays there are over 6000 riders) my mind was telling me differently,” he said. “It was a small, quaint number of riders, many who became your friends, and after riding I was hooked for life.”
According to the first-year rider, it’s a very special feeling as you ride by the people on the roadside cheering you on – it makes you feel like a rock star.
In this the 40th year, the PMC is looking to reach $60 million for cancer research. If they do eclipse the 60 million total then CEO Patrick, Brown, a cancer survivor and former PMC rider is committed to adding an addition million dollars to the cause. With last year’s $56 million, Dana Farber has donated $654 million over the last 39 years.
Although Dodge cannot recall how he trained for his very first PMC, he does know that he was much fitter as a 32-year-old than he is now. That first year, he raised $1500, nowadays he is sending Dana Farber a check for $16,000.
“That’s the real story, not me riding, but the people who donate. There have been some may generous people who have and continue to donate on a regular basis,” Dodge said. “In fact, I have some people who send me notes or money before I even send out my letters. Everyone is touched by cancer in some way and to come home and find checks in my mailbox from so many wonderful people is simply amazing.”
The double-sided coin continues for Dodge: earlier this year he lost a neighbor to cancer, but on the flip side, his nephew, a cancer survivor, is doing great.
Dodge has no official team that he rides with like so many PMC riders, but he has ridden with his cousin Jim Gagnon (a cancer survivor) and his wife Meg Hausman (a two-time breast cancer survivor) for the past 20 plus years.
“Meg is a story in herself. The first year she was going ride in the PMC she was diagnosed with a mastectomy,” Dodge said “Nine days later was riding, essentially one-handed the whole way. Now that’s determination.”