Prides Corner Farm Helps 70 Cyclists Raise $300,000 for American Cancer Society and Dream Come True
The first Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride, started in 1983 takes place every other year, (they need time to recover) and has expanded beyond PA to start in different locations in the Northeast but still finishes in Palmerton, PA.
This year the ride started in North Conway, New Hampshire. The bicycle transporter retired after many years and I got the call to see if Prides Corner Farm could somehow transport 70 bicycles from Palmerton to the start in New Hampshire.
Management agreed that it was a worthy cause in which 98% of the money raised went directly to the two non-profits that help fight cancer.
Our shipping and sales department arranged for me to take a load of plants to a customer in New Jersey that was only 2 hours away from the ride starting point in Palmerton, PA where I began loading 70 bicycles into our newly wrapped trailer.
In the process I got to hang out with two old friends, who had completed this ride 7 times, Selene Yeager and Dave Pryor are cycling fanatics who are closely aligned with Bicycling Magazine, where we met 20 years ago.
Everyone connected with this ride which includes a dedicated support staff, that follows the ride each day, loads and unloads luggage, prepares mid ride lunches, and keeps the bikes working, among many other roles, has lost a loved one to cancer.
Many of them have been doing this ride since its inception and they become a close knit group sharing their stories each evening.
As they hand up their precious bikes to me in the trailer, I start to realize just how dedicated and good spirited everyone is as they greet each other.
The master Bike Packer, and helper is doing the real work by loading the bikes with padding donated by my friend Mark Dutka of Sterling Moving & Storage in Bozrah, CT.
I get the sense that the luxurious space provided by our 48 foot trailer is a not something that has been available to the loading committee in past years. He keeps muttering (happily) that we have more than enough truck for the bikes this year.
These are expensive bikes and very light weight. They range in price from $4000 to $10,000 and weigh between 16 and 21 pounds each.
So what we have here is the most expensive load ever for Prides Corner Farms and the lightest weight ever.
Doing some quick math in my head which really never happens, (where’s my calculator) I figure 70 bikes X 19lb average = 1,330 pounds and is worth, 70 X $6000.00 = $420,000.00.
At this point I begin to realize the liability involved in the task we have agreed to sponsor/transport.
This point was never lost on our Prides Corner owner (and avid cyclist) because as soon as he received my picture of all these expensive bikes in his trailer, I got an instant response……”TAKE CARE OF THOSE BIKES.”
Take care of them we did for the 7 hour drive up to North Conway. My old friend Dave got to ride with me in the truck, giving us plenty of time to catch up on our lives.
The riders and some of the support crew arrived shortly after us in a nice touring bus, and I got to see the organizers in action, unloading gear and setting up living quarters for the night, everyone in one room of the community center. This is a no frills group dedicated to giving every cent they can to the fight against cancer.
Looking at the picture of the whole staff and riders you can see that not everyone is in super shape physically but they are about to go through a week of riding 100+ miles a day over some pretty big hills and mountains.
The next morning after they finished their staff made breakfast, loaded their gear into support vans the drizzling cold rain did not deter the riders as they started riding up the Kancamagus Highway.
I was overcome by bittersweet emotions, as they rode off on this incredible 6 day journey.
Prides Corner Farm is proud to have played such and integral but at the same time small part in helping this inspirational group raise $300,000.00 to fight a much too common opponent in all of our lives.
Bill Truck Guy Humphreys