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J-D grad cycles for cancer cure

Last year's event raised $33 million towards fight against cancer

Bryon Macrides takes his cycling seriously. No one can tell him it's just a hobby.

After training year round, the Manlius resident will tour the state of Massachusetts this weekend for the third time in the 190-mile Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Macrides brothers, Jamesville-DeWitt graduates, are riding for their father, Ernie, who died in 2004 from complications from the disease. I am not hesitant to remind him that he is riding for my family too. A few short months after the Macrides family lost Ernie, my family lost my mother, Helen, to cancer.

The PMC, an annual bike-a-thon, has raised more than $204 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.

The 29th annual PMC will be held Aug. 1 through 3 and Macrides will ride a two-day course that starts in Sturbridge, 114 miles east of Albany, and concludes 190 miles later in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod.

The PMC is fully supported for the participants. There are food/water stops every 20 miles where mechanical and medical assistance is available. Cyclists will travel from 36 states and eight countries for the weekend.

"It's not really a race; it's an event," he said recently. "We all take turns leading our team."

Last year, nearly 5,000 riders participated in the PMC, many in honor of a family member or friend fighting the disease. The event raised $33 million from more than 230,000 individual contributions.

Macrides rides on the "Lick Cancer" Team. One of his teammates is his brother, Mike, who moved to the Boston area shortly after college.

In addition to the original route to Provincetown, there are six other shorter PMC bike-a-thon routes of varying mileage to cater to all levels of cycling abilities.

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