By Andrew Rich
Riding a bike from Boston to Provincetown is daunting enough; now imagine doing that, with a pedicab attached!
On June 28–29, more than 2,000 bicyclists pedaled their way 150 miles from Boston to Cape Cod in the 30th annual Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway, presented by EMD Serono and Pfizer.
Boston Pedicab was just one of the many teams participating in the ride to raise money for the National MS Society. The ride began at UMass early Saturday morning, stopped at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay that afternoon, and then continued the next day to the finish line in Provincetown. To accentuate their presence in the event, Boston Pedicab brought two of their own pedicabs along for the ride.
Like their bicycle counterparts, pedicabs are human-powered by pedaling. The vehicle is usually a tricycle, with the driver in front pedaling, and the passengers seated behind in a cab.
The weight of a standard road bicycle can range from about 12-25 pounds. Pedicabs, on the other hand, can weigh 200 pounds or more. Despite the fact that the ride would be harder to get through with all that extra weight, Boston Pedicab showed no fear.
The 24 team members alternated pedaling the two pedicabs throughout the 150-mile ride to share the burden and to keep their legs fresh.
“It’s a tradition to have a team,” said Boston Pedicab team member Joel Schenck, a 28-year-old native of Detroit, now residing in Jamaica Plain. Not only was it his first Cape Cod Getaway, it was also his first time on Cape Cod. “The whole team is supposed to be representative of a more outgoing perspective, to make it more fun for everyone. We want to take it on the road.”
Along with the other teams, Boston Pedicab embraced the camaraderie and friendly spirit that presided over the event. No matter how large the other teams were—Team Velox Rota clocked in at nearly 200 members—or how humorous their names—Tour de Farce, The Vicious Cycles, Chain Gang, MSFits—everyone involved cheered each other on. Even after the ride was finished, Boston Pedicab carried participants to the beer truck for a celebratory drink.
“I’m excited to see so many people doing something for others,” commented Jordan Parks, another rider for Boston Pedicab. This was also the 24-year-old Allston resident’s first year doing the ride. “There’s a real selflessness to it. It feels good to make a difference.”
“I like it because it’s like a celebration of being able to do these things,” noted 32-year-old Boston Pedicab rider Ben Linsky. This was Linsky’s second year raising money for MS research and services in the Cape Cod Getaway. He has family members who are living with the disease. “Nobody chooses to have MS. It just hits you. So any chance I have to do something I love, I go after it, because you never know when you are gonna lose your ability to do something you love.”
As of now, the National MS Society has raised over $2 million in donations for MS research and services from this year’s Cape Cod Getaway alone, with funds still coming in. Registration has already been opened for next year’s event. To sign up or to learn more about the ride, visit www.bikeMSgne.org. And after raising over $12,000 themselves, Linsky, Schenck, Parks, and the other 21 members of the Boston Pedicab team look forward to coming back.
“I personally have no connection to MS,” said Schenck as he was finishing his morning bagel. “But it’s so incredible to see all these people come together. It gives you that connection.”