PMC Kids Ride Coming

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Photo by Lester Smith

Younger riders set out from the school parking lot in last year’s PMC Kids Ride. At the circle in front of Suffield Middle School they rode happily round and round.

A few weeks ago Suffield’s intrepid PMC rider Chris Nikolis was delighted to adjust his report on last year’s Kids Ride up a few thousand as final returns came in, bringing Suffield’s eight-year total to $317,000! Last year’s total was a new record for Suffield kids, and it encouraged Chris to set a goal of $70,000 for this year’s Kids Ride, scheduled for Saturday morning, May 9. Registration began in February and continues.

PMC means Pan-Mass Challenge, and its big event is the two- or three-day bike ride in the first week of August when thousands of older riders pedal hundreds of miles from several starting points in southern New England to gather in Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. Perhaps they’re exhausted, but they’re also triumphantly happy and satisfied that they have not only demonstrated their stamina, but they’ve raised many millions for the Jimmy Find of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The PMC Kids Ride is scaled to the stamina of its 3- to 16-year-old participants. In Suffield it has grown each year, and Chris hopes to register 250 riders for May 9. Each is expected to raise at least $35 in donations for the Jimmy fund, individually or in-group efforts like cake sales, pasta dinners, raffles, and more. Many far exceed that expectation.

But the Suffield Kids Ride isn’t just a fundraiser. It’s an opportunity for youngsters to gather in the parking lot between the middle and intermediate schools for a worthwhile event, mingling happily with other well-intentioned folks and just having fun with the band and the snacks and other extras that enhance the occasion. And it seems likely some riders enjoy the satisfaction (and perhaps the boast) of having ridden the five miles to Hasting’s Hill and back twice, though the standard is just once. Parents can be assured that this route for the older riders is safely managed; the younger kids ride their bikes and trikes and even scooters safely around the circle in front of Suffield Middle School.

So check the Suffield PMC Kids Ride Facebook page or visit or email Chris and Denise Nikolis at And think good thoughts for weather as fine as last year’s great ride on May 11.

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