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By Carolyn Downes
e-Buddies Program Manager, Massachusetts

On May 22nd, Best Buddies International will host the Fifth Annual Volvo Hyannis Port Challenge, a bike ride from John F. Kennedy Library in Boston to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The event includes a day of fun, riding, live music and a grand after-party!

The bicycle adventure will begin at the crack of dawn with rider registration, where the riders can pick up their jersey, rider number, and goody bag, at the Kennedy Library, located on the water in the southern part of Boston. Then at 7:30, the riders mount their bikes to begin the 90-mile journey south. There is also a 20-mile ride that starts at 11:00 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The riders will finish the course in the early afternoon but the day is far from being over. Each rider will have a chance to unwind with a hot shower, a post-race snack, and even a massage. At 4:30, Best Buddies will thank our fearless riders with an awesome clambake that incorporate scrumptious New England style cuisine, live music and the opportunity to mingle with celebrities!

Such superstars as Greg LaMond, Tom Brady, and Carl Lewis have ridden their bikes for the challenge. Tom Arnold, David Caruso, and Joan Cusack have cheered the riders as they made their trek to the finish line. J.R. Griffin, the Best Buddies Massachusetts Citizens program manager and e-Buddies volunteer, had a great experience talking with Tom Brady, the quarterback from the New England Patriots, at last year's ride. J.R. said, "He was a cool guy" and enjoyed swapping stories about their Alma Matter, University of Michigan. Even presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, has strapped on a helmet and participated in the HPC in 2002.

Jenn, a part of Best Buddies and a new e-Buddy, is joining in the race as a tandem rider for the 20-mile portion. She said that her training is going well and she tries to get on the bike a couple of days a week to ride two to three miles at a time in preparation for the race. Jenn said that she is "very excited and happy" to be involved in this year's Hyannis Port Challenge.

If you live in the Massachusetts area, please come cheer on the wonderful riders. Because of them, Best Buddies friendship programs thrive in the United States and internationally. For more details on the race, please go to www.hpchallenge.org or email carolyndownes@bestbuddies.org. Stayed tuned for the more information on the first annual Hearst Castle Challenge, 100 miles bike ride down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon on October 16, 2004.


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