Champion the Cure Challenge

Champion the Cure Challenge

Champion the Cure logo

Champion the Cure Challenge

Terrific Century Bike Ride &

A Celebration of Hope & Life

August 16, 2015

Wes Chapman

Champion the Cure Challenge

The Champion the Cure Challenge is a community celebration of hope and life, raising funds for research at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer, Maine. Champion the Cure gets people in motion – walking biking and volunteering, and this year raised over $600,000 for cancer research – a terrific performance for an event barely 5 years old. My work takes me to dozens of cancer centers and clinics per year, and the Lafayette Family Cancer Center is one of the finest that I’ve ever seen – anywhere. I’ve had the opportunity to visit during working hours, and it is one of the best staffed, equipped and run cancer centers that I’ve ever seen. Clearly the Banger/Brewer Maine community agrees, as thousands of walkers, bikers and volunteers turned out to support a terrific event.


Bill comes up on the turn at 50 miles

The Century Ride

This is the second year that I’ve ridden the century at this event, and it just keeps getting better. The ride starts at the Cancer Center in Brewer, and makes it way over to the Penobscot River, which it follows all the way to the town of Lincoln. The Penobscot River Valley is beautiful, quiet and very flat. This is a perfect century ride for first-timers, families, teams and anyone looking for a relaxing ride through some wonderful scenery.


Canoeists on the Penobscot River


A Beautiful Morning on the Penobscot

The road surface was excellent, with wide paved shoulders almost the whole way. Traffic was very light, and the weather was simply beautiful. We had a team of 6 riders, with a couple of our normal team sidelined with injuries of one type or another. The sag stops were simply wonderful – friendly people, good bathroom facilities, lots to eat and drink and plenty of bike repair support. Poland Spring made a kind donation of what must have been a truck load of water, and we drank it by the gallon.


The team at the first rest stop


Rest stop at the turn at 50 miles


Views toward Katahdin from the Lincoln rest stop

The Lafayette family of the eponymous Cancer Center, is in the hospitality business, and it shows in this event. Despite a broken foot which kept him off the bike, Dan Lafayette was everywhere, and Carla seemed to reach out with a personal welcome to everyone at the event. In particular, Carla’s team did a terrific job with signage – both informative and inspirational.


Friends Carla and Danny Lafayette – sponsors of a terrific event

This event means a lot to me: I was raised in this community, much of my family still lives here, a number of family members have been treated here, and the care provided by the Cancer Center is simply terrific. It is a worthwhile cause.


Team and friends after the ride

This is a terrific event for a very worthwhile cause. The bike rides are great, and this is a relaxed event for family and friends as the summer winds down in Maine. Martha and I had a great time, and we’ll be back.

Wes Chapman
Written by Wes Chapman

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