Our Opinion

One of the great summertime traditions in Beverly is back in its usual time slot this year: members of Pat’s Pedaling Pack cycling 100 kilometers from St. Barnabas Elementary School to Michigan City, Ind.

This year’s ride will be Friday, June 24, beginning at 5:45 a.m., at St. Barnabas, 10121 S. Longwood Dr.

The pack is part of Pat Mac’s Pack, a charity named after Patrick McNamara, a 13-year-old from Beverly who succumbed to pediatric brain cancer in 2011.

The charity is dedicated to funding research on pediatric brain tumors, as well as supporting families battling the deadly illness.

First held in 2014, the bike ride alone has raised $834,000, and this year’s ride is being dubbed the “The Million Dollar Ride,” with hopes to hit that mark in funds raised.

Last year’s ride, held in September, was the first time that men and women rode together, and women are invited again this year.

The ride is challenging—but rewarding. The McNamaras’ friends, family and neighbors have supported the ride from the start, and some have gone above and beyond.

Last year, Willie Winters, a Beverly resident and McNamara relative, rode his bike coast to coast—from near Washington, D.C., all the way to Oregon—to raise money for Pat Mac’s Pack.

He brought in $12,000.

The “Leaders of the Pack”—children battling cancer—are honored before every ride, and they lead the cyclists onto Longwood Drive to begin their journey. It is an emotional, inspiring moment.

The cost to participate in this year’s ride is $175, and riders are encouraged to raise $500.

About 200 people participated last year, and that number will likely increase this year.

The event also includes a golf outing in Michigan City on Saturday, June 25, and riders can also pay $59 for a ride back to St. Barnabas on June 24.

Those not riding are invited to golf, and supporters may also cheer on the riders as they depart from St. Barnabas.

Members of Pat’s Pedaling Pack don bright T-shirts that invite people to “Ask me why I ride.”

Those shirts have been prevalent in recent days, with cyclists out and about preparing for their 100-kilometer ride.

Good luck to all who are part of Pat’s Pedaling Pack this year.

For more information or to support the effort, visit patmacspack.org.