Pledges/SponsorshipTo qualify for PPRAC, individual riders must raise at least $1,000 in advance of departure. We suggest that pledges be secured as lump sum donations rather than as per-mile contributions. Individual contributors who give $50 or more will receive a beverage jacket. Corporate contributors will be recognized by their levels of giving. Upon registering, riders receive a packet from the American Cancer Society with tips for fundraising and procedures for turning in collected money. 85% of the money we raise goes to the American Cancer Society and 15% to Dream Come True. Thanks to the generosity of host churches and schools along the PPRAC route and help from assorted other friends of the Perimeter Ride, our overhead costs are minimal. Therefore, nearly every dollar you raise goes directly to PPRAC charities. By registering for the ride, bikers agree to raise $1000 for PPRAC. Should unforseen circumstances arise that might prevent the rider from participating, the $1000 pledge is still expected to be submitted.
Five support vehicles travel with the PPRAC. One carries personal luggage to the next day's destination. One circulates among riders making random checks. A trail "SAG" vehicle gives assistance when mechanical or physical problems arise. A team of qualified mechanics provide help along the route and at evening stops. If a physical or mechanical breakdown renders you unable to finish the day, the SAG vehicle may pick you up. All vehicles carry emergency provisions. Support vehicles are manned by PPRAC volunteers, usually family or friends of riders. If you or a friend are interested in serving as an on-the-road volunteer, a driver to the starting destination or can provide a support van, truck or car, please indicate so on the registration form.
Morning Registration and Welcome Home
Planning for PPRAC, as it is affectionately called, begins almost immediately after the ride is finished. The starting point has to be chosen, route determined, overnight stays arranged, support team organized, and riders recruited. Registration for the ride begins early on a Sunday morning, well before breakfast.
But not to worry - there is coffee and plenty of donuts available. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Palmerton, PA, has been home base for the last five rides, and the members there don't like to see anyone go hungry.
Despite the early hour, there is a quiet excitement in the atmosphere as people gather. Old friends meet, the route is reviewed and commented on, last minute questions answered, problems solved. Snacks, gear, supplies, and lots of drinks are packed into the truck with an impressive efficiency.
A brief worship service gives the riders and their team a chance to reflect on the upcoming challenge and the reason for their effort. Most of the participants have had cancer touch their lives and have someone special to whom to dedicate the ride.
Then it's time to leave. With hugs and best wishes from family, friends, and even dogs, they take off for the trail head hundreds of miles away.
While the riders are pumping up hills (read 'mountains'), eating lots of spaghetti, and sleeping on floors, Holy Trinity gets ready for the welcome home party. They have the easy job. The return is a time of great celebration. A balloon arch marks the finish line, and a cheering section welcomes the riders back.
Under a canopy are snacks and birch beer. Here the riders can cool off, compare experiences, and watch for the arrival of more leisurely riders.
Inside are festive decorations celebrating each rider's accomplishment. American Cancer Society and Dream Come True pitch in with more decorations and help in the kitchen. A feast slowly builds until the buffet table is full to overflowing. The hall is crowded with tables and chairs to seat all the participants and their families and friends. After the last rider has returned, the last shower taken, the feast begins.
Then comes the awards and recognition ceremony. Bob Freed is a true team leader with great appreciation for the riders and all their supporters. The amazing thing about the return is the energy and enthusiasm that these riders have. One would think they would be spent physically and mentally. Perhaps the feeling of a job well done and the anticipation of getting home buoys them up. It seems the smiles never end even as people leave for home. All that's left is the clean-up, Holy Trinity's job; then the planning can begin for the next ride.