Pekarski’s Sausage owner cycles for cancer research

Last modified: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
DEERFIELD — The wheel of a meat grinder won’t be the only thing that Pekarski Sausage owner Michael Pekarski will be spinning this August.

Come Aug. 2 and 3, Pekarski will ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 192-mile bike-a-thon that begins in Sturbridge and takes participants across the Commonwealth to Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod.

The ride serves as a fundraising event for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Our hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers,” reads the event’s website.

Pekarski said this year will be his first time riding in the event, though friends of his have regularly participated and he has wanted to do it for years.

Like other riders, Pekarski must raise $4,000 in donations to the organization as a condition for riding in the event.

“Members of my family and some of my friends have either had cancer or lost their battles with it,” said Pekarski. “It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, so I put my money where my mouth is and signed up.”

He admitted that he’s a bit nervous to attempt the lengthy ride, which will require him to pedal nearly 100 miles a day over 48 hours.

“Me being less than a rookie biker, it’ll be a challenge, no doubt,” Pekarski said. “When I was a kid, I basically lived on my bike, and in my teens and in college it would be no problem, but in your 40s it’s a little different. I’ll be pretty sore, I think.”

Pekarski said he has been training for the past three months to prepare for the ride, putting in over 100 miles on his bike each week, riding between 25 and 60 miles each time he goes out.

“I put a 22-mile loop in this morning,” Pekarski said. “I just get on and go — every little bit counts.”