By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – The first weekend every August, thousands of cyclists strap on their helmets and ride to raise money for the fight against cancer. Last year those fundraising riders all chose their own course, but the Pan-Mass Challenge is back to an in-person event for 2021.

About 4,600 riders will take park in this year’s in-person PMC on August 7 and 8, choosing from 16 different routes that range in distance. An additional 1,600 riders have committed to ride their own routes.

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“It feels good to be semi-back in the saddle,” said Pan-Mass Challenge founder Billy Starr. “Part of our operational challenge was to spread people out.”

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In order to reduce crowds, riders will face staggered starts and there will be no scheduled gatherings. Masks and sanitation stations will be available at PMC sites.

“Having to eliminate all of our hub sites – the startings, the endings, the parties, the transportation, the beer – it was a lot to take out of the party while leaving the ride and the mission,” Starr said.

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The fundraising goal for the 2021 Pan-Mass Challenge is $52 million to fund cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

CBSBoston.com Staff