The Pan Mass Challenge is just weeks away and one Wellesley resident and cancer survivor who is riding wants help getting his bike back.
Angus McQuilken said his bike was stolen early Saturday morning from the back of his car where it was locked on a bike rack, and he hopes the bicycling community in Massachusetts will help him get it back.
"What I decided to do was enlist the aid of other bicyclists around the state," McQuilken said, so he sent an email to various bicyclist groups asking for help.
McQuilken got the bike in 2009 as a survival present from his wife, it has already carried him through four Pan Mass Challenge rides and this year, his fifth, was going to be a celebratory milestone.
"Five years cancer free when you have Colon cancer is a milestone," McQuilken said. "I was looking forward to celebrating on the same bike I started on."
After undergoing successful cancer surgery, McQuilken said he decided that was when he wanted to ride the PMC.
"I took up bicycling because I wanted to do the Pan Mass Challenge, I was not a bicyclist before I had cancer," he said.
Having raised more than $30,000 in the past four races on his 2009 white Trek 1.5 with the 62 cm frame McQuilken said unsolicited donations have already started coming in this year, and he thinks the publicity around his stolen bike may boost his fundraising.
On Aug. 3 and 4, together with 5,500 cyclists, Mcquilken will ride across Massachusetts in the 34th Pan-Mass Challenge charity bike-a-thon, even if he needs to do it on a replacement bike.
"I’m going to ride those 192 miles and I’m going to celebrate five years cancer free no matter what, I just hope to do it on the bike I started it on," he said.
To donate to McQuilken's team, Team Kermit, and help support children cancer research visit his donor page on the Pan Mass Challenge site.
Anyone with information or who thinks they've seen the seen the bike should call the Wellesley Police Department.