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Cyclist to pedal 2,500 miles from Calgary to Lewiston

Andy Bailes of Bowdoinham has been selected to participate in the Peloton Project, a documentary film that will follow 40 cyclists on a 2,500-mile, 10-day journey from Calgary, Alberta to Lewiston, Maine.

The riders will leave Calgary on October 3 and expect to arrive in Maine on Friday, October 12, just in time for Dempsey Challenge weekend festivities. Bailes’s goal is to raise $5,000 by October 1.

To support Bailes’s fundraising efforts, local brew pub Gritty McDuff’s has organized a cycling event called Gritty’s Triple, a 75-mile ride to from Gritty’s Freeport to Gritty’s Portland to Grittys Auburn and back to Gritty’s Freeport. The ride will finish with BBQ and brews at the Freeport location.

Bailes’s started riding in the Dempsey Challenge in 2010 in honor of his 24-year-old son, Brandon, a cancer survivor. This year, after the Peloton Project arrives in Maine, Bailes will once again ride in the Challenge and support The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston.

The Canadian riders, part of an organization called Cancervive, will raise funds primarily for Wellspring Calgary, an organization in Calgary focused on cancer survivorship services, much like the Dempsey Center.

This ride from Calgary to Lewiston will be a great challenge, but Bailes says he’s up to it. “I have over 1,500 miles on my bicycle so far this year,” he said. “The only thing that I’m a bit nervous about is riding at night, but I think that will be okay too.”

Bailes is likely to be the only rider from Maine, though he will not be the only Mainer making the trek. The Peloton Project documentary film crew includes several Mainers and will be led by director Ramsey Tripp, owner of Trade-mark R Productions in Lewiston, and producer Laura Davis, partner at Rinck Advertising in Auburn.

Actor and Maine native, Patrick Dempsey, founder and namesake of the Dempsey Center, has signed on as executive producer.

The film will follow Bailes and the other 39 cyclists as they make their way from Calgary to Lewiston. The ride will consist of teams of six riding 24 hours a day for 10 days. Each team will ride for six hours, covering 60 to 80 miles at a time. Woven throughout the team’s journey across North America will be stories of cancer survivors, caregivers and a young woman who has just been diagnosed.

The Peloton Project Film will look closely at the people behind the cancer diagnoses to see what life is like for them before and after cancer and how they find strength to face the challenge ahead. The film will demonstrate the similarities in the journey Bailes and the other cyclists face and the journey of a cancer patient, all finding the strength to advance on the journey.

“We are so honored and excited that Andy will be representing the Dempsey Center and Dempsey Challenge in what will surely be a profound and life-changing journey,” said Dempsey Challenge event manager Aimee Arsenault. “The fact that 40 riders from across the continent chose the Dempsey Challenge as their destination is amazing, and being able to have a local rider who has been so personally impacted by cancer makes it even more special for our community and our event.”

The Gritty’s Triple will start at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16; registration fee is $50. To register to ride or for more information, please contact Thomas Wilson at thomas@grittys.com or call (207) 772-2739.

Anyone wishing to support Bailes’s efforts directly may visit dempseychallenge.org and type in Andy Bailes under the “Find a Participant” link. If cash or check donation is preferred, please inquire by calling the CMMC Development Office at 207-795-8253.

 

 

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